Point Abino Light Tower

Fort Erie, Ontario | C.1917

Photo Credit: Genevieve O’Healey

Point Abino Light Tower could only be reached by “wading through the shallows.” The lighthouse was not built on solid land, but atop a reinforced concrete foundation over a limestone reef 100 m from shore – so for a time this was tough going for the keepers.

Although the lighthouse was built between 1917-1918, The need for a lighthouse in these parts was apparent as early as 1855, with multiple accounts of the surrounding treacherous waves and dangerous limestone reefs jutting far from the shore.

The tower sits on atop a rectangular fog horn house with a significantly more elaborate design than most Canadian lighthouses, complementing the homes along the cape. While the pediments, pilasters, and red accents give it a certain neo-classical flair, the structure is entirely made of cast concrete to weather the volatile conditions.

Despite its piercing sound, the foghorn was attached to the tower: Lighthouse keeper Lew Anderson, exclaimed that the horn made the entire tower tremble, “and you’d just have to get out of there!” Although the residents initially protested the inclusion of the foghorn, and the distinctive sound sometimes roused them from their sleep, they ultimately took great pride in this light tower and its keepers, with nearly all homes displaying paintings and photos of the light.

Today, the National Historic Site of Canada. Point Abino Light Tower is only accessible by tours held twice every summer month – no piercing foghorn or water wading necessary.

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