Fort Point Lighthouse (Liverpool)

Lighthouse Details
44° 02' 36'' N    -64° 42' 26'' W
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     This is a lighthouse to visit. Visitor Info44° 02' 36'' N    -64° 42' 26'' W    Google Map

Liverpool, Nova Scotia boasts a uniquely shaped light, one of the oldest in Nova Scotia, commanding a historic site close to the middle of town. Named after the fortified gun battery that protected the town from the 1760s to the 1860s, the point saw several actions in the American Revolution. It was also a signal station and an important public gathering place for the town, becoming park in the late1800s.

Visible from the park is Coffin Island, where the Liverpool area received its first light in 1815 to help mariners along the coast and locate the entrance to Liverpool Bay. By the 1850s, the booming timber trade brought pressure to make Liverpool's harbour easier and safer to enter by day or night. A petition in 1855 from "merchants, shipmasters and other inhabitants of Queens County" persuaded the Nova Scotia legislature to build a harbour light for Liverpool.

While built of wood, its survival on an exposed point for almost a century and a half is testimony to wise construction and the dedicated maintenance of keepers and their families. Most harbour lights follow the same simple pattern, often called "pepper-pot" lights. However Fort Point, dating from an earlier era has a uniquely shaped gable roof described in geometric language by a 1872 sailing guide as "the frustrum of a pyramid on a square base".

In the years that followed, when ships loading timber tied up three deep at Liverpool wharves, the light proved indispensable in making the crowded and busy harbour safe. A review of Nova Scotia lights in 1870 described Fort Point as "of the greatest importance to the trade of the port". It was eventually joined by a network of buoys and markers in the harbour and even a small light on the bridge in the middle of town.

Contributor: Dan Conlin
Sources: List of Lights: 1864 - 1989, Journals of NS House of Assembly 1854-1868, Parliamentary Sessional Papers 1868-1930, Canadian Coast Guard Dartmouth Records, Municipality of Queen's County Economic Development and Tourism