Photo collection of Gereaux Island Lighthouse, near Britt/Byng Inlet, Ontario. My grandfather grew up in this lighthouse.
These are some of the stories I’ve collected of my grandfather, William Lamondin, growing up in a lighthouse.
The LamondinÂ family has lived in Britt, Ontario since before the town had this name. I’ve heard stories about when Britt was a logging town, when the coal docks were the centre of activity, when the railway was installed, when electricity arrived, and when the lighthouse became automated and no longer required a keeper. AsÂ my parents drive up and down the Britt road, they recite histories of the buildings and the families, sometimes going back a hundred years.
From 1885 to 1946 Lamondins lived and worked at Gereaux Island Lighthouse on Georgian Bay, Ontario.Â OneÂ question that drives my family history research is whyÂ didÂ my ancestorsÂ choose toÂ live at the lighthouse?
Where is Gereaux Island Lighthouse?
Gereaux Island Lighthouse was built in the late 1800s. It is on the northern tip of Gereaux Island marking the entrance to Byng Inlet from Georgian Bay, Ontario. My aunt shared the picture of the original lighthouse.
Two of the people from my family tree I hope to focus on are Joseph Normandin (Jr.) and Louis Normandin. Around the time that Joseph Normandin (Jr.) moved to the Byng Inlet area the family name was changed to Lamondin (more on this in a later post).