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Pubnico Harbour, NS  A hike of some distance required.   

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Pubnico Harbour Lighthouse

Pubnico Harbour is a deep, landlocked inlet found between Cape Sable and Yarmouth with the town of Pubnico situated at its head. The villages of East Pubnico, Middle East Pubnico, and Lower East Pubnico are found along the east side of the inlet and similarly named villages are located on the west shore.

Matruin Amero was appointed first keeper of the Pubnico Harbour Lighthouse in 1853. The Annual Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries for 1874 noted that the dwelling house measured twenty-five by seventeen feet and was joined to the light tower as a wing. Keeper Amero resided in this 425 square feet of living space with his family of eight. Initially, the oil had to be housed inside the dwelling as well, but later an oil house of dimensions fifteen feet by twelve feet was constructed near the lighthouse.

1853 Pubnico Lighthouse
Photograph courtesy Nova Scotia Archives and Records
As Amero was also a carpenter, he eventually expanded the living space until it reportedly had twenty-two rooms. Still, life on the point was difficult, as storms brought waves crashing against the dwelling and prevented the family from growing a garden or keeping an animals on the narrow spit of land they called home.

In 1874, the lighting apparatus in the tower consisted of three lamps. Two lamps, equipped with twelve-inch reflectors, were used to shine a light up the harbour and out to sea. The third lamp, without a reflector, illuminated the channel in front of the tower. 133 gallons of oil were delivered to the station on May 6th, 1874, and it was noted that 92 gallons had been consumed the previous year.

The original lighthouse was removed in 1967 and replaced by a small square fog alarm building atop which a light was exhibited from a skeletal tower. In 1984 a separate, freestanding fiberglass tower was erected near the end of the spit. A dwelling for the keeper of the light was also built some distance up the nearby hill, where it would be safe from flooding. Merle Thomas, the last keeper of the light was living in the dwelling when the light was destaffed on September 7, 1987.

The fiberglass tower, with its upper portion painted red and lower portion white, stands 11.5 meters tall. The light and old fog alarm building are protected by a breakwater of large boulders placed along the sea side of the gravel bar. The area provides a good view of offshore islands as well as the wind farm located across the harbour.


  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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