Port Medway Lighthouse
1727 Port Medway Road
Links and documents
1899/01/01 to 1899/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Port Medway Lighthouse was erected in 1899 as an aid to navigation in Port Medway Harbour. It is located at the end of Port Medway Road in the rural community of Port Medway, Nova Scotia. Municipal heritage designation applies to the building and its footprint.
The Port Medway Lighthouse was built in 1899 to mark the outer end of the original breakwater in Port Medway harbour and as an aid to the navigation of the many vessels that used the harbour for purposes of the fisheries and the nearby sawmill industries. The pyramidal wooden tower, measuring sixteen feet square at the base, and sometimes called a “pepper-pot” style, is thirty-three feet high and originally had a light thirty-one feet above the high water mark. The galleried square lantern at one time held a seventh order Fresnel lens that shone six miles out to sea in clear weather, and was later equipped with a fixed red light.
The first lightkeeper here was Samuel T. Foster, whose forebear was one of the earliest settlers at Port Medway. He assumed his duties on February 17, 1899, though there is no record of how long he served in that capacity. Four others followed him as lightkeepers, including George McConnell, who held the position from 1942 to 1959. Cecil Earl Dolliver was the last, serving as caretaker until 1967 when the light was automated.
As a result of a marked decrease in harbour traffic in the 1980s, the decision was made by Coast Guard to decommission the Port Medway Lighthouse in January, 1989. For nearly ten years thereafter the building stood neglected and falling into disrepair, until a group of local residents, the Medway Area Community Association, decided the lighthouse should be saved as a part of the area’s marine heritage. After meetings with the Region of Queens Municipality, the Municipality bought the site in July, 2000 and within months work began to restore the building and improve the surrounding area.
In late 2001 the lighthouse was moved several metres from its original location to allow for restoration of the breakwater and a general clean up of the area. As part of the project, a park was created occupying the site of a former fish plant and its immediate surroundings, with the restored lighthouse as its focal point. The Port Medway Lighthouse Park was officially opened in October of 2002.
Source: Municipal Heritage Property files, "Port Medway Lighthouse", Region of Queens Municipality, NS
The character-defining elements of the Port Medway Lighthouse include:
- location at the end of Port Medway Road;
- location in a park setting;
- proximity to one other registered heritage property;
- pyramidal wooden tower surmounted by a square, galleried lantern;
- wood construction with shingle cladding;
- south-facing entrance;
- north-facing window in upper storey;
- double hung sash window with four-over-four glazing.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
1967/01/01 to 1989/01/01
2001/01/01 to 2001/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Civic Space
- Navigational Aid or Lighthouse
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipal Heritage Property files, "Port Medway Lighthouse", Region of Queens municipal office, 249 White Point Road, PO Box 1264, Liverpool, NS. B0T 1K0
Cross-Reference to Collection