THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO --- October 8, 2014 --- Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior Inc. (CLLS) an incorporated, not-for-profit organization, with a mandate to; manage, maintain, and restore regional lighthouses for public access, today provided a media tour on the accomplishments made this summer at Porphyry Point Lighthouse, on Porphyry Island.
Press reviewed the two dwellings, boathouses, tower and grounds to witness first hand 350 volunteer hours that were offered to help cleanup the lightstation. CLLS an umbrella organization has managed the project to help facilitate future plans in developing a historic trail of lighthouses where people can come and stay. Currently two leases are held with the Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) for Porphyry Point and Number Ten (Shaganash) Lighthouses, with others in the works.
Paul Capon, Chair of CLLS said, ”summer volunteers completed many hours of clearing, cleaning, priming, painting and restoring the site, which opens up opportunities for next years season for visitors.”
He was also joined by Al Cheeseman, Owner of Wilderness North Air, Mark Wiskmann Owner of Wisk Air Helicopters, Archie Hoogsteen of Archie’s Fishing Charters, to explain how guests could be transported to the site. And Greg Wilson, Superintendent, Sleeping Giant and Porphyry Island Provincial Park and Nature Reserve shared some background on the nature reserve. Mayor Harvey of Nipigon spoke to regional economic development opportunities created by CLLS.
Accompanying the tour were CLLS board of director Joe Marcella, Operations and Paul Morralee.
Arriving at Porphyry Point Lightstation by floatplane with Wilderness North Air was an experience in itself. Lake Superiors waters were creating some big rollers which we observed from the shore, in safety. And to think not too many years ago ships would need the lights to guide them east or west depending if they were coming or going. Today members of the board of directors of Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior invited guest to take a look at the progress made on the site during the summer months. Three charter companies spoke to how guests could arrive by air, or by water to this isolated site.
The accommodations are still in need of some work, but have been used all summer for the work parties without any big issues. Today CLLS shared some of the plans for next season, while charter companies shared some experience they had this summer bringing tourist to the lighthouse. Next season will see more effort put into making the accommodation fully serviced, with an eye on comfort, that was once afforded to the lighthouse keepers. Returning by helicopter with Wisk Air, from the lighthouse helipad, again was another perspective people enjoyed, and it was only a 15 minute ride back to the city, to dream by the fireside for next season. Planning now begins for the next phase of development to welcome paying guests.