Arts·Small Towns

Why this small Saskatchewan town built the province's only fully functioning lighthouse

For the Prairie town of Cochin, the East Coast-style lighthouse is a beacon of light.

For the Prairie town of Cochin, the East Coast-style lighthouse is a beacon of light

Follow Tamarra Canu on a Prairie road trip across Alberta and Saskatchewan as she continues her search for the origin of the bizarre gargantuan art within small town communities on Season 2 of Big Things Small Towns. Watch the full season now on CBC Gem.

If you like a workout, rewarded with a nice view, Cochin, Saskatchewan is the place to visit. Nestled atop rolling hills, after a climb of 153 steps, sits a beautiful lighthouse standing at nearly 12 metres tall. 

The Cochin Lighthouse is the only fully functional lighthouse in Saskatchewan — but that's no surprise since there isn't any sea in sight. But locals and visitors can enjoy the tranquil view of the town's Jackfish Lake.

"The first mayor [of Cochin], Tom Archdekin, had travelled to the East Coast the year before and of course had seen lighthouses out there," says Harvery Walker, the Mayor of the Resort Village of Cochin. 

"He came back all revved up with, 'We've got to put a lighthouse atop Pirot Hill.'" 

(CBC Arts)

Cochin's lighthouse is truly a beacon of light. Unlike many monuments across the Prairies, the lighthouse is widely accepted. The locals of Cochin look to the grand structure as a symbol of the community. 

"It's been our landmark and it's what truly identifies us. If we talk to somebody who's maybe been through here or heard of it and you say I'm from Cochin, they say 'Oh, is that where that lighthouse is?'" says Peter Wiesner, Cochin town councillor. 

Cochin, Saskatchewan's lighthouse. (CBC Arts)

"It's something that connects us with a landmark that everybody knows about."

If that's any indication, the Cochin Lighthouse is a real keeper.

Big Things Small Towns is back for another road trip and it's bigger — and smaller — than ever. Watch Season 2 now on CBC Gem.

Big Things Small Towns: Season 2 Trailer

1 year ago
Duration 1:57
Big Things Small Towns is back for another road trip and it's bigger — and smaller — than ever. Stream the new season now on CBC Gem 1:57

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kiah Welsh is a digital video producer at CBC Arts. She loves to travel and owns over a hundred pairs of sneakers.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

now