The Cape Pine Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada stands high on the most southerly promontory of Newfoundland. It neighbors the picturesque community of St. Shott’s, and is located between Trepassey and Saint Mary’s Bays, on the Irish Loop.
The cast-iron tower is a smooth, tapered cylinder pierced by small, square windows as it rises to a wide gallery with railing and lantern. The lighthouse stands amongst ancillary buildings and a communications tower. Its strategic location makes it highly visible to maritime traffic. The official recognition refers to the lighthouse on its legal property.
Cape Pine Lighthouse was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1974 because:
– it was the first landfall light built on the dangerous south coast of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula to guide shipping through the Cabot Straight to the St. Lawrence River;
– it is one of the oldest lighthouses in Canada, and;
– it was the first application in Newfoundland of the technology using prefabricated cast-iron components in the construction of lighthouse towers.
The heritage value of this site resides in the physical presence of the lighthouse as witness to the achievement of early pre-fabrication, transportation and construction on a rugged site. Built in 1851 to guide trans-Atlantic shipping, the Cape Pine Lighthouse also illustrates the early improvement of aids to navigation on the east coast of Canada. The lighthouse was the first of a series of prefabricated iron structures erected in Newfoundland in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Designed by Alexander Gordon, it represents a pioneering and carefully executed instance of maritime design and engineering in Canada.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1973.