Starting in 1883, horses and manual labor were used to construct the locks and wing dams at the Magnetawan rapids, using stone cribs and timbers. When completed in 1886, the locks measured 112 feet long by 10.5 feet wide and enabled boats to transit the entire thirty-five-mile route between Burk’s Falls and Ahmic Harbour.
A lighthouse on a cribwork pier was erected on a shoal, about 1 1/2 miles from Magnetawan village, Lake Cecebe. The tower is an inclosed wooden building, square in plan, with sloping sides, surmounted by a square wooden lantern, and is 23 feet in height from its base to the top of the ventilator on the lantern.
This work was done by days' labour, under the superintendence of Capt. J. Mortimore, of Burk's Falls, Ont.
John Schade served as the first keeper of the lighthouse followed by Robert Nicholson. Each evening during the navigation season, the keeper would row out to the lighthouse and light the fixed white light, which was visible for three miles, and then extinguish it the following morning. An unwatched light was installed in the lighthouse in 1927.
By 1930, the steamboat era on the Magnetawan River ended, and the lighthouse, no longer needed, was eventually demolished.
In 1995, the Magnetawan River Heritage Association had a replica built of the original Cecebe Lake Lighthouse. The reproduction was located above the dam and locks in Cecebe Lake, where the original once stood.
Spring flooding in 2019 destroyed the replica built in 1995. Plans were quickly made to replace the replica, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its completion until the fall of 2022. Magnetawan Municipality funded the construction using its reserves, and the Magnetawan Lions Club and a local company did the work.
Head Keepers: John Schade (1906 – 1912), Robert Nicholson (1912 – at least 1924), L. Nicholson (at least 1926 – 1927).