Saturday, December 12, 2009
A lighthouse of a different color
How do I select a lighthouse to adapt to needlepoint? Sometimes it's the historical significance of the structure that intrigues me. Often I'm asked to work up a design because that lighthouse has personal significance to a customer. But when a friend sent me a photo of this one--Port Dalhousie Front Range lighthouse in St. Catherines, Ontario--the color scheme really grabbed me. I'd never seen a teal green and white lighthouse before!
The Front Range lighthouse and its sister Rear Range lighthouse, now decommissioned, are located at a marina in Port Dalhousie, which marked the northern tip of the Welland Canal from 1829 to 1932. The Welland Canal aided navigation by connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and allowing ships to bypass Niagara Falls. The Front Range lighthouse was commissioned in 1879 and, by the turn of the century, had become a popular destination for tourists from Toronto.
When the Welland Canal's northern terminus was moved to Port Weller in 1932, tourism at Port Dalhousie waned. Both lights were automated in 1968; the Rear Range light was deactivated in 1988 and put in use in 1999 by the Niagara College Sailing School. Under the supervision of the Canadian Coast Guard, the characteristic white light of the Front Range lighthouse--my next project-- still flashes today.