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