Provincial Historic Site
Lightkeepers at Point Amour
Throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, the tasks associated with being a light-keeper in an isolated area were many. Being accountable for the navigational safety of an untold number of ships and sailors was but one part of the keepers' duties. Each light-keeper was responsible for the physical and spiritual well-being of everyone at his station, including that of his assistant. During shipping season, the light had to be tended to every night, cleaned and fuelled each morning in preparation for the subsequent evening, and the fog-horn had to be prepared for the frequent visitation of fog and blinding snow storms. Maintenance around the building was also a requirement, along with the daily routine of completing office work, keeping records of supplies that were ordered or used, and documenting both weather and events during the day. Records had to be kept of any ship sightings, along with details of any shipwrecks in the area.

The first 138 years of operation at Point Amour Lighthouse were facilitated by the following gentlemen, who each in their own rights, have left a legacy. Although the seven different light-keepers had similar duties, different places in time allowed for their involvement in different events, and consequent dealings with changing technologies.
  • 1857 to 1869 : John Blampied
    John Blampied's work involved having to fire a nine pounder signal gun, once every hour, during frequent foggy periods (which later proved to be an ineffective method of warning mariners).

  • 1869 to 1879 : Pierre Godier
    Pierre Godier helped with the operation of a 10 inch steam fog whistle system. A small brook supplied water for the steam boiler, which used 130 tons of coal a year that was shipped from Montreal.

  • 1879 to 1889 : Matthew Wyatt
    Matthew Wyatt brought his family from Quebec in 1879, and began the trend of keeping the family of Wyatts involved as light-keepers in Point Amour for the next 83 years.

  • 1889 to 1919 : Thomas Wyatt
    Thomas Wyatt helped maintain the local Marconi Wireless Telegraph Station. He was also credited with heroism and ingenuity for his part in saving four lives from the HMS Lily shipwreck.

  • 1919 to 1963 : Jeff Wyatt
    Jeff Wyatt assisted in helping to settle 700 men from the HMS Raleigh shipwreck. As a wireless operator at Point Amour, he also signalled the news to the world of the crash of the German plane on nearby Greenly Island (which crash landed after attempting to make the first transatlantic flight from east to west). Also, it was estimated that Mr. Wyatt climbed the lighthouse 10,000 times during his career.

  • 1963 to 1969 : Milton Elliott
    Milton Elliott operated the lighthouse through much of the 1960s, along with three assistants. During this busy time, the Point Amour station was like a small town with 25-30 people living there.

  • 1969 to 1995 : Max Sheppard
    Max Sheppard became the head keeper in 1969, after working as first assistant for 5 years under Mr. Elliott. Mr. Sheppard was the last light-keeper of Point Amour lighthouse, and retired in 1995 when the station became automated.

  • 1995 to present: automated service
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