From my original PEI lighthouse tour blog post, I’ve gotten requests to write a bit more about each individual lighthouse. Today’s lighthouse post is about the Cape Bear lighthouse and Marconi station. As a primer to help you appreciate the lighthouse, I suggest that you read the lighthouse’s site (capebearlighthouse.com) before visiting. Cape Bear lighthouse , Cape Bear lighthouse , Cape Bear lighthouse
Located 25 km from the Woods Island Ferry, the Cape Bear Lighthouse stands on Prince Edward Island’s southeast coast. Built in 1881, this 3 story square tower has guided fishermen and sailors along PEI’s Northumberland Strait. The view from the lighthouse reveals small secluded beaches, rugged sandstone cliffs and much marine life such as seals and porpoises.
Cape Bear Lighthouse also is home to the Marconi Station. It was very interesting to read more about this at the lighthouse museum and on their website. Here is the historical significance related to the Titanic:
On the night of April 14, 1912, Bartlett received the first distress signal in Canada from the Titanic as it was sinking off the coast of Newfoundland. A similar station at Cape Race in Newfoundland was in communication with the Titanic, but at that time Newfoundland was not a part of Canada. The Cape Bear Marconi Station ceased operations in 1922, and the building that housed the station was sold to Robert Glover in 1929. The structure now serves as a family home in Guernsey Cove. from Cape Bear Lighthouse website.
The Marconi station is no longer in use but thinking about that message the operator got in the night from the Titanic is eerie stuff. If you’re wondering why we call it a “Marconi Station” and not a radio station … you can check out the Wikipedia link on Marconi here. The story of Marconi himself is an extraordinary one … you can read more about his life here.
The Marconi Station is about a 4 min walk from the lighthouse and there is parking on both sides (either at the lighthouse or the station) along with a bathroom at the station.
At the lighthouse, getting up the 29 stairs to the top is very easy and you’ll go through two levels till the top. The stairs will get narrower and narrower as you get to the top but the view from the top will be worth it. If you’re coming all the way to Cape Bear, you should absolutely pay the $5 donation and get to the top of the lighthouse. The views are excellent :
As for using your donation of $5, you can see that it goes to keeping up the lighthouse in decent condition but there will be a project in the future to restore the lighthouse.
For more information on the Cape Bear lighthouse, here’s a couple screenshots from the “Lighthouse of Prince Edward Island” site …
Part of the Points East Coastal Drive, the Cape Bear Lighthouse stands on the south east point of PEI. On your way to the lighthouse there are many scenic views to take in. Stop by the two local vineyards or enjoy a delicious meal in one of the area’s fine restaurants. Stay at one of the local bed and breakfasts or camp at the provincial park right on the water’s edge. Swim or sunbathe at some of the finest beaches in PEI. Stop by the villages of Murray Harbour, Murray River and Beach Point to see the fishing boats and local attractions.
Cape Bear Lighthouse is located:
- 25 km from the Wood’s Island Ferry (21 minutes)
- 55 km from Montague (46 minutes)
- 86 km from Stratford (65 minutes)