Abandoned Lighthouse is a Wonder?
News about the crumbling concrete Point Abino Lighthouse being nominated with the most votes as one of the Seven Wonders of Fort Erie, Canada is exceptionally peculiar considering the controversy over increasing public access to a private road leading to the Lighthouse which the provincial government claims prevents funds being released to restore the deteriorating concrete Tower.
The only road access to the Point Abino Lighthouse is the private Point Abino Road South with a locked security gate at the entrance which has caused a intense conflict over limiting Public access to the Lighthouse.
The three-way dispute involves the Point Abino Association representing the American owners who built exclusive Summer Mansions and claim their private road is their private driveway, the Point Abino Lighthouse Preservation Society who claim the Canadian government is using “free and unencumbered access” to Point Abino Lighthouse as ransom to withhold funding for Lighthouse repairs, and the Provincial Parliament of Ontario who might be preventing the immediate restoration of the 90-year-old Lighthouse landmark.
The 98-feet high reinforced concrete Greek Revival Lighthouse was built in 1917 to warn navigation of the perilous rocky shoal jutting out from Point Abino after the U.S. Lightship LV82 sunk during the vicious Great fresh water Hurricane of Nov 11, 1913.
For 78-years, the Shining Sentinel saved countless ships and souls on Lake Erie from the rocky shoreline of Point Abino especially when swirling fog and mists shrouded the point. Point Abino Lighthouse exhibited a Flashing White Light every 12-seconds illuminated by a 12-feet high Hyper-Radial Fresnel Lens and a 500 watt mercury vapour bulb to a range of 20-miles. A diaphone (two-tone fog horn) was activated when dense fog enveloped the hazardous shoreline.
In 1995, the Canadian government deactivated and abandoned Point Abino Lighthouse after the Canadian Coast Guard marked the rocky shoals with buoys. Point Abino Lighthouse was later designated a National Historic Site in 1998.
The Town of Fort Erie purchased the historic Lighthouse in 2003 and has been pursuing the preservation and promotion the Lighthouse as a symbol of their maritime heritage. A estimated cost of $460,000 is needed to repair the crumbling concrete Tower requiring both structural and aesthetic restoration if the three organizations can resolve the road access conflict.
Over the past two years, the Point Abino Association has allowed eight trolley tours to the Lighthouse. Given the restricted Public Access to the private road, Point Abino Lighthouse is best viewed by boat and a barge could be the simplest and quickest solution for delivering material and work crews by public water access to restore Point Abino Lighthouse (the viewpoint of the post’s author).
For Lighthouse Tour information, please visit the Town of Fort Erie – Point Abino Lighthouse.
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Point Abino Light