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Maritime History: Cape Forchu Lighthouse

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The Cape Forchu Lighthouse is situated in the town of Cape Forchu, Nova Scotia. The lighthouse is 11 kilometres from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The lighthouse was built in 1839 and became operational in 1840. The original station was demolished in 1961, and the “apple core” tower was built in 1962. It stands 75 feet in height. The original Fresnel lens used at the lighthouse has been housed at the Yarmouth County Museum since 2000. The Fresnel lens design enables the creation of lenses with large apertures and short focal lengths without the mass and volume of material required by a conventional lens. A Fresnel lens can be much thinner than a comparable conventional lens, taking the form of a flat sheet in some cases. It has been dubbed “the invention that saved a million ships” due to its use in lighthouses.

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Leif Erikson Park, located on the surrounding 19 acres (7.7 ha) of rocky headland, offers a scenic walking trail with ocean views. The lighthouse and its 19 acres of land are open to the public all year. The Keeper’s Kitchen restaurant and gift shop are located in the light keeper’s house, which is a Heritage property open from May to September.

On June 1, 2000, it became the first operational light station in Canadian history to be transferred from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to a municipality under the Department’s Alternative Use Program. It was transferred to the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth for one dollar in exchange for service delivery. It was designated a Municipal Heritage property in 2001 and a Provincial Heritage property in 2003.

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The original lighthouse, which was demolished in 1961, appeared on a postage stamp in 2022 as part of a set of five Vintage Travel Posters stamps released on June 9. The stamps were supposed to be released in 2020, but they were delayed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The old lighthouse is depicted on a 1950 poster designed by Peter Ewart promoting “Canada’s Picturesque East Coast” for Canadian Pacific.

The Lighthouse, a feature film starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, was shot in the park in 2018.

The Cape Forchu Lighthouse is available for viewing @ Nova Scotia Webcams https://www.novascotiawebcams.com/webcams/cape-forchu (Cape Forhu)



About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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