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Gibraltar Point Lighthouse

 

The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse in Toronto Islands Toronto Begun in 1808, it is the oldest existing lighthouse on the Great Lakes Toronto's.

  The lighthouse is perhaps best known for the demise of its first keeper, German-born John Paul Radelmüller, whose 1815 murder forms the basis of Toronto’s most enduring ghost story. Recent research has verified many aspects of the traditional tale of his death and identified the soldiers charged with but ultimately acquitted of the crime

 
Authorized in 1803 with two other lighthouses by an Act of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada.  Construction of the Gibraltar Point lighthouse did not begin until 1808.
A local legend is that the lighthouse is haunted by its first keeper John Paul Radelmüller (often rendered incorrectly as Rademiller, Radenmuller, Radan Muller etc.), who was murdered in 1815

According to local lore, soldiers from Fort York visited J.P. Radelmüller on the evening of January 2, 1815, in search of his bootlegged beer. But they had too much to drink, and dispute broke out, culminating in the keeper's murder. The inebriated soldiers, so it is claimed, tried to conceal their crime by chopping apart the corpse and hiding the remains

inebriated soldiers, so it is claimed, tried to conceal their crime by chopping apart the corpse and hiding the remain, In 1893, then-keeper George Durnan searched for the corpse, and found part of a jawbone and coffin fragments near the lighthouse though it was impossible to prove definitively prove they were linked to Radelmüller. The veracity of the legend of the murder has long been questioned. As prominent Toronto historian Mike Filey wrote, when it came to the truth of the story of the keeper's demise, "Your guess is as good as mine




Recent scholarship has revealed more about Radelmüller's life and death. Born circa 1763 in Anspach Germany, Radelmüller worked as a servant of royalty for twenty years, in the households of the Duke of Gloucester and The Duke of Kent accompanying the latter to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1799
Arriving at York in 1804, Radelmüller was appointed as keeper of the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse on July 14, 1809.


Radelmüller indeed suffered a violent death on January 2, 1815, aged approximately fifty-two, according to the most recent and definitive study of his murder, which confirmed the basic truth of many aspects of the popular legend Eamonn O'Keeffe also identified the two soldiers charged with (but acquitted of) Radelmüller's murder as John Henry and John Blueman, both Irishmen of the Glengarry Light Infantry, a regiment that saw heavy action in the War of 1812. While research has verified much of the traditional tale, O'Keeffe cast doubt on some of the more dramatic elements of the story. Contrary to claims that the keeper's corpse was hacked to pieces and hidden, contemporary evidence suggests that Radelmüller's body was not mutilated, but was found after his death and laid to rest near the lighthouse
 
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