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Dover (Callaghan Island), NS  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Dover (Callaghan Island) Lighthouse

West Dover is a small community situated just east of Peggy’s Cove. Fishermen with the surnames of Allen, Berringer, Cleveland, Morash, Publicover, Richardson, Scott, Taylor, Troop, Umlah, Young, and Zinck founded the village in the 1800s, and these names are still common in the area today.

The site for a lighthouse to mark the harbour at West Dover was investigated in 1891, and the lighthouse was built the following year as shown in excerpts from the Annual Report of the Department of Marine:

1891 – It was at first arranged to build a lighthouse on Meaghar’s Island, but owing to difficulties arising in acquiring a title to the land, another suitable site was looked for. For this purpose the Superintendent of Lights visited the locality and consulted with the residents interested in shipping. The result was that the southern end of Callaghan's Island was selected as affording a more suitable site than that of Meaghar’s Island, inasmuch as it afforded a direct lead into Dover Harbour, and was more suitable as a harbour light. It was finally settled to build there, and the land was secured. Subsequently a petition was received at Ottawa against this selection and in favour, of Meaghar’s Island. After further consideration the officers of this Department agreed that Callaghan's Island was the more suitable place, and ultimately Mr. Martin Fader, of Spry Bay, was awarded a contract for erecting a lighthouse in that place for $1,200. The work will be proceeded with as early next spring as the weather will permit.

1892 – A small lighthouse with dwelling attached has been built on the southern end of Callaghan Island, in Port Dover or Dover Harbour, in the County of Halifax, as indicated in last year’s report.

The building is of wood, painted white, and consists of a square tower with keeper’s dwelling attached. The tower is surmounted by an iron lantern painted red, and is 31 feet high from its base to the vane on the lantern.

The light will be fixed white, elevated 50 feet above high-water mark, and should be visible 12 miles from all points of approach. The illuminating apparatus is dioptric, of small size.

The light is so located that vessels running for it on a N.N.W. course will pass clear to the westward of Shag Bay breakers, which are marked by a red iron can buoy, and enter the harbour to the eastward of Fleming Island.

The total expenditure in connection with the erection of this light has been $1,263.05.

John A. Fraser was appointed the first keeper of Port Dover Lighthouse in 1892, and he served until 1906. Edward Morash then took charge and kept the light until his death in 1934. Edward’s wife Sarah looked after the light for a few months until William J. Cleveland was appointed keeper in early 1935.

The wooden lighthouse on Callaghan Island remained standing until 1954, when a skeletal tower was erected on the island and the light became unwatched. The characteristic of the light was changed from fixed white to flashing white at this time. In 2020, a triangular, skeleton mast, with a red-and-white, rectangular daymark, was exhibiting a flashing green light on Callaghan Island.

Keepers: John A. Fraser (1892 – 1906), Edward Morash (1906 – 1934), Sarah J. Morash (1934), William J. Cleveland (1935 – at least 1937).


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

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