Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia

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Author: Harvey Shear
Date: Autumn 2007
From: Ontario History(Vol. 99, Issue 2)
Publisher: Ontario Historical Society
Document Type: Book review
Length: 826 words
Lexile Measure: 1330L

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Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia

By Larry Wright and Patricia Wright. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press, 2006. 448 pp. $45.00 hardcover. ISBN 1-55046-399-3.

As any reader will know, lighthouses have been an aid to navigation since ancient times. The lighthouse at Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the world, provided a guiding light to shipping from about 300 BCE to 1323 CE when an earthquake destroyed it. Its mirror was so perfectly made that the light could be seen from a distance of 50 km offshore. When the Great Lakes were opened to European exploration and settlement, lighthouses soon followed. The Great Lakes maritime industry--shipping, fishing, and pleasure craft--could not have evolved without the network of lighthouses ringing the 17,000 km of shoreline. Before the advent of radar, GPS satellite positioning, and other modern tools to assist ships, lighthouses provided the only beacon to a safe harbour.

Those of us who were born near the Great Lakes or who live there now (as I do in Oakville) often forget that we are next to 20 per cent of the world's surface freshwater. I am constantly reminded of this fact as I teach my university environmental studies students about world freshwater resources. Many of them were not...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A172292806