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Ouetique Island, NS  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Ouetique Island Lighthouse

Ouetique Island lies offshore from the mouth of Bourgeois Inlet in the eastern end of Lennox Passage, which runs between Cape Breton Island and Isle Madame. In 1874, F.S. Cunningham received a $1,380 contract to build a square tower with an attached dwelling to serve as a lighthouse on the southern point of the small island to guide mariners through Lennox Passage. The tower stood twenty-eight feet tall and was originally topped by a ten-sided lantern from which a fixed red light was displayed at a focal plane of seventy-eight feet above the surrounding water. One circular-burner lamp with a twenty-inch reflector and three mammoth flat-wick lamps with sixteen-inch reflectors were used to produce the light. The total cost of the lighthouse came to $2,681.09.

Cecil Sampson was hired as the first keeper of the lighthouse at an annual salary of $350, and he served for over thirty years. Frederick Burke was the next keeper, and Abraham Pottie succeeded him in 1929.

In 1878, the completion of an embankment to protect the island’s freshwater pond from the sea was noted, and in 1889, a small, cribwork breakwater was built to prevent the sea from washing away the road that ran from the landing to the lighthouse.

In 1901, a seventh-order Fresnel lens from England replaced the old catoptric lamps and reflectors in the lantern room, and Keeper Sampson was given a hand-operated foghorn to answer vessels during periods of limited visibility.

A new combined lighthouse, in the form of a square, two-storey dwelling topped by a lantern room, was built on Ouetique Island in 1949. Today, a square, skeletal tower displays a flashing red light on the island.

Keepers: Cecil Sampson (1874 – 1907), Frederick A. Burke (1907 – 1929), Abraham A. Pottie (1929 – at least 1937), Abel LeBlanc (1951 – 1955), Howard Doyle (1955 – circa 1964).


  1. Annual Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, various years.

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