Parting Shot: Just Passing Through
PhotoS COURTESY: ©2018 DESTINATION CANADA.
You never know when the neighbors will stop by. This scene of a huge iceberg floating past the Fort Amherst Lighthouse at St. John’s in Newfoundland, likely has been repeating itself for centuries.
The oldest confirmed accounts of European contact there date from a thousand years ago, when the Viking Leif Ericson landed.
It was first claimed as an English colony in 1583, but that claim was contested for years, first by the Dutch, then by the French, then back to the English when Lt. Col. William Amherst chased the French away.
That was around 1762, and Amherst quickly realized that he needed stronger fortifications to protect the harbor entrance; he named it after his brother. The stone fort was not completed until 1777; Newfoundland’s first lighthouse, a stone tower, was erected inside Fort Amherst in 1813.
After Newfoundland became part of Canada in 1949, a new lighthouse was constructed on the South Head. It was 25 ft. tall, wooden, and with a pyramidal design.
It wasn’t until 1982 that the lighthouse was de-staffed.