Built in 1871 from a nearby granite quarry, this lighthouse stands as a proud sentinel of our shores. The building was likely designed by either Oake or J.T. Neville, with D & T Stevenson, lighthouse engineers from Edinburgh, Scotland, advising, designing and supplying the original lighting apparatus. The company, named after the father and uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson, designed a number of lighthouses in the UK and Newfoundland, including the one at Ferryland
© 2003 Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
On July 26, 1871, Neville selected the location and work began soon after. Of granite construction and built by local workers, the building operated as a lighthouse from 1873 to the 1940s. The original light was a 4th order dioptric lit from sunset to sunrise at a height of 95 feet above sea level. It could be seen for 13 miles in clear weather.
There were six keepers over the approximately 70 years of the lighthouse's existence. They were: John A. Roberts, John Cook, Bruce Cook, Philip Hatcher, James Skinner and again Philip Hatcher. Hatcher was the last keeper to serve at the lighthouse.
After it was abandoned, the building fell into ruins. In 1988 the Southwest Development Assn and other community groups began the long process of restoring the structure to its former condition. Actual restoration began in 1996 with funding from various government agencies.
Reconstructed fully in 1999 and furnished with 19th century reproduced furniture and local antiques, this lighthouse is a must-see for all lighthouse enthusiasts. One remarkable feature is the stone steps within the tower walls which kept the tower from collapsing after it was abandoned. The light on display now, a gift from the Canadian Coast Guard, is a 6th order Fresnel lens and is believed to be one of only 27 in existence.
The lighthouse, which may be the only restored granite lighthouse in Atlantic Canada, is open to the public on a seasonal basis. Rose Blanche Lighthouse was designated on September 7th, 2002, the first lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador to be recognized as a Registered Heritage Structure.