At Signal Hill you can visit the Queen's Battery, fortifications which date from the Napoleonic Wars, and watch the Signal Hill Tattoo re-enact colonial military exercises. Originally known as the Lookout, this famous St. John's landmark was first referred to as Signal Hill in 1762. The earliest record of signaling from here dates from 1704. Flags were hoisted on a yard-arm, telling merchants which ships were approaching the harbour, and giving them time to prepare docking facilities. During the Nineteenth century, harbour pilots and customs officials also watched for these signals.
At the top of the hill is Cabot Tower, a monument built in 1897 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's discovery of Newfoundland, and Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. It was on a spot just below the tower that Guglielmo Marconi received the first trans-Atlantic wireless signal, the letter "S" in Morse Code sent from Cornwall, England, on December 12, 1901. A wireless station, owned by the Canadian Marconi Company, was operated in the tower from 1933 to 1960. Cabot Tower was also the last North American landmark sighted by Charles Lindbergh on his solo flight to Paris in 1927.
Department of Education