Sunday, November 9, 2014


This time the article is about the Point Abino Lighthouse. Of course, written by someone from outside the area who is not influenced by nasty local rhetoric about the money (in reality $400K) spent to restore the National Historic Site.

In the book, Brown raves about the Greek Revival  style Point Abino Light Station describing it as, "easily the most elegant lighthouse on the Ontario shore of the Great Lakes." He goes on to describe how Point Abino became the "enclave of wealthy industrialists" where many of the homes pre-date the 1918 completed light station. The lighthouse was constructed to replace a light ship that was destroyed in  a storm in 1913, killing all on board. A plaque was recently unveiled at Waterfront Park in Crystal Beach to honour the six coast guardsmen who died when Lightship No. 82 sunk in a fierce storm that raged 101 years ago this weekend.

The author also reported that the Point is off-limits to non-residents but walking, biking and shuttle tours are available.  As with many other National Historic Sites, access is limited, but not impossible. Other lighthouses are located out of reach of the average tourist. The light station's Fresnel Lens was state-of-the-art at the time of its installation. It remains in the lighthouse and is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Although more access to the light station is always desirable, it stands proudly at the end of the Point, clearly visible to boaters and observers from the shoreline of Crystal Beach. It is truly a beautiful sight from the Waterfront Park, free for anyone to enjoy.  The efforts of The Fabled Four members of town council are responsible for the restoration of the lighthouse. They pushed for matching funds to a government grant to pay for the restoration. The Lighthouse Keeper's cottage was sold to the restorer to complete the funding. Although there was some opposition from people who lived in other parts of the town, there was a great deal of support from the people of Crystal Beach and Ridgeway. The late Janet Truckenbrodt wrote a letter to the editor of Niagara This Week in March of 2012 praising The Four for their "decision to restore and preserve the Point Abino Lighthouse."

Let's hope the new council continues to preserve and protect the unique features of Fort Erie for future generations.

Guiding Light: Beautiful Point Abino Lighthouse was written by Ron Brown and reprinted , with permission, by The Fort Erie Times from his book:  Top 123 Unusual Things to See in Ontario, 4th Edition 


  1. The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keeper's Association, a very large group of hundreds of lighthouse fans in the States came to see our lighthouse a couple of years ago and said that the Point Abino Lighthouse is the Taj Mahal of lighthouses.
    They knew what they were talking about.

    and to think our Four got persecuted for renovating such an important historical sight in Fort Erie. I am wondering how much money has been spent on the locomotive over the years?

    Time will tell how authentic that Conflict of Interest lawsuit instigated by a weak mayor against his own Councillors turns out.

  2. The Four as far as I am concerned, acted on behalf of the people that elected them, and history will regard them as Knights in shining armour, and Doug Martin will be remembered as the petty little man that he is, and I have known him and his antics for over 30 years, before they even had computers at Town Hall. Town officials even screwed up that process, we used to have our billing for water bills done by Region They brought it in house, possibly so they could milk the ratepayers for more money, who was charge of that deal ,? Why Dougie and his Father -in-law, the Town Treasurer. The computers that they bought, were unable to do what they were purchased for.!!!

  3. Thanks for writing this. I never would have thought Greek Revival but now see the details. Now I can imagine that scene from The
    Age of Innocence with Countess Olenska and the lighthouse.:-) Who knew Fort Erie could be romantic?

  4. This is a great view of the smartest and beautiful historic monument in Fort Erie a tribute to our Maritime past, the Great Lakes are called seas in the Treaty of Ghent, much thought went into the design of this structure, knowing that the mirrors are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars should be a reminder how close we came to allowing another part of our civilization go into the trash can of history, I would not be surprised to hear in the years to come Doug Martin, taking the bows for saving a piece of our heritage., I also collect antiques and art, this building, fills both of my desires. What a great place.

  5. This was a good article about a historic building in our town, but would have been even better if it didn't mention the Four Concillors. Quite frankly not everything needs to be about them or the divide. Dwelling on past indifferences will not help our town move forward together.

    1. The "dwelling on past indifferences" was used to get three of the four out of office. And it is true that there was fierce opposition to the restoration of the lighthouse. And I will continue to remind people of the good that The Four did, even though they were facing lawsuits, slander and a biased local press.

      I will make sure no one forgets the travesty that was committed in this town against four decent men.

    2. Thank you Sharon! These people are happy to be quiet now that they think they have regained power. Too bad it didn't work that way when the tables were turned.


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