Photographer: Jeffrey W. Churill


Kincardine, ONT

Built :  1881

Construction :  Octagonal, wood

Status : Active

Location : Kincardine, Ontario

Lat.  44 11' N  -  Long.  81 39' W

Height : 80 feet (24.4m)

Access : Car, parking near Light. Follow Kincardine Ave. through town right to the light.

Photographer: William J. Churill

Lighthouse History : Kincardine's primary industry in the mid-1800's was fishing. Around 1853 a harbor was beginning to be established at the mouth of the Penetangore River. Two piers were constructed in 1856 to break the sea's rolling in off Lake Huron. In the 1860's a harbor basin was excavated to allow for passage of deeper draft vessels. In 1886, salt was discovered in the area. It's primary industry then became the mining and exporting of salt. Shipping to and from this harbor greatly increased, requiring the need for a lighthouse. At the outer end of the Northern pier, a 32 feet tall, square wooden tower with a light was constructed. The light 

Construction of a lighthouse was completed in 1881. Located on the hillside just inside the mouth of the river, it works as the rear range light for ships entering the harbor. Construction was supervised by William Kay who became the first lightkeeper. The Walker and Henry Distillery was originally located where the lighthouse stands. A two story keeper's house was constructed on a stone foundation. The octagonal tower rises from the roof of the house supporting a twelve sided lantern. The 30 feet (9m) tower gives the lighthouse an overall height of 80 feet (24.4m). Internally there are three landings with straight flights of stairs leading up to the lantern. The East side of the lantern is of steel panels with glass only on the West side. Polished reflectors and a kerosene oil light initially produced the beacon visible for 21 miles (34km). A gallery, supported by wooden braces with an iron railing, surrounds the lantern for easy maintenance. The house and the tower are finished in white with red trim.

Currently the lighthouse is still used as the Rear Range light, flashing red on 4 second intervals. The Front Range light at the end of the North pier now exhibits a flashing red beacon with a fog signal to guide vessels into the harbor of Kincardine.

When the railroad came into Kincardine, the harbor's shipping traffic really decreased. The harbor is still rather busy with tourists and pleasure craft during the warmer months. The waters around this area are scattered with numerous shipwrecks and is a popular diving site. Located within a few blocks of the light are public beaches, the harbor, and many shops and restaurants. Kincardine is another one of the many beautiful small towns along Lake Huron's Canadian shoreline. 


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