Ross Ferry Lighthouse
Ross Ferry Road

As time went on changes took place. In 1965, it was decided to convert the light from oil to acetylene gas, thus changing the characteristic light from a fixed to a flashing beacon. This change helped in increasing the life of each tank of gas by ten times. Another change that took place in the same year was the automation of the light; a sun valve now turned the light on only when it was dark. During this period, the classification of the lighthouse was changed to seasonal with the months of operation running between April 15th and January 15th. It operated this way for the next three years under the direction of the part-time light keeper Alexander McKenzie. It was Mr. MacKenzie’s job to check the lighthouse twice a day. He did this for three years, until his job was terminated in 1968. Afterward, the lighthouse was often vandalized and broken into. In September 1971, the lighthouse was connected to commercial electrical power. By this time, the lantern was badly rotted and it was removed down to the window sills, decked over and weatherproofed with fiberglass. A waterproof lantern with acrylic lens was mounted on the open deck. In 1992 and 1994 proposals were submitted by people interested in developing local properties. Both of these proposals were denied. In the year 2000 it was sold to a private party, cut in half and moved inland.

Architectural Comment

This building was a square pyramidal wooden tower white with red trim. The apt description of “pepper shaker design” best describes its appearance.

Contextual Comment

Established and first lit in 1912, with a light range of eleven miles, Man of War Point Lighthouse was located on the beach on the western side of Boularderie Island. It was situated 7km below where the Seal Island Bridge is now located and had a tower that reached a height of thirty-two feet. This lighthouse was built under contract by P.L. MacFarlane of Baddeck at a cost of $974.00. The first light keeper hired was a chap by the name of Malcolm N. MacLeod. He was appointed on January 5, 1912 and paid $120.00 a year. Tragically, the original lighthouse was destroyed by fire in 1925. It was decided to replace the lighthouse and a temporary pole light was installed while the new lighthouse was under construction. This “new” lighthouse is still in existence today.

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