The East Point Lighthouse was constructed in 1866-1867 as a result of petitions from local residents which were supported by the Lieutenant-Governor of PEI. It was the last lighthouse erected before the Island joined Confederation in 1873. The lighthouse is 19.5 m (64 feet) in height from base to vane. The octagonal wooden tower, built by William MacDonald, has a shingled exterior. The lantern platform is supported by a decorative fascia and is surrounded by a wooden railing. It has three landings and sixty-seven steps.
On September 12th, 1882, the 1,137 tonne British warship HMS Phoenix ran a ground on the East Point reef. Although the blame was put on the “negligent navigation” of the Phoenix, many believed that the location of the lighthouse was the real cause of the misfortune. Charts showed the lighthouse on the point, while the lighthouse had in fact been built approximately 0.8 km (0.5 miles) inland. In response the lighthouse and keeper’s cottage were moved 487 m (1600 feet) east in 1885 to within 61 m (200 feet) of the point.
The Souris Area Industrial Commission leased and operated the site in 1989, and for several years operated an interpretive centre in the fog alarm building, which is now a craft shop. The lighthouse has been operated by the Friends of Elmira since 2002. Visitors can tour the lighthouse, picnic, and admire the windmills that were erected in 2007. There is an excellent beach nearby.
While on site, take the opportunity to tour the East Point Lighthouse. You will get a bird’s eye view of the meeting tides, seals and numerous sea birds. The tours can be either guided or self-directed, the choice is yours and the price is the same.
The lighthouse is open for tours from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm daily from June - September.
Group rates are available.
While at the lighthouse, don’t forget to ask for your ribbon to prove that you were there. Take the ribbon to North Cape and receive a certificate to prove that you have been from “Tip to Tip” on Prince Edward Island.