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Lockeport (Gull Rock), NS  Lighthouse accessible by car and a short, easy walk.   

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Lockeport (Gull Rock) Lighthouse

In 1762, two families left Massachusetts to establish a new colony closer to the rich fishing grounds of the Grand Banks. The colony was called Locke’s Island, after Jonathan Locke, the patriarch of one of the two families. After the area was incorporated in 1907, the name was changed to Lockeport.

Original Gull Rock Lighthouse
Photograph courtesy Nova Scotia Archives and Records
A collection of dangerous ledges and rocks, known as the Ragged Islands, guard the entrance to Lockeport Harbour. After a petition was received from the shipowners of Shelburne County requesting a light to mark these dangers and guide ships into the harbour, the government approved funds for a lighthouse atop Gull Rock, a wave-swept ledge measuring one hundred metres by 38 metres.

The original lighthouse, which consisted of a square, pyramidal tower with a dwelling in its lower portion, was completed in 1853, and Samuel Hayden was appointed its first keeper. A separate building measuring twenty by thirteen feet was used for storing oil and firewood.

In 1871, a water tank was constructed at the station so the keeper didn’t have to haul water from the mainland. Still, trips to the mainland were occasionally necessary, and while making the crossing on October 30, 1873, Keeper Hayden and his wife drowned when their boat was upset. William Hayden was appointed keeper to succeed his brother.

The present lighthouse was built around 1955 and features a square tower mounted on the hipped roof of a two-story dwelling.

In 1986 athenite was sprayed on the exterior of the lighthouse increasing the thickness of its reinforced concrete walls from 30 centimeters to nearly 43 centimeters. Gull Rock Lighthouse was de-staffed in 1987, and the fog-alarm building, workshop, and boathouse were all removed. Currently all that remains is the lighthouse, a couple of oil tanks, the helicopter pad, and the plank walkway down to the helipad

Head Keepers: Samuel Hayden (1853 – 1873), William Hayden (1873 – 1876), Lorenzo D. Orchard (1877 – 1913), B. McKenzie (1913), B. Decker (1913 – 1920), M.V. Murphy (1920 – 1925), R.A. Ringer (1925 – 1930), M.V. Murphy (1930 – 1933), F.S. Harding (1933 – at least 1937).

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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