East End Light

East End Light

Infobox Lighthouse

caption =
location = East End, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
coordinates = coord|19|18|00|N|81|06|00|W [http://wlol.arlhs.com/lighthouse/CAY1.html Gorling Bluff/East End Light - ARLHS CAY-001 ] ]
yearbuilt = 1900 (original tower)
1937 (current tower)
yearlit = 1937 (current tower)
automated = 1937 (current tower)
yeardeactivated =
foundation =
construction = Steel
marking = white
shape = Cylindrical
height = 26 ft [http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/lighthouse/cay.htm Lighthouses of the Cayman Islands ] ]
lens =
currentlens =
range =
characteristic = Two 1.2 s white flashes every 20 seconds
The East End Light (sometimes called Gorling Bluff Light) is a lighthouse located at the east end of Grand Cayman island in the Cayman Islands. The lighthouse is the centerpiece of East End Lighthouse Park, managed by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands; the first navigational aid on the site was the first lighthouse in the Cayman Islands [http://www.nationaltrust.org.ky/historic/list.html NATIONAL TRUST for the Cayman Islands ] ] .


The east end of Grand Cayman has long been infamous for the treacherous reefs which lie under the ocean's surface just off its coast, and was in the past known as the "Graveyard of the Caribbean" [http://www.nationaltrust.org.ky/info/eelight.html NATIONAL TRUST for the Cayman Islands ] ] . The area was the site of the island's most infamous shipwreck, the Wreck of the Ten Sails, in 1794; miraculously, only eight lives were lost in the disaster when ten merchant vessels ran aground in rough seas. The area was sparsely inhabited at the time, but local residents banded together with some inhabitants of Bodden Town to assist the crews of the wrecked ships. By the end of the nineteenth century, Eastern Channel in Gun Bay was designated a port of entry for the East End area. Much business was conducted there; the channel was trafficked by ships leaving and arriving on fishing and turtling trips, and by freight- and mail-carrying vessels as well.

The first lighthouse for the East End was erected about a half-mile away from the site of the present tower, being built on Gun Bluff in the early twentieth century. It was one of two lighthouse built on the island; the other was constructed in George Town at about the same time. The structure consisted of a steel ship's mast, 60 feet tall, standing on the bluff. William James Watler served as the first keeper, ensuring that a kerosene lantern was hoisted to the top of the mast at 6:00 every evening and bringing it down at 6:00 every morning. A fine "not exceeding forty shillings" would be levied on him should he be derelict in his duties. This first lighthouse was visible from ten miles out at sea.

It was recognized by 1918 that a more substantial lighthouse was needed for the point, and a French engineer named Terrier was appointed to plan the project. Land at Gorling Bluff was leased, and a new structure was built, along with a shed for holding kerosene. The new site was perfect for a lighthouse, commanding as it did a good view of nearby reefs; it was also the highest point in the district. The new structure was a cylindrical steel mast suppording a wooden frame; this held a three-wick kerosene lamp. Two keepers, Austin B. Connolly and Police Officer Captain Elliott Conolly, were appointed to oversee maintenance and lighting of the light. Remnants of this lighthouse may still be seen standing beside the current tower, while its kerosene lamp is now in the Cayman Islands National Museum.

With the completion, in 1935, of the coastal road along Grand Cayman's southern coast, the community around East End ceased to be as isolated as it had traditionally been, and it was no longer used as a port of entry. As a consequence, the old lighthouse was deemed less necessary, as it was easier to access the village by land. The tower remained in use until 1937, when the British government provided five "navigational lights" of modern design to be scattered among the three Cayman Islands. It was required that these were to be erected on Crown Property, so as a consequence Gorling Bluff was acquired by the Crown that same year; the light was placed on the bluff by one Mr. Morell, who came from England to do the job.

The first lights in the new structure were automatic, controlled by the sun, and could be left for up to six months; as a consequence, the employment of light keepers was no longer deemed necessary. As World War II dawned, however, it was decided that given its height and location the site would be worth turning into a lookout post, and guardians of the light were assigned for this purpose. They also served as lookouts until hostilities erupted, at which point the light came under the jurisdition of local police. Albert Connor remained in charge until the formation, in June of 1942, of the islands' Home Guard. The Guard maintained a 24-hour coastal watch along Grand Cayman's coasts, and a four-man team, commanded by a corporal, was stationed at East End. Although they were trained, they were rarely armed, instead using powerful binoculars to scan the area. The men were given a small barracks, containing a bunkroom, kitchen, and outside latrine as quarters, and had a telephone line connecting them directly with the central office in George Town, to which they reported every half-hour.

The East End Light remains an active aid to navigation, being administered for that purpose by the Cayman Islands' Port Authority; today it is powered by solar energy. The Authority has allowed the National Trust for the Cayman Islands to do some work around the structure to make the site more presentable. A stairway of thirty-seven steps has been installed leading to the summit of the bluff, and large amounts of infill and soil have been taken up to create pathways for visitors. Flower beds show examples of various plants which were used as medicines by the Islands' earliest settlers, and a thousand-gallon water tank has been installed to provide irrigation. As of 2006, work on the park was ongoing.

Notes and references

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Delaware Breakwater East End Light — Location Lewes, Delaware Coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • Buffalo North breakwater East end Light — The Buffalo North breakwater East end Light was a lighthouse originally located on the North breakwater East End of Buffalo harbor, New York. It has since been relocated from the North Harbor entrance and sits on display near the Buffalo Main… …   Wikipedia

  • East Kent Light Railway — The East Kent Light Railway was part of the Colonel Stephens group of cheaply built rural light railways in England. Holman Fred Stephens was engineer from its inception, subsequently becoming director and manager. The line ran from Shepherdswell …   Wikipedia

  • East End of London — The East End of London, known locally as the East End, is the area of London, England, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames, although it is not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries. Use of the term …   Wikipedia

  • East End and West End of Oslo — A map of central Oslo. Uelands gate, the traditional boundary line between the East End and the West End, is marked in black. The East End and West End (Norwegian: Østkanten og Vestkanten) are used as names for the two parts of Oslo, Norway,… …   Wikipedia

  • East End — Pour les articles homonymes, voir East End (homonymie). 51°31′N 0°03′W / …   Wikipédia en Français

  • East End — a section of E London, England. * * * ▪ district, London, United Kingdom  traditional area of London, lying east of Shoreditch High Street, Houndsditch, Aldgate High Street, and Tower Bridge Approach. It extends eastward to the River Lea and lies …   Universalium

  • Cleveland East Ledge Light — Location Falmouth, Massachusetts Year first constructed 1940 1943 Automated 1978 Foundation Concrete and rock caisson Construction Reinforced concrete Tower shape …   Wikipedia

  • East London Line — Class 378 train at Whitechapel Overview Type Suburban rail System …   Wikipedia

  • East London Line — Legende …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”