Thursday, August 18, 2011

Blockhouse Point Lighthouse, Rocky Point

Down at Rocky Point there's a great lighthouse called Blockhouse.  Below are references to it's history.
1851. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white light occulting every 4 s. 12 m (40 ft) square pyramidal wood tower with lantern and gallery, attached at one corner of a 2-story wood keeper's house. Buildings painted white with red trim; lantern and gallery painted red. This is the second oldest lighthouse on the island. Located off PE 19 on the west side of Charlottetown harbor.   cf.
     Established in 1851, located on the west side of the entrance to Charlottetown Harbour.
     This lighthouse is a century old and basically as it was when built. It is the second oldest lighthouse on the shores of Prince Edward Island. The structure has not been restored. It consists of a square wooden tower tapered, with attached two-storey dwelling. Overall height base to vane is 42 feet and is 56 feet above high water. The tower itself is 40 feet in height, surmounted by an octagonal lantern on a warehouse roof. The ground floor of the dwelling was designed with a kitchen, parlour, and two bedrooms, and on the first floor with four more bedrooms and a bathroom. It became automated on July 25, 1962.
     Besides serving its important function as a navigational aid on the approach to the harbour, this old lighthouse complements nicely the historical setting of old Charlottetown.
     To find this lighthouse, from Charlottetown travel west on the Trans Canada Route 1 to Cornwall. Turn onto Route 19, Blue Heron Drive and follow it around past Rocky Point. Turn off towards Fort Amherst/Port La Joye National Historic Site and follow the road right to the end, where you will end up in the lighthouse yard. An excellent vantage point for this light is from the park mentioned above. At the lower corner of the park the light is visible and nicely framed by woods and bushes, begging to be photographed.
Above:  note the door into the lighthouse with the elaborate brackets holding up the little roof above.
Blockhouse Point: SW of Charlottetown Harbour, Lot 65.  For one or more blockhouses built there.  On Bayfield 1846.  French map 1749 and Pichon 1760 Pte a la Flamme (meaning "pennant"); plan 1819 Beacon Point, with a notation of 1848: "Block House and Battery in Ruins".  cf.  Geographical Place Names of PEI by Alan Rayburn - page 25.

What is a blockhouse? 
In military science, a blockhouse is a small, isolated fort in the form of a single building. It serves as a defensive strong point against any enemy that does not possess siege equipment or, in modern times, artillery. A fortification intended to resist these weapons is more likely to qualify as a fortress or a redoubt, or in modern times, be an underground bunker.  cf.


  1. Was there about two months or so, and it hasnt' had any work done on it since. The inside looks serviceable, although there's places where what looks like plaster is crumbling away. Hopefully they'll do something with it to keep it available for folks to view for years to come. Some happy memories there when I first came here in 1989.

  2. We were there to revisit the sight where my wife`s mother was born in 1933. She was born on board a vessel arriving to Charlottetown. The ships captain noted the time/date and place of birth as "abeam Blockhouse(Rocky)Point Lighthouse." The entire family came to stand in front of this beautiful old land mark. we gazed over the ocean view from her banks at the base of the lighthouse. We admired the royal blue water as it cascaded over the majestic red sand and rocks in the small cove to the north of the lighthouse. We thought it was the perfect place to scatter "Kathy's" ashes - R.I.P. mom we hoped the light house would watch over her for many years to come. (that was in 2007)