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Chance Brothers Lighthouse Chance Brothers Lighthouse
  • Date of lens manufacture

    1907

  • Date of lighthouse construction

    1908

  • Country

    Canada

  • Commissioning body
    ---
  • Order of lens

    4th order

  • Fixed or revolving lens

    Fixed

  • Active/Inactive

    Inactive

  • Describe the character of light

    White light visible from 43m above high water from 15 miles away.

  • Describe the lighthouses daymarks

    Solid white paint over the iron tower after its restoration.

  • Which aspects of the lighthouse (other than the lens) were manufactured by Chance brothers
    ---
  • Describe the history of the lighthouse

    The lighthouse was erected on the west coast of the Great Northern Peninsula in 1908 and activated in 1909 with a fixed white light visible from 43 m above high water 15 miles away. The lighthouse served to guide ships and small boats into the harbour from 1909 to 1979. It was later replaced with battery operated harbour buoys.

    The lighthouse measuring 18ft tall is one of many along the Northern Peninusla that were architecturally different and unique. The cast iron cylindrical tower has a second storey balcony, a witch’s hat roof and an arched doorway. Originally this iron tower painted with red and white vertical stripes, and its lantern and dome were painted white. It was painted solid white in 1978 when becoming battery operated. The lighthouse was restored in 2002 with some of the funding from the funding that the Central Development Association received under the Canada-Newfoundland Comprehensive Economic Development Agreement to undertake improvements in Cow Head.

    The first light keeper was Jesse Payne. He lived in a 3-bedroom house in a sheltered area west and below the lighthouse. Jesse’s duties entailed lighting the kerosene light at dusk and extinguishing it at dawn every day from spring to late December when navigation was open. He was succeeded in 1949 to 1953 by his son John L., otherwise known as “Lighthouse Jack”. Jack only needed to visit the tower occasionally to clean the lens and ensure proper light operation when the acetylene light with an automatic timer was installed in 1952. The reduction in his duties resulted in his pay cut and relocation to Tuckers Cove where he worked as a fisherman. Jesse, John L.’s son and Jesse’s grandson, was the final lightkeeper.

    The lighthouse was an important social gathering for the community and would be a spot for picnics on Sundays.

  • Current management body/ ports authority

    Town of Cow Head

  • Historical preservation societies/manager/operator
    ---
  • Is the site vulnerable to coastal erosion?
    no
  • Have you experienced any affects of climate change on the lighthouse?
    ---
  • Observations on the condition of the lighthouse?
    ---
  • Is the site open/closed to the public

    Open

  • Is the tower open/closed to the public

    Open

  • Latitude and Longitude

    49.9217, 57.8226

  • On-site bookable accommodation available
    no
  • Associated web addresses
  • Other details

    In regards to accessing the lighthouse, there is a trail that starts at the community outdoor theatre near the communication tower. This trail also leads to viewing platforms along the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the inland coastal lowlands and the Long Range Mountains. It crests at the top of the head and turns back towards the ocean and the lighthouse.

    ARLHS CAN-680.

  • Which resources did you use to research this lighthouses?

    Online sources

Inactive Chance Lens Inactive Chance Lens
  • When was the lens deactivated?

    1979


In the 1800s, Chance Brothers & Co glassworks in Smethwick began making the hi-tech lenses that lighthouses use to warn ships of dangerous locations. By 1951, over 2,500 lighthouses around the world were fitted with a Chance lens.

Where?


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