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Lighthouse History

The first Newfoundland lighthouse was established at Fort Amherst at the entrance to St. John’s harbor in 1833. As a result of a rapidly expanding fishery and increased marine activity, numerous light stations were constructed along the NL coastline during the years that followed. In 1938, 238 lights were identified on a published list. In 1911   the Surgeon Cove Point lighthouse and lightkeeper’s residence was constructed on Exploits Island, Bay of Exploits.   Like many of the major light stations it was maintained and operated by light keepers who lived and sometimes raised families in the adjacent residence. Located atop high cliffs, it overlooks a once busy shipping lane for ocean going paper carriers, oil tankers and freight carriers on their way to the seaport town of Botwood, NL. The view is spectacular!  The Iron cylindrical lighthouse itself stands approximately 74 meters above sea level. Its beacon flashes every 5 seconds and can be seen from 18 nautical miles. A Foghorn was added in 1955 and in 1961 construction began on the present duplex to replace the original dwelling.


The photos below shows the old keepers residence as well as the replacement structure as it looks today.  Originally a duplex the present dwelling was built symmetrical, each half containing an identical kitchen, living room, washroom and 3 bedrooms. The basement has a sizeable working area as well as two huge cisterns that serve as a water collection system for the light keepers use.


In recent years the Department of Fisheries and Oceans began to automate many of the lighthouses, thereby reducing the requirement for the presence of light keepers. In October of 2002, the Surgeon Cove Point light station followed suit and for the first time since 1911 was without human occupation.


In 2005, three years after the light station was no longer required to have light keepers,  the residence was turned over to the town of Lewisporte for tourism development. As a result, the Town accepted proposals from local tourism operators expressing interest.


In 2008 (it was a long process) Adventures NL (formerly Canoe Hill Adventures) signed a long term lease with the municipality to utilize the facility as a remote  accommodations unit providing unique experiences  to adventure seekers  or  to simply serve as a relaxing and remote retreat away from it all.

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