Lighthouses evoke a certain romance of the sea, of ships sailing in the night, guided home by the warmth of the lighthouse beam showing them the way. Those who worked around the clock to make sure the light was always on held those sailors’ life in their hands. Many lighthouses are still in use today and even though they have been automated, they still carry on a timeless tradition.
Our next stop was the Ferryland Head Light Lighthouse, built in 1871, and is well worth your time to stay awhile. The road leading up to the lighthouse is a one-way, very grooved dirt road. We hoped we would not see anyone else as there is no place to pull over to pass over most of the road. When we did find a small spot to pull over we walked down to what looked like an area of importance. How could we tell? There were a lot of signs posted telling you about the location.
It turns out that in 1762 Anny Wylley Carter and her husband, Robert, led the people of Ferryland to the Isle aux Bois, across the way because the French had already taken over several cities to the north. They took all their artillery and provisions and waited in anticipation of the French attack. They lived on this island from June to October and when their men went to fight in the town of Bay Bulls, the women were left to defend themselves. The women were ready to fire and the French never stood a chance. They fired upon two French warships, severely damaging one which led to the French retreating. The French had no idea it was an island of women behind the cannons. After the war, the couple went on to create a thriving commercial town and there are descendants of the family still living here. Pretty cool.
As we drove further up the road there appeared to be a small parking area where we stopped. It was about a 25-minute walk from here to the lighthouse along a dirt road framed by tall pines and small pink flowers. Once out of the trees, you can see the lighthouse in the distance.
The views were awesome but the best part is that they have turned the lighthouse into a picnic/snack café kind of place. You preorder your picnic basket so they know how many to make that day. We were hoping they were not sold out! You pay for it and they give you a flag, which you take with the blanket they give you, and find a picnic spot. When your lunch is ready, they bring it out to you! We were not sure when we would be there so we did not preorder but they were able to serve us some desserts and lemonade. The lemonade was divine, fresh, and just right. The berry tarts that Shawn had were yummy and my date bar was over the top delicious. We ate everything too fast to take pictures!
The lighthouse is a pretty one, but the red had faded quite a bit. According to lighthousefriends.com, the town had very early roots connected to the US. “Attracted by its fine natural harbor, formed by Ferryland Head and the isthmus, known as The Downs that connects it to land, Sir George Calvert purchased a tract of land at Ferryland in 1620. Calvert’s first settlers began arriving the following year, establishing a small community near the protected inner harbor, known as The Pool. Calvert, who had recently been given the title Lord Baltimore by King James I, moved to his Colony of Avalon in 1628, taking up residence in the Mansion House that had been built for him. After enduring marauding pirates and just one miserable winter, Lord Baltimore left his colony for warmer climes. He later established the colony of Maryland, and its main city, Baltimore, was named after him.” But it wasn’t until 1871 that the lighthouse was finished after 2 years of construction. The original house and tower still remain and power was added in 1931. In 1983 it was abandoned and remained empty until 2003 when the great-granddaughter of one of the light keepers bought it and created Lighthouse Picnics. It is a very special place and I hope you can go there if you are nearby. Well worth the trip.
My favorite was this little girl posing for her mom. She was really working it!