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Name: Sambro Island Light  

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Nearest Town or City:
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Location: Entrance to Halifax Harbour.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Chris Mills
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Managing Organization:
Canadian Coast Guard

This is the oldest operational lighthouse in North America and is designated a National Historic Site. It is still maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard. Through the efforts of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society, Sambro Island Light was designated a protected heritage building. It is first on the list of Canadian lighthouses recommended for preservation by the Canadian Coast Guard to the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities. Some restoration work was completed on the tower in 1998, but the keeper's dwellings are in poor condition. The foghorn was discontinued in 2007.

Tower Height: 74

Description of Tower: Octagonal stone tower with wood shingles, red and white horizontal stripes; red aluminum lantern.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
Two keeper's houses.

Date Established: 1760

Date Present Tower Built: 1760

Date Automated: 1988

Optics: 1906: First order Fresnel lens; now DCB-36. The Fresnel lens is now on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? No

Sambro Island is accessible via boat tours from Ketch Harbour. Call Nova Lee Excursions (on Route 349, Ketch Harbour) at (902) 868-1212. This company offers a variety of trips including nature and educational cruises. Specializing in lighthouse tours.

Keepers: Joseph Rous (1759-1769); Matthew Pennell, Sr. (1772-1801); Matthew Pennell, Jr. (1801-1817); James Goodwin (1817-1839); William Gilkie (c. 1856-1875); Joseph Gillkie (1875-1876); Alfred Gilkie (1876-1915); A. J. Gilkie (1914-1929); W. Smith (1929-1942); W. A. Smith (1942-1961); G. A. Soltesz (1961-1965); J. E. Gwynn (1965-1968); J. G. Fairservice (1968-1988).


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