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Lake Ontario lighthouses in need of preservation, author says

The Prince Edward Point lighthouse. Photo courtesy Lighthouse Friends

The Prince Edward Point lighthouse at the southeast tip of Prince Edward County is a designated heritage site. Photo courtesy of Lighthouse Friends

By James Gaughan [1] 

BELLEVILLE – Between the mid-1800s and early 1900s about 45 lighthouses were built between Kingston [2] and Trenton [3]. There are now only nine, and many are in a state of disrepair and in need of preservation, author Marc Seguin told a crowd at Maranatha Church [4] Tuesday night.

Seguin was there to give a presentation about lighthouses on eastern Lake Ontario [5].

The Prince Edward County resident has written a book called For Want of a Lighthouse [6] and is the executive director of Save Our Lighthouses [7], an organization that tries to protect lighthouses.

“My book is about a piece of history that is, unfortunately, disappearing,” said Seguin.

The reason is that restoring and preserving lighthouses is expensive, he said.

“The Coast Guard would rather see them fall down than spending money on trying to keep them standing.”

It isn’t all bad news, though: the Prince Edward Point lighthouse [8] at the southeast tip of Prince Edward County has been designated as a heritage site, and the Hastings Prince Edward County Land Trust [9] is currently in the process of trying to do the same for three other lighthouses, said Seguin.

In addition, all proceeds from Seguin’s book go toward preserving lighthouses.

“If you buy a book it will help to save a lighthouse,” he said.

Belleville resident Derek Brown, 71, said he was at the presentation to learn about the history of the lighthouses.

“These are important historical landmarks in our country and should be preserved,” he said, adding that he would definitely be buying a copy of Seguin’s book.

Tuesday’s talk was part of a monthly series of presentations put on by the Hastings County Historical Society [10].