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Sandy Point, NS  Lighthouse accessible by car and a short, easy walk.   

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Sandy Point Lighthouse

On September 25, 1873, H. W. Johnston, the Department of Marine and Fisheries agent for Nova Scotia, submitted a report to the minister of the department containing the following information on the recently completed lighthouse at Sandy Point.
Shelburne Harbor Light, which is a fixed red one, elevated sixty-seven feet above the level of high water, is situated on Sand Point, east side of the entrance to Shelburne Harbour. The tower, a square wooden building, is painted white, and was erected by Mr. George De Champ for the sum of $725. The light was first shown on the 1st September, 1873, and is intended as a guide to Shelburne Harbor, and to mark the dangers of Sand Point. Mr. Edward Goudock was appointed keeper, at an annual salary of $200.

The original lighting apparatus consisted of two mammoth flat-wick lamps with 16-inch reflectors.

Second Sandy Point Lighthouse
Photograph courtesy Nova Scotia Archives and Records
On the night of February 20, 1878, Keeper Goudock, who lived in his own home nearby, left the light after ensuring that everything was in proper order. Roughly two hours later, the tower was engulfed in flames and burned down. An investigation was held, but the cause of the fire was not determined definitively.

The Department of Marine and Fisheries agent for Nova Scotia recommended that no time be lost in rebuilding the light, which he proposed should be located on Surf Point, on the opposite side of the harbour. As previously situated, the light was too far inland to properly mark the sand spit that projected from Sand Point. The officers in charge of the light later decided to keep it at Sand Point and had commenced constructing a new tower on the former site, when petition after petition came in signed by masters of coasting steamers and vessels requesting that the light be located at then end of the spit at Sand Point.

The work on the tower was stopped, and bids were requested for constructing the tower atop a pier placed on the sand spit. George De Champ, who had built the original lighthouse, was awarded a $1,725 contract for the pier and tower.

The pier, which was sunk 0.6 meters into the sand, was built of hemlock timer and was nine meters square at the top and 10.28 meters square at its base. The new tower commenced operation on December 15, 1880, with Edward Goudock again serving as the keeper.

After numerous problems with the wooden pier, the tower was relocated to a square concrete pier built just east of the old wooden pier. The new pier was seventeen feet high and was built by day labour under the direction of Amos McLellan for $1,562.

Robert Bush was the last keeper of the lighthouse, serving from 1953 until the light was automated in 1980. The lighthouse was discontinued by the Coast Guard in 1996. In 1999, Sandy Point Community Recreation Group opened a community hall in a park developed on the point near the lighthouse. Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) contributed $3,298 towards various upgrades at the park. These included a retaining wall on the shore and stairs to the beach, picnic tables and a barbecue windbreak, a storage shed for the tables, and landscaping.

In 2008, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency invested $ 38,274, Nova Scotia Economic Development contributed $20,000, the Municipality of the District of Shelburne donated $10,000, and the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society pitched in $6,600 to restore the Sandy Point Lighthouse and make it more tourist friendly. That summer, the lighthouse base was strengthened, the tower received new siding, a stairway to the top of the base was added, and interpretive panels were put in place.

“ACOA is investing in the Sandy Point Lighthouse to make structural improvements that are key to its historic and cultural preservation,” said Parliamentary Secretary Gerald Keddy. “Through this investment in tourism infrastructure, our Government is demonstrating its commitment to support economic development in the community and surrounding area.”

References

  1. Annual Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, various years.
  2. “Sandy Point Lighthouse Gets a New Lease on Life,” Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Press Release, April 22, 2008.
  3. “Sandy Point Group Celebrates Lighthouse Day with Project Launch,” Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Press Release, September 29, 2000.
  4. Lighthouses & Lights of Nova Scotia, E.H. Rip Irwin, 2003.

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