Some Lighthouse History


Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
The Beach Strip
Member Drogo found this one a Burlington Historical newsletter. If anyone has a Lighthouse story to add, please post it here or send it in to me and I will post it for you.

Close call at the canal
The following story is a reprint of an item appearing
in the October 31st, 1900 issue of the Burlington
The lighthouse at the beach had a close call from
being destroyed by fire early Thursday morning, and
only the fact that Capt. Campbell was on duty all
night, owing to the heavy fog saved it.
Shortly after one o'clock the Captain who was
standing on the end of the pier watching for a sign of
the Macassa, heard a loud crash inside. Immediately
the light went out and the captain rushed in to
discover the cause. As he opened the door a large
red-headed duck came rolling down the stairs, but he
didn't wait to examine it, and, closing the door behind
him, he rushed up stairs where he discovered that the
duck had got through the window, over turned the
lamp and knocked down the reflector. The over
turned lamp had set fire to the woodwork and it was
with considerable difficulty that he succeeded in
smothering the flames.
After fixing the lights the captain turned his attention
to the duck. He captured and killed it and intends to
have it stuffed.
The above photograph taken in 1910 shows the
Macassa passing the lighthouse which was nearly
destroyed by a duck on October 31, 1900.


Registered User
Oct 15, 2009
Stranger things can happen for sure. One would never think that a bird could never take down a huge airplane, guess again eh.


Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
The Beach Strip
C.W. Cripps, Beach, dies aboard ship off Africa coast

Thanks to Ross Somerville for sending in news clipping, I don't have a year or which newspaper reported the story.
Popular Son of Lighthouse Master at Canal Buried at Sea on July 13
Medically Unfit For Army Service, He Saw Stirring Action, as a Sailor

Hamilton Beach, Aug. 5. — Rejected as medically unfit when he attempted to enlist in the Canadian army for overseas duty at the outbreak of the war, Charles William (Bill) Cripps, 29, son of A. W. Cripps, lighthouse master at the Beach canal, and Mrs. Cripps, 1155 Beach boulevard, died a hero's death serving his country in the mercantile marine. Word of his passing aboard the ss. Bennekok, of the Royal Netherlands Steamship Lines, on Empire duty, was received by his parents over the weekend from the port of Trinidad, British West Indies. The young man, who was well known on the Beach, in Burlington and Hamilton, died on July 12 and buried at sea on July 13 in the South Atlantic. The message gave the place of burial as being at 24 degrees, 10 minutes southern latitude, and one degree, 13 minutes western latitude. A letter from the captain of the boat also contained a map showing the location of the burial as being some distance off the coast of South Africa.
Eventful Career
The career of. this young man has been eventful since he joined up in the service of the merchant marine, a service that in these war days calls for the stoutest of hearts.
Young Cripps, a former member of the Burlington Company of Signallers, rejoined this unit at the outbreak of war, but, like others, was discharged as medically unfit for overseas duty. He endeavoured to again enlist in the Canadian, army, but was again rejected. Determined to do his part, he then joined up with the mercantile marine as a Diesel motor-man and left Montreal last October for the Old Country. The boat was bombed, torpedoed and sunk near the port of Liverpool, Cripps and the crew all being rescued. Undaunted, he boarded another freighter on war duties and while it proceeded through the Irish sea it was bombard so heavily and crippled that it put into Belfast for repairs. Returning to England the young man, then joined the crew on a Swedish boat and left Bristol and sailed for Capetown, South Africa, and thence proceeded to Arabia and continued on to Rangoon, India, in Burma. The boat, after picking up its cargo, was finally heading for New York, Cripps took suddenly ill one, night and within 48 hours was dead. The burial at sea took place on July 13, with the usual service conducted by the captain. Possessor of an attractive personality, the young man had a wide circle of friends on the Beach and elsewhere who will mourn his passing?
Born in England, the deceased came to Canada with his parents when two years of age and, during the early part of his life, lived in Burlington, where he attended the public schools and later the high school, where he was a very popular student. After leaving school he sailed the Great Lakes as an employee of the Canada Steamship Lines and later worked in the Steel Company of Canada. A brother, Alfred, is serving in the Old Country with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Besides his brother and parents, a sister, Mrs. Stewart McHaffie, whose husband is with the Air Force in training at Fingal, also survives.
Dec 1, 2004
Longueuil, Quebec
I knew an Al Cripps who was in the RCAF. He lived a few doors from us (we lived at 757)and survived the war. The family moved to Hamilton shortly after the war. Al introduced us to a 'new' game he experienced in England----darts. Al had a son named John and I think there was a younger brother also. Possibly the same family as in the story above.
Top Bottom