The first navigational aid on Cape d’Or, which marks the northern entrance into Minas Basin from the Bay of Fundy, was not a light, but rather a steam fog whistle, which was established in 1874. The cape didn’t receive a light until 1922 when a 6.7-meter-tall, pepper-shaker tower was relocated from Eatonville and mounted on a red wooden trestle near the fog signal building.
The present lighthouse, consisting of a one-story fog signal building with a light tower rising from one corner, was built in 1965. After automation in 1989, the two nearby keeper’s dwellings, completed in 1959, sat vacant until being leased by the Advocate District Development Association in 1995 and converted into a tearoom and hostel.
Darcy Snell first visited Cape d’Or in 1994 and was impressed enough to relocate from Saskatchewan to take over operation of the site in 2000. Snell, and his wife, Jenna Boon, opened a full-service restaurant in one dwelling and a guesthouse in the other. This is the only lighthouse in Nova Scotia to offer overnight accommodations.