Lighthouses of St. Pierre and Miquelon

The French territory of St. Pierre and Miquelon consists of a small group of islands in the entrance to Fortune Bay on the south coast of Newfoundland. Settled in 1604, the islands are the only remaining portion of France's former empire in North America. Despite its small size, the territory has six lighthouses, five active. The islands are accessible by air or by passenger ferry from Fortune, Newfoundland.

Special thanks to André Lafargue for providing information on the history of these lighthouses, as well as excellent photos.

The lighthouses of the islands are operated by the public works agency, the Direction des Territoires, de l'Alimentation et de la Mer (DTAM). The French word for a lighthouse, phare, is often reserved for the larger coastal lighthouses; a smaller light or harbor light is called a feu (literally "fire," but here meaning "light").

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. CCG numbers are from the Newfoundland volume of the List of Lights, Buoys, and Fog Signals of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Admiralty numbers are from Volume H of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 110.

General Sources
Lighthouses of St.-Pierre and Miquelon
Photos contributed by André Lafargue.
World of Lighthouses - St. Pierre and Miquelon
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Leuchttürme Kanadas auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views of Canadian lighthouses posted by Klaus Huelse. Lighthouses of St. Pierre and Miquelon are at the bottom of the page.
List of Lights, Buoys, and Fog Signals
Official Canadian light lists; lights of the French territory are included in the Newfoundland volume.


Pointe aux Canons Light, St.-Pierre, July 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Gord McKenna

Île de Saint-Pierre Lighthouses
Note: The Île de Saint-Pierre is the smaller of the two main islands of the territory, but it is the most densely populated, including the principal town of Saint-Pierre.
Rocher Petit Saint-Pierre
1924. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 2 s, alternating red and white. 12 m (39 ft) round solid masonry tower, painted white with a horizontal red band; the small lantern is also red. André Lafargue has contributed a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The tower formerly carried a conventional lantern room. Located on a tiny waveswept rock off the northern entrance to the harbor of Saint-Pierre. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Site manager: government of St.-Pierre et Miquelon. ARLHS SPM-007; CCG 087; Admiralty H0338; NGA 2172.
* Île aux Marins (Île aux Chiens)
1874. Inactive. ca. 14 m (47 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. André Lafargue has contributed a photo, a 2011 photo, another photo and a 2009 view are available, and Google has a satellite view. Inhabited until the 1950s, the island is now a historic site. Its name was changed from Île aux Chiens (Dog Island) to Île aux Marins (Sailors Island) in 1931. Located at the southwestern tip of the island, which shelters the harbor of Saint-Pierre. Accessible only by boat. Tours of the island are available in season. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: government of St.-Pierre et Miquelon. ARLHS SPM-009.
* Pointe aux Canons (Saint-Pierre)
1862. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red light, 3 s on, 1 s off. 11 m (35 ft) octagonal stone tower with gallery, painted white with a horizontal red band. The original lantern has been removed, and the light is mounted in a small enclosure at the top of a dome-shaped platform atop the tower. Enclosure, dome and gallery painted red. Gord McKenna's photo is at the top of this page, a fine September 2006 closeup shows the lighthouse with a fresh coat of paint, Lafargue has also contributed a photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The point is named for the cannons of the nearby historic fort. The lighthouse was the front light of a range from 1887 to the 1960s, but the rear lighthouse has been demolished. Since the light is now inside the outer breakwaters, its navigational value is somewhat questionable. Located at the end of a stone pier in the harbor at Saint-Pierre. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: government of St.-Pierre et Miquelon. ARLHS SPM-010; CCG 086; Admiralty H0342; NGA 2192.
[Rocher Bertrand]
Date unknown. Unlit daybeacon. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) round stepped stone or concrete tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands. A photo is available, Lightphotos.net has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef in the southern entrance to the harbor of Saint-Pierre. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed.
* Galantry (Tête de Galantry) (2)
1978 (station established 1845). Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); two white flashes (separated by 2.5 s) every 10 s. 18 m (60 ft) triangular cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern is red. Fog horn (2 blasts every 60 s). 1-1/2 story keeper's house. Gord McKenna's photo is at right, Karl Josker has a photo, DTAM has a page on the history of the light station, and Google has a good satellite view. Known locally as the Nouveau (new) Phare de Galantry. The original lighthouse was demolished in 1980 because its hilltop location was thought to be a hazard to airplanes arriving or departing. André Lafargue has contributed a 1978 photo showing the old and new lighthouses, and Huelse has a historic postcard view of the original light. Located on the southeastern shore of Île Saint-Pierre. The station is accessible by road from the town of Saint-Pierre. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: government of St.-Pierre et Miquelon. ARLHS SPM-008; CCG 080; Admiralty H0332; NGA 2160.

Tête de Galantry Light, St. Pierre, July 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Gord McKenna

Île de Miquelon-Langlade Lighthouses
Note: Miquelon-Langlade actually consists of three islands, known as Le Cap, Miquelon, and Langlade, that are joined presently by sandbars (technically, tombolos). Geographers call such an arrangement a tombolo cluster. Most of the population of about 600 lives in the village of Miquelon, on Le Cap. Langlade, the southernmost island, is uninhabited.
Pointe Plate (Île Langlade)
1883. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); alternating red and white lights, 1 s on, 3 s off. 43 m (141 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, cast iron encased in concrete, with octagonal central cylinder, lantern and gallery. Tower painted white; the lantern and watch room are red. The 1-story keeper's house appears to be in ruins. This is a remarkable lighthouse, taller than any Canadian light and comparable to the tallest U.S. skeletal lighthouses. Jean-Luc Drake has an excellent photo, a foggy 2009 photo is available, Christophe Detcheverry has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. The central cylinder was encased in concrete in 1928 and the legs in 1950 to stop corrosion of the iron structure. Huelse has a historic postcard view of the light before these modifications were made. Located at the southwestern tip of Île Langlade, which is connected to Miquelon by a narrow, sandy isthmus. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: government of St.-Pierre et Miquelon. ARLHS SPM-001; CCG 090; Admiralty H0330; NGA 2208.
* Cap Blanc (Miquelon)
1883. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); three flashes every 15 s, alternating red and white. 19 m (62 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower, encased in concrete, with six small buttresses at the base, lantern, and gallery. Tower is unpainted white concrete; lantern and gallery rail are painted red. Fresnel lens in use. 1-story keeper's house. André Lafargue's photo is at right, Jean-Luc Drake has an excellent 2008 closeup, Henry Masson has a 2009 photo, Philippe Richard has a good photo, there is a postage stamp showing the light station, Huelse has a historic postcard view (ca. 1926), and Google has a satellite view. Located on a headland on Le Cap, the northwestern tip of Miquelon. Accessible by road from the town of Miquelon. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: government of St.-Pierre et Miquelon. ARLHS SPM-002; CCG 093; Admiralty H0328; NGA 2212.
Phare de Cap Blanc
Cap Blanc Light, Miquelon, 2004
photo copyright André Lafargue; used by permission

Adjoining pages: North: Northwestern Newfoundland | East: Southeastern Newfoundland

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Posted November 26, 2002. Checked and revised July 29, 2014. Lighthouses: 6. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.