Description of Historic Place
The Sandy Point Lighthouse is located on the east side of Shelburne Harbour, Nova Scotia. It is situated on a concrete crib that is only accessible on foot across a sandbar during low tide. Only the lighthouse on its footprint is included in the designation.
The Sandy Point Lighthouse is valued for its historical, architectural, and environmental significance.
Sandy Point lighthouse is valued as one of the many lighthouses constructed by the newly formed Department of Marine and Fisheries during the period following Confederation; it was built in 1880. Originally built on a pier it was relocated in 1903 to its current location, a concrete base on a sand spit in Shelburne Harbour. Despite the move, the lighthouse has maintained many of its original features.
Over the decades many technological upgrades were made. In 1922 a fourth order, fixed red, dioptric lens and a hand foghorn were installed. In 1930, a hand fog signal in answer to vessels was installed which remained in service until 1960, at which time an electric foghorn was installed. From 1965 to 1990 the electric foghorn was disconnected. In 1990 an electric lantern was installed. The lighthouse was fully automated in 1980, which replaced the need for a light keeper. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1999; until that time it served as a navigational aid for marine traffic entering Shelburne Harbour.
Sandy Point Lighthouse is also valued for its architecture as one of the regular or straight cornice group of square-tapered, wooden lighthouses. It is typical of post-Confederation lighthouses with its square-tapered tower and Neo-classical details; a hipped roof and centrally-mounted lantern.
The site of the lighthouse is both picturesque and practical. Located on a sand spit at the entrance to the inner harbour, the lighthouse is surrounded by water at high tide and is only accessible on foot at low tide. The location reflects its association with the community and the shipping history of Shelburne.
Source: Notice of Registration of Property as a Provincial Heritage Property, Nova Scotia Heritage Property File no. 276
Character defining elements of the Sandy Point Lighthouse include:
- tall, slim, square-tapered profile;
- neo-classical detailing, such as the small pediment over the door and the scrolled brackets at the cornice;
- its functional characteristics, appropriate to its purpose and location, such as the square-tapered design for stability and location, the shore-sided door for emergency purposes, the placement of windows on each storey for illumination, the open balcony to service light standard, hipped roof, the centrally-mounted lantern, and the painted wood shingle cladding;
- its location on a low water sand spit at the inner entrance to the harbour.
Location of Supporting Documentation
Nova Scotia Heritage Division, Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 1747 Summer Street, 3rd Floor, Halifax, NS B3H 3A6
Cross-Reference to Collection