The landmark lighthouse located at Lakeview Marina in Riverside was covered with strings of lights by the City of Windsor and lit up for the holidays for the first time on Saturday night, Dec. 12, 2020.
Known as the Pelee Passage Lighthouse, it originally shined beacons of light ensuring safe passage for ships between Point Pelee and Pelee Island (The Pelee Passage) before it was relocated to Windsor. The holiday lights give additional hope that the community will navigate safely through the protests and pandemic waters of today’s world.
In addition, the decorated lighthouse has Riverside residents excited. Members of the Riverside Bulletin Board Facebook Page praised the beautifully decorated lighthouse. Comments include wow, looks amazing, just beautiful, and they should stay up all year round.
Lindsay Allison, posted, “my grandfather (Joseph Fram) used to work in this lighthouse. It was so nice to see it lit up last night.”
Susan Ottrin, posted, “absolutely beautiful! Definitely symbolizing a beacon of hope and a light to guide us safely out of 2020 and into calmer waters.”
The idea for the lights came about when Colleen Adams posted a wintery photo of the lighthouse in the Facebook group saying she “would love to see it decorated for Christmas.” The post received lots of positive response. Eventually Colleen emailed Riverside Ward 6 Councillor Jo-Anne Gignac with the suggestion. Gignac responded immediately and forwarded the suggestion to the City of Windsor Parks and Recreation Department. Jan Wilson, Commissioner of Parks, Recreation, Culture and Corporate Facilities, replied saying Parks staff would check to see if a power source was available. Overall, in less than a week’s time the lighthouse has been all lit up for the holidays.
Adams said, “it was because of the enthusiasm generated by the Riverside Bulletin Board that I put forward the idea to Ms. Gignac and Ms. Wilson and their great response led to Lighting up the Lighthouse! And we LOVE It!”
The Pelee Passage Lighthouse was originally located on a reef on Lake Erie about a kilometer south of Point Pelee and operated there from 1902 to 1975.
According to Kraig Anderson’s Lighthousefriends.com, “by 1962, the foundation of Pelee Passage Lighthouse had been heavily damaged, and in 1975 a modern structure topped by a helicopter landing pad with a cylindrical light tower at one corner replaced the steel-plated tower. Dean Construction Co., Ltd. was contracted to dismantle the lighthouse prior to the erection of the new one, and in 1980 the company re-erected the tower on the shores of the Detroit River as a gift to the City of Windsor.”