A Not To Be Missed Exhibit!
The people and stories behind the legends and lore of the Bruce Coast…
This exhibit showcases the rich marine heritage of the Bruce Coast, and its impact on migration and settlement patterns of Bruce County.
Featured is the architecture and the variety of the eight lighthouses along the Bruce Coast, range lights, and the stories behind the history. Some see a lighthouse as an object of curiosity, a relic of a bygone era. But for a small group of coast side families, it was home.
Starting at the lighthouse at Point Clark, Ontario and winding your way through the quaint towns and picturesque country roads of “Ontario’s Natural Retreat”, you can view or tour a dozen lighthouses, each unique in its own way! – Nancy L McSloy
The exhibit includes not only rare artifacts, but offers the visitor the stories behind the legends and lore of these lighthouses and heritage sites. One of the highlights of the new exhibit is the Fresnel lens from the Cape Croker Lighthouse, which is on temporary loan from The Canadian Coast Guard in agreement with The Chippewas of Nawash – Unceded First Nation.
10 handcrafted models of Bruce County lighthouses – past and present – were created by model maker Bruce Chapman, a member of the Southampton- based Propeller Club. Mr. Chapman, a former resident of Port Elgin, donated the models to the Museum and was present at the exhibit opening on June 25th, 2009.
This exhibit showcases not only marine heritage and its impact on migration and settlement patterns of Bruce County, but gives visitors insight into the people who lived and worked at these important and life saving structures. Featured prominently in the exhibit is the explanation of the variety of architecture of the many lighthouses built along the Bruce Coast. Featured as well is an explanation of the science and technology that made these lighthouses shine in some cases 15 miles out into the lake
As marine travelers know so well, beautiful Lake Huron and Georgian Bay can be deceiving; their idyllic images mask their reputation of being one of the most treacherous of all freshwater lakes. Because of the dangerous waters, throughout this dramatic exhibit also highlighted are various beacons, foghorns, storm signal baskets and buoys and how they were used for navigating these treacherous waters. Offered as well is the rationale for the geographic locations of the lighthouses and range lights based on shoals and currents etc. This part of the exhibit is sure to be of great interest to boaters and those who love marine history.
The exhibit also includes:
- The day-to-day life of a light keeper and his family. Some see a lighthouse as an object of curiosity, a relic of a bygone era. But for a small group of coastside families, it was home.
- The by-gone life of “keeping good light,” is revealed and focuses on the pride; loneliness; heroic, medal winning rescues; and the hard work associated with tending a lighthouse and station buildings;
An interactive lighthouse themed activity for the children has also been created, so kids can be involved and interact with the exhibit. They can sail small boats in a water exhibit around a lighthouse.