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Spencer's Island Lighthouse

Spencer's Beach Road, Spencers Island, Nova Scotia, B0M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1992/09/02

Front elevation, Spencer's Island Lighthouse, Spencer's Island, NS, 2009.; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2009
Front Elevation
Landscape view, Spencer's Island Lighthouse, Spencer's Island, NS, 2009.; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2009
General View
View from coast, Spencer's Island Lighthouse, Spencer's Island, NS, 2009.; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2009
Rear Elevation

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1904/01/01 to 1904/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Spencer’s Island Lighthouse is a wooden lighthouse that stands approximately 10.5 metres tall. Built in 1904 on Spencer’s Island Beach, Nova Scotia overlooking the Bay of Fundy’s Minas Channel. With no buildings or trees near by, its present setting is much as it was when it was built. The Lighthouse is now used as a museum to display memorabilia of the area’s seafaring heritage. The building and the property are included in the municipal designation.

Heritage Value

Value is found in the Spencer’s Island Lighthouse as a unique secondary lighthouse on the north side of the Bay of Fundy. Very few of the lighthouses erected on the north side of Fundy are still in existence due to the punishing weather conditions. Built in 1904, it was manned until 1966, and then automated until 1987 when it was decommissioned.

Historical Value

The Spencer’s Island Lighthouse had a central role in the sea-faring history of Cumberland County, and is an important community landmark. The rugged terrain in this part of Nova Scotia made land travel difficult. Communities in this are relied heavily on shipbuilding and shipping for its economic growth. The Spencer’s Island Lighthouse is a “secondary lighthouse:” its light beam was used in conjunction with the beam of another lighthouse to signal the proper route to incoming ships.

The Lighthouse is associated with the settlement and economic development of this area as it helped ensure safe passage for the many ships, crews and cargoes that travelled the rugged Bay of Fundy shoreline.

Architectural Value

The Spencer’s Island Lighthouse is a typical turn-of-the-century lighthouse found in this part of Cumberland County. It is a white, A-shaped, square, wooden tower 10.5 metres tall with a balcony completely surrounding the top just below the square lantern. The lighthouse has not changed since it was first built.

Source: “Heritage Property County, Spencer’s Island Lighthouse” File, Cumberland County Museum.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Spencer’s Island Lighthouse include:

- original form and massing and location on Bay of Fundy;
- 10.5 metre, square, tapered, wooden tower;
- square lantern;
- original wooden clapboard siding;
- hip roof;
- gabled hoods with prominent mouldings above door and window;
- balcony.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type




Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

"Heritage Property County, Spencer's Island Lighthouse" File, Cumberland County Museum and Archives, 150 Church St., Amherst, NS B4H 3C4

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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