Three Sisters Lamp

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Overview

Standing at over 40 feet tall, these three Victorian-style lamps were originally lit in 1877 and are in direct line with the steeple of Trinity Church, so that sea captains were able to navigate their way safely into Saint John Harbour at night.

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4.5(126)

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Standing tall at the entrance of Saint John Harbour in New Brunswick, Canada, the Three Sisters Lamp is a captivating beacon that has guided sailors for generations. This iconic landmark, located at the end of Prince William Street, carries a rich history that intertwines with the maritime heritage of the city. With its red gas lamps and intriguing navigation tale, the Three Sisters Lamp is a must-visit attraction for anyone exploring the charming streets of Saint John.

See Three Sisters Lamp & Much More on a Guided Saint John Tour!



What to Know

The Three Sisters Lamp, positioned in alignment with the steeple of Trinity Church, served as a lifeline for sea captains navigating the tricky waters of Saint John Harbour during the night. Comprising three red gas lamps, this stunning structure was strategically placed to provide clear visibility from three miles out at sea. Mariners would rely on these lamps to ensure their safe entry into the harbor.

Interestingly, the arrangement of the lamps held a special meaning. If the three red lamps were visible individually, sailors knew they were on the right course, heading straight into the harbor. However, if only one or two lamps could be spotted, it was a signal for sailors to alter their course. This ingenious system helped prevent maritime mishaps and guided ships safely to their destination.

How to Get There

To witness the enchanting Three Sisters Lamp, make your way to the end of Prince William Street in Saint John, New Brunswick. This charming street is known for its historical significance and maritime heritage, offering visitors a delightful stroll through time. As you approach the harborfront, the striking sight of the Three Sisters Lamp will captivate your attention, beckoning you to discover more about its story.

The best way to go see this attraction is by booking a fully guided city tour which will pick you up from your hotel in downtown! You'll also get to marvel at other hotspots of Saint John from the famous Skywalk to the historical Place Fort La Tour, among others. 

Best Time to Visit

The Three Sisters Lamp is a sight to behold at any time of day, but its charm truly comes alive in the evening. As the sun sets and the sky transforms into shades of twilight, the lamps are illuminated, casting a warm and inviting glow over the harbor. This magical ambiance creates a perfect backdrop for capturing memorable photographs and experiencing the historical atmosphere of the area.

Highlights: Victorian Elegance and Maritime Legacy

The Three Sisters Lamp in Saint John, NB, stands as a testament to the Victorian elegance of its era. Towering over 40 feet tall, these meticulously crafted lamps have graced the Saint John skyline since their original lighting in 1877. Their enduring presence has become intertwined with the maritime legacy of the city, symbolizing both safety and guidance for mariners of the past and present.

Features: Picnics and Panoramic Views

Visitors to the Three Sisters Lamp are treated not only to its historical significance but also to the surrounding beauty of the harborfront. Stroll through the nearby parks, take in the breathtaking views of the water, and indulge in a leisurely picnic while basking in the warmth of the lamps' glow. The lamp's location offers a serene and picturesque setting for a relaxing afternoon outdoors.

History: From Oil Lamps to Gas Lamps

The history of the Three Sisters Lamp dates back to the mid-19th century when it began as a single oil lamp designed to aid navigation in 1842. Over the years, the lamp evolved, and by 1849, three red gas lamps adorned the trident-shaped structure. The lamps continued to guide mariners until the electrically powered light ceased its navigation role, but it lives on as a cherished historical symbol of Saint John's maritime heritage.

In conclusion, the Three Sisters Lamp in Saint John, New Brunswick, is more than just an attraction – it's a connection to the city's maritime roots and a tribute to the navigational challenges faced by sailors of the past. As you stand before these majestic red gas lamps, you'll not only admire their beauty but also feel a deep appreciation for the legacy they represent. Whether you visit during the day to explore the surrounding area or experience the enchanting glow of the lamps at night, the Three Sisters Lamp is sure to leave an indelible mark on your memory of Saint John's historic harbor.