Inch Arran Point Front Range Lighthouse

Heritage Lighthouse

Dalhousie, New Brunswick
General view of Inch Arran Point Range Front Lighthouse (© Parks Canada Agency \ Agence Parcs Canada)
General view
(© Parks Canada Agency \ Agence Parcs Canada)
Address : Victoria Street, Dalhousie, New Brunswick

Recognition Statute: Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (S.C. 2008, c 16)
Designation Date: 2016-12-15
  • 1870 to 1870 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Department of Marine and Fisheries  (Architect)
Other Name(s):
  • Bon Ami Point  (Other Name)

Description of Historic Place

The Inch Arran Point Front Range Lighthouse is a wooden square-tapered tower that measures 11 metres (36 feet). Erected in 1870, the lighthouse became a front range light when, in 1972, a rear range light was built a few hundred metres to the west. The lighthouse is located on a flat tidal plain overlooking the Baie des Chaleurs in New Brunswick. Situated on the northernmost point of the province in the town of Dalhousie, the Inch Arran Point Front Range Lighthouse marks the entrance to Dalhousie Harbour at the mouth of the Restigouche River.

Heritage Value

The Inch Arran Point Front Range Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values.

Historical values
The Inch Arran Point Front Range Lighthouse is a very good example of Canada’s post-Confederation expansion of the lighthouse system to improve navigation along its coasts. It is one of many extant wooden square-tapered tower lighthouses constructed by Department of Marine and Fisheries following Confederation in 1867. These towers ensured the safe passage of ships between ports on the Atlantic and smaller harbours further inland. The lighthouse is also associated with the Arsenault family, who kept the light for sixty-five years, between 1870 and 1935.
The Inch Arran Point Front Range Lighthouse works with its rear range light to guide vessels into Dalhousie harbour. The lighthouse has played an important role in the development of Dalhousie, a town that has historically relied on the sea to connect it to the rest of Canada. The town was bypassed by the railway in the late 19th century, and the industries established in Dalhousie used ships to export their goods. In the years following Confederation, the original four provinces worked to promote transnational trade connections, and lighthouses made this process possible.

Architectural values
The Inch Arran Point Front Range Lighthouse is an excellent example of a wooden square-tapered lighthouse. It is distinguished by its birdcage-style lantern gallery, made up of thin curved metal spars that arch around the lantern. This feature is unique among extant lighthouses in Canada and is the most distinctive characterdefining elements of the Inch Arran Point Front Range Lighthouse. The lighthouse stands out for the simplicity of its construction, its graceful detailing, and its lack of unnecessary embellishments.
The Inch Arran Point Front Range Lighthouse is a wooden square-tapered tower which is very well suited to the conditions of coastal New Brunswick. The success of the design in the late 19th century soon led it to become the favoured design for Canadian lighthouses. Wooden towers were more economical to construct than masonry towers, were easy to maintain, and were sturdy enough to withstand frequent moves and strong winds or waves, which might tip them over.

Community values
The Inch Arran Point Front Range Lighthouse reinforces the picturesque maritime setting of Inch Arran Point and of the town of Dalhousie. A familiar regional landmark to both residents and visitors, the Inch Arran Lighthouse continues to serve regional and local shipping needs and, in clear weather, can be seen from a distance of more than 25 kilometres.
The Inch Arran Point Front Range has an extremely high landmark value for Dalhousie and is a recognized symbol of the community. Residents have incorporated the lighthouse into their municipal identity and many think highly of the lighthouse’s services to the area. The lighthouse and Inch Arran Point are also important tourist attractions for the city, which is a popular destination for visitors to New Brunswick.

Related buildings
No related buildings are included in the designation.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Inch Arran Point Front Range Lighthouse should be respected:
— its location on Inch Arran Point in the Baie des Chaleurs;
— its current, as-built form and proportions, based on the standard design of a square, tapered, wooden tower;
— its square heavy timber frame structure with tapered sides;
— its wood-shingle cladding;
— its square, stone base;
— its sloped overhang above the only door;
— its square gallery, supported by a bracketed straight cornice;
— the design and material of the gallery railing;
— the thin, curved metal spars of the ‘birdcage’ style lantern gallery that extends from the gallery railing to the base of the lantern’s roof;
— its octagonal lantern and the lantern’s conical roof adorned with a ball finial;
— its simple windows in the south and east sides;
— its exterior colour scheme, consisting of its white tower, cornice, and lantern base, and red trim, door, gallery base, birdcage and railings, and lantern, with the two
white maple leaves painted on the door and lantern base; and,
— its visual prominence in relation to the water and landscape.