I love signs. All kinds. Some of my favorites are location signs. We have been to the southernmost point in the US (Cuba-90 miles!), the 45th parallel both north and south and now we have been to the easternmost point in Canada (47° 31′ 14″ N, 52° 37′ 26″ W). But I also like a place with no signs at all.
Driving along the Southern Shore Highway (Route 10) from Mobile to Witless Bay, the road is straight, a bit flat, and not very exciting. Until you see a small slip of water on your left where tiny boats are floating. What?? You pull over to the side and walk across the street to investigate. Much to my delight, a small village emerged with plenty of boats floating around. There were tiny people, fish, and even an oil rig! The details were really amazing. What is this place and why is it here? There were no signs so I had to wait for the internet to figure it out.
Turns out that Maxwell Morgan’s River of Boats is beautifully handmade by Mr. Morgan himself and all boats are for sale. Each boat can take up to a month working every day for 8 hours. Wow! That is a man with a mission. He even takes orders if you have a special boat you would like him to make. They can be viewed daily until Labor Day and is worth a stop.
Driving further north you will eventually turn right to go towards the Avalon Peninsula. Here lies Cape spear and the oldest surviving lighthouse in the province of Newfoundland/Labrador. It is also the easternmost point in Canada, and the lighthouse has operated at Cape Spear since September 1836. This is a very popular place and was pretty crowded due to the ease of access, gift shop, and large parking lot.
I paid $3 to visit the inside of the lightkeeper’s house and it was a very comfy place. Lightkeepers were paid very well and their accommodations were top-notch for the times. The Cantwell family lived here and they resided at Cape Spear for over 150 years. They did a good job of recreating the rooms and tools that would have been there during the lighthouse’s heyday. Modern lighthouses with keepers are no longer needed as they have a light on a tower they built in 1955 that operates electronically. There is someone who looks after it, but it is not a full-time job. The first light keepers had to add oil to the lamps every three hours, 24 hours a day! Kept them busy I am sure.
On the grounds of the lighthouse, there were remnants of a battery and bunkers from WWII. They were to guard St. John’s from any U-boat attacks, but they did not see any battle. The two guns stationed here were American 10-inch M188 guns on M1894M1 disappearing Carriages. Disappearing because they could be lowered behind a concrete wall while reloading. The guns are still there as well as the ammo storage rooms giving your imagination fodder for envisioning an attack.