Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Monday, April 11, 2016

Off the Shelf

 A new book's just made its way onto my reading pile. I missed this gentleman's talk at the Hastings County Historical Society recently (free, open to all, third Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 PM, Maranatha Hall, Belleville) as I could just not drag myself out into the dark and cold evening. A medium much more suited to my nature is the speaker's wonderful book,  which I have just obtained from Belleville Public Library. A trip to the Trafford Publishing online bookstore  to get my own copy is not far off.
Salmon Point

I notice that Prince Edward Historical Society (thank goodness, something in my natal county not branded "the County") has invited the writer to speak at their newly announced Two Days About History event, scheduled for June 18 and 19. More news to come I'm sure; sounds exciting.
we always called it Point Traverse

The book is For Want of a Lighthouse, subtitled Building the Lighthouses of Eastern Lake Ontario 1828 - 1914. The writer is Marc Seguin. He is clearly passionate about saving our old lighthouses and their history. On the copyright page is this impressive notice: "All profits from the sale of this book will go towards the preservation of the remaining lighthouses on the shores of eastern Lake Ontario." This is a man who 'puts his money where his mouth is.' Not only did he research and write 525 pages, but he's done it to support his other volunteer work as president of the Prince Edward County 'Save our Lighthouses' group. Clearly in league with that other force for good, the Presqu'ile Point Lighthouse Preservation Society.

I've written about lighthouses before. In a post last summer I saluted the many volunteer groups who are struggling to maintain these iconic structures, left behind by government divestment.

For Want of a Lighthouse is fascinating and informative. And vitally important. If you look past the nostalgic presences in these images, to the fact of their state of disrepair, "for want of a lighthouse" may once again become the state in which we find ourselves.

the iconic Presqu'ile light


  1. Congrats to Marc, that is a lot of work. I'd like to give that a read myself....

  2. Yes,this book is right up your street, Mark!