"Cast Iron LIghthouse" Top 5 Page for this destination Grand Turk Favorite Tip by grandmaR
Grand Turk Favorites: 15 reviews and 63 photos
Favorite thing: One of my favorite things to do is to research lighthouses, and this lighthouse is one of the outstanding things about Grand Turk. You can see it as you come in by ship.
The lighthouse was built in London in 1852 and shipped to Grand Turk where it was assembled. Since the lighthouse is cast iron, it has to be kept painted or it will rust. You can see the rust on it, and it has unfortunately gotten worse since we were there in 2008
There are estimated that there may be 1,000 wrecks off the Northeast Reef. This reef is northeast of Grand Turk and running 2.8 miles into the sea in the Turks Island Passage on the trade routes from Cuba and Hispanolia back to Europe. All kinds of cargo was included on those ships including coal, kerosene oil, lumber salt, potatoes and codfish.
During the lighthouses' first 40 years of use, wrecks continued. The original lighting consisted of 7 whale lamps with reflectors which could magnify the lights 450 times. But ships captains complained that the light was too dim. Some think that this was done deliberately in order to have the wrecks and loot the cargo. The number of wrecks was diminished after the Trinity Imperial Lighthouse Service in Nassau took over the maintenance and inspection of the lighthouse in 1894. In 1943 a Fresnel lens was installed which had a visibility of 15 miles but it was still run with kerosene. Finally in 1972, the light was electrified and automated
Fondest memory: Bob went out to the beach area and took pictures from there. I just walked around the lighthouse from closer in.
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