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Port Medway Lighthouse

1727 Port Medway Road, Port Medway, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/08/05

A northeast perspective of the Port Medway Lighthouse, Port Medway, NS.; NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2009
Northeast perspective
The south elevaton of the Port Medway Lighthouse, Port Medway, NS.; NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2009
South elevation
The galleried lantern room in the Port Medway Lighthouse, Port Medway, NS.; NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2009
Galleried lantern room

Other Name(s)

Port Medway Lighthouse
1727 Port Medway Road

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1899/01/01 to 1899/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/02/09

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.

Heritage Value

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

Character-Defining Elements

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.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

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




Additional Information

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

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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