Wood Islands Lighthouse, Wood Islands, PEI
Listen to Karen tell the story.
Another of PEI’s open lighthouses that has been restored with an excellent museum, gift shop and a climb to the lantern room with a still active beacon. Built in 1876, this was originally a difficult lighthouse for the lighthouse keeper to get to as the lighthouse was isolated and approached through dense woods and along the beach. With the development in 1937 of the Wood Islands Ferry Terminal, this harbor became a very important one as ferries travel the Northumberland Strait from Wood Island PEI to Caribou Nova Scotia.
This lighthouse is operated by the Wood Islands and Area Development Corporation who opened the lighthouse to the public in 1998 with 11 themed rooms dedicated to the history of lighthouses, rum-running, array of sea glass, the burning ghost ship loft and the history of the lighthouse including 1950’s period keeper’s kitchen.
You can tour the museum by yourself or a knowledgeable tour guide can give a short history or take you through the entire lighthouse. One area I found interesting was the information on the ice boats. In 1775 this was the first mode of transportation for mail delivery across the Strait and the only means to leave the island in winter. An arduous and dangerous trip.
This lighthouse was the last of the lighthouses on PEI to be automated in 1989 and one of the few lighthouses where the keeper and his family lived in the lighthouse as the comfortable dwelling was attached.
There is also a gift shop as you enter the lighthouse with local crafts and books.
An extra attraction when we were there was an osprey built a nest which was visible when approaching the lighthouse and after the climb to the lantern room was clearly viewed.