WEST POINT -- The venerable West Point Lighthouse has been featured on calendars, pictorials and even in cooking and shows over the years, but its most recent recognition came as a surprise to those who promote the attraction.
It recently made the Top 11 list of online publication, Cheapflights.ca, for picturesque lighthouses accommodations around the world.
Carol Livingstone, often referred to as Lighthouse Carol, Lighthouse Lady or Mrs. Lighthouse in recognition of her lifelong affiliation with, and promotion of, the West Point Lighthouse, was pleased to learn of Cheap Flight’s designation.
It’s one of only three in North America and the only one in Canada to make the grade.
“It’s a real honour to be included,” Livingstone said.
Cheap Flights also lists lighthouses in the UK, he Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, South Africa and one in Germany which is located 48 kilometers off the coast and is recognized as the loneliest hotel in Germany.
“For a little community of not many over 100, for our lighthouse to get that recognition is pretty special,” Livingstone assessed. She suggested members of most families in the community have benefited from employment at the lighthouse over the past decade.
The West Point Lighthouse, with its distinctive black day marks and featured in the Journal Pioneer’s masthead, was completed in 1875. Livingstone’s great-grandfather, William Anderson MacDonald, was its first keeper. “Lighthouse Willie” served in that capacity until 1925 at which time Benny MacIsaac took over and served until automation in 1963.
The lighthouse suffered from neglect and vandalism for a while, but in the early 1980s, a new group, the West Point Development Corporation, took interest in restoring the property, and Canada’s first inn in a lighthouse was born in 1984.
Livngstone was the first president of the development corporation and later served seven years as manager of the lighthouse. Her interest in the property has never waned, as evidenced by the many photos of the beloved lighthouse, as well as of many others from around P.E.I. and around the world that adorn the walls of her home.
Among her special keepsakes is the 1999 Ultimate Book of Lighthouses. West Point’s made the cover.
The lighthouse, which has hosted wedding ceremonies and many other special events, now provides 13 guest rooms and also houses a museum.