“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hamilton, Ontario — Central Canada

Light Across the Water

The Burlington Canal Lighthouse

Light Across the Water Marker image. Click for full size.
cmh2315fl via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), July 29, 2017
1. Light Across the Water Marker
Inscription.  The Burlington Canal was completed in 1832. In 1837, the canal's first lighthouse shone its beacon across the lake. The wooden structure guided many ships into the canal.

George Thompson was the lighthouse's first keeper. His journal captured daily life on the canal until he retired in 1875.

Thompson lived in a wooden house beside the lighthouse. On July 18, 1856, the Ranger, a supply ship, was bringing whale oil for the lighthouse. Sparks from the ship's furnace set fire to the wooden piers, the lighthouse keeper's house, and the lighthouse. They were completely destroyed.

In 1857, the second lighthouse keeper's house was built. It still stands today. The pier was rebuilt, and a small lighthouse was constructed. In 1909, a concrete tower replaced that lighthouse. And, in 1939, a pier light replaced the tower. It still shines across the canal today.

In 1858, a stone lighthouse was built on the ruins of the first lighthouse. It was made of white dolomite limestone, from quarries near Queenston, Ontario.

By the 1930s, the use of radar, and better pier lights, meant that the old lighthouse's beacon was
Burlington Canal Main Light image. Click for full size.
cmh2315fl via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), July 29, 2017
2. Burlington Canal Main Light
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no longer needed. Today, the limestone lighthouse is one of the oldest structures on the beach strip.

[Captions (counterclockwise from top left)]
• November 6, 1875
• Circa 1954
• Circa 18[unreadable]
• Circa 1899
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 18, 1856.
Location. 43° 17.903′ N, 79° 47.721′ W. Marker is in Hamilton, Ontario. Marker can be reached from Eastport Drive, 0.4 kilometers north of Beach Boulevard, on the left when traveling north. Marker is along a pedestrian path next to the lighthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1155 Eastport Dr, Hamilton ON L8H 6Z9, Canada. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. HMCS Haida - NCSM Haida (approx. 5.6 kilometers away); Hamilton - Scourge Project (approx. 6.5 kilometers away); Hamilton CN Station / La gare du CN de Hamilton (approx. 6.7 kilometers away); Hamilton Customs House / La Maison de la douane de Hamilton (approx. 6.8 kilometers away); George Hamilton 1787-1836 (approx. 7.6 kilometers away); St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church / L’église Presbytérienne St. Paul (approx.
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7.8 kilometers away); The Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway (approx. 7.9 kilometers away); Whitehern (approx. 7.9 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hamilton.
Also see . . .  Burlington Canal Main Lighthouse. The lighthouse's listing on the Canadian Register of Historic Places. (Submitted on April 23, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 23, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 83 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 23, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Mar. 22, 2023