By Susan Chalker Browne
Cape Spear, the most easterly point of land in North America, was considered to be one of the most dangerous obstacles for a ship approaching St. John’s. Hence, Cape Spear Lighthouse opened on September 1, 1836. Its first keeper was Emmanuel Warre, who held the post until his death in 1846. At that time, James Cantwell was appointed lighthouse keeper. For the next six generations, until 1997, a Cantwell continuously tended the light at Cape Spear. In 1997, the lighthouse became fully automated.
At Ocean’s Edge, is based on the actual Cantwell family who lived at Cape Spear in 1861. It follows the dramatic events of two ships, which were anchored off Cape Spear whereby one broke apart on the rocks the next day. The events depict tragedy and heroism, along with providing the reader with unique details of the nineteenth-century daily life of lighthouse keepers and their families.