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Cole Harbour, NS  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Cole Harbour Lighthouse

Berry Head is the eastern point of a roughly three-kilomtre-long peninsula that is connected to the mainland by a skinny spit and helps forms the western side of Tor Bay. Within Tor Bay are found the communities of Cole Harbour, Charlos Cove, Larrys River, and Tor Bay.

A pair of range lights was built at Cole Harbour in 1898 and a set at Charlos Cove in 1901 to help guide mariners into these harbours within Tor Bay. The Annual Report for the Department of Marine for 1898 provides the following details on the range lights at Cole Harbour:

Two range lights, established on the north side of the entrance to Cole Harbor, in Tor Bay, were put in operation in November, 1898.

The front light is shown from a square wooden tower, with sloping sides, surmounted by a square wooden lantern, the whole painted white. The building is 33 feet high from its base to the vane on the lantern, and stands on ground elevated 12 feet above high-water mark, 65 feet back from the water’s edge.

The light is a fixed red light, elevated 40 feet above high-water mark. The illuminating apparatus is dioptric, of the 7th order.

The back range lighthouse is a tower similar to the front one, erected on land 80 feet above high water mark, distant 650 feet N. 33 degrees E. from the front one. The light is a fixed red light, elevated 107 feet above high-water mark. The illuminating apparatus is catoptric.

The buildings were erected under contract by Messrs. Mosely & Chisholm, of Dartmouth, for $775.

George C. Jamieson was appointed the first keeper of the range lights on October 21, 1898 at an annual salary of $120. In 1923, he was earning $270, more than double his starting salary.

As an additional aid to mariners, a fixed-red catoptric light was established in the dormer window of a house near the shore on the southeastern side of Cole Harbour in 1907. Vessels entering Cole Harbour were instructed to stay on the alignment of Cole Harbour Range Lights until the red light in the window of the house opened clear of the intervening bluff point on the southern side of the harbour. When this happened, they would then run for the harbour light and safely clear the reef on the southern side of the entrance to the harbour.

William M. Munroe, presumably the owner of the dwelling with the dormer window, was paid an annual salary of $70 to tend the light. In 1920, Esther Munroe, the widow of William Munroe, who was thirty-five years younger than her husband, took responsibility for the dormer light.

In 1944, a pole light replaced the light shown from the dormer window in 1944, and pole lights replaced the original wooden range towers around 1952. No range lights serve Cole Harbour today.


  • Range: George C. Jamieson (1898 – at least 1923).
  • Dormer Window: William M. Munroe (1907 – 1920), Esther Munroe (1920 – at least 1923).


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

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