Point Amour Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Atlantic Canada. The light-keepers residence has been made into a museum. There is a gift shop in another light-keepers house. On the other side of the site, the trail starts that takes you to the wreck site of HMS Raleigh.
If you are coming from Blanc Sablon and L’Anse au Clair on the Trans Labrador Highway, you’ll drive down a big hill when you come to Forteau. Continue through town and drive up the big hill on the other side of town. A little further down the highway, you’ll see the signs for Point Amour Lighthouse. Turn right on that gravel road. You’ll drive through the small community of L’Anse Amour.
Drive down the lane-way and you’ll find a parking area. Before you walk over to the lighthouse, you’ll see the interpretive signs for the former Marconi station. You can see the foundation where the building stood.
At Point Amour, they let you climb to the top of the lighthouse, which is quite an experience. When we arrived, Provincial Park staff invited us to tour the museum. Once we had gone through all the displays in the two floor building, they accompanied us up the tower.
The original light-keepers house was attached to the tower and has been restored to its’ original state. Two more modern houses were built on the grounds over the years. The main floor living area has some period furniture and fixtures and a lot of information about the families that lived here, including photo albums.
On the main floor you’ll also find a scale model of the lighthouse that shows you how it was constructed. Point Amour was one of several lighthouses built by the Government of Canada in the late 1800’s along the Strait of Belle Isle. At the time Newfoundland was not part of Canada, but the Strait was an important navigation route to the St. Lawrence River. It’s about 200 miles shorter to England than going south of Newfoundland through the Cabot Strait.
The upstairs is filled with interesting displays. One room has a timeline of the area’s history. There is a lot of information about the two famous ship wrecks. HMS Lily ran aground near the lighthouse in 1889. The British Admiralty credited Thomas Wyatt, the light-keeper as being a hero, and presented him with a clock in appreciation for rescuing crew members and caring for survivors. The wreck sat 150 feet from shore with only the mast showing.
In 1922 the British warship HMS Raleigh ran aground near the lighthouse and sat mostly intact for two years. The wreck was an embarrassment for the British and they used explosives to destroy the ship. You can still find large pieces of debris along the shoreline today. A trail takes you from the lighthouse property down to the wreck site.