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Walton Harbour, NS  Lighthouse accessible by car and a short, easy walk.Lighthouse open for climbing.Interior open or museum on site.Photogenic lighthouse or setting.   

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Walton Harbour Lighthouse

The square wooden Walton Harbour Lighthouse is 9.4 meters tall and a pepper shaker type tower. Built in 1872 by Timothy Parker at a cost of $620 and situated on a cliff at the mouth of the Walton River, the lighthouse guided ships into the Walton Dock on Pier Road, where ships were frequently loaded with gypsum and barite between tides.

The first keeper of the Walton Harbour Lighthouse was Timothy Parker, who was appointed in July 1873. Keeper Parker lived in his own located about three-quarters of a mile from the tower.

The lighting apparatus initially consisted of two flat-wick lamps with eighteen-inch reflectors and two other lamps with twelve-inch reflectors, arranged to focus the light to the west. Three galvanized iron tanks were used to store the oil for the lamps.

Walton Harbour Lighthouse was extinguished in 1986 after the local gypsum quarry closed in 1978 and commercial shipping stopped.

At high tide the water depth at the nearby dock is between four and eight meters, while at low tide the entrance dries out to a distance of 2 kilometers. Here and at nearby Burntcoat Head, the variance between high and low tides exceeds fifteen meters making it the largest tidal variance in North America.

After its closure, the lighthouse was saved by Ted Burgess and local historian Reg Clark. In 1991, the Municipality of East Hants acquired the lighthouse, and the location received heritage status in August 1992. The restored lighthouse and grounds have been developed into an interpretation center with a nicely landscaped picnic area as well as a short nature trail.

References

  1. Annual Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, various years.
  2. Lighthouses & Lights of Nova Scotia, E.H. Rip Irwin, 2003.

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