In 1852, P. Frederick Shortland, Commander of the H.M.S. Columbia, shared some general principles he had learned over the previous ten years that he hoped could be applied in selecting sites for lighthouses along the coast of Nova Scotia “washed by the Atlantic.” These principles included:
Tenders were invited in the month of May last for the construction of a lighthouse, with dwelling, barn, oil store and out houses on Jeddore Rock, situated 23 miles to the eastward of Halifax Harbour, and the contract was awarded to Mr. Jacob Howser, of Halifax, for the sum of $3,362.Albert Warnell was appointed the first keeper of the lighthouse at an annual salary of $400, but the job must not have been to his liking as he resigned after just one year and was replaced by John W. Mitchell. Keeper Mitchell obviously didn’t mind the position, as he would serve on Jeddore Rock for forty years. When John and his wife Annie moved to the station, they had two children, a three-year-old, and an infant less than a year old. The couple added five more children to their family while at the lighthouse.
The buildings are nearly completed, and the lights, which are fixed red, were put in operation the 15th December last.
The lighthouse, with the dwelling attached, stands on the centre of the rock. It is 50 feet high from base of tower to vane of Iantern, and is painted white. It shows a fixed red light elevated 86 feet above high-water mark, and should be seen from a distance of 12 miles all around the horizon.
In 1905, two red horizontal bands were painted on the lighthouse to make it more conspicuous as a daymark. In 1913, a fourth-order Fresnel lens replaced the catoptric illuminating apparatus in the lantern room. The lens produced a group occulting light with a characteristic that repeated every forty seconds: twenty-one seconds of light, three-second eclipse, five seconds of light, three-second eclipse, five seconds of light, three-second eclipse.
Keeper Mitchell was supplied a hand foghorn, which he used to answer signals from vessels during periods of limited visibility.
A new lighthouse, a square, two-storey dwelling with a lantern room centered atop its hipped roof, was built atop the rock in 1943. In 1958, banks of batteries were installed in the lighthouse to power a twelve-volt lamp in the lantern room that was turned on and off by a sun switch. Albert Arnold, the lighthouse’s last keeper, left Jeddore Rock on November 26, 1958, and the station was listed as unwatched.
In 1977, a steel, skeletal tower with an enclosed, central staircase was transferred to Jeddore Rock from Canberry Island near Canso, where it had been in use since 1971. The wooden lighthouse was then demolished and a helicopter landing pad was constructed on top of its foundation. Sometime between 2012 and 2017, the Coast Guard placed a square, skeletal tower on Jeddore Rock and removed the skeletal tower with an enclosed staircase.
Keepers: Albert Warnell (1881 – 1882), John W. Mitchell (1882 – 1922), A. H. Mitchell (1922), O. Baker (1922 – 1926), R.W. Baker (1926 – 1930), Howard Blakeney (1930 – at least 1937), Frank Baker ( – 1946), Albert Arnold ( – 1958).