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Sambro Island Light
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Date Established: 1758
Date Present Tower Built: 1906
Date Automated: 1983
Height of Tower: 82 ft.
Height of Focal Plane: 140 ft.
Distance from You:
Open to Public?: Grounds only
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DescriptionSambro Island Lighthouse, built in 1758, is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in North America. The lighthouse was destaffed in 1988. It was finally designated as a "classified building" in 1996, the highest possible heritage designation that the Canadian Ministry of the Environment can bestow. The beautiful 1st order Fresnel lens used in the lantern room from 1906 until 1966 was removed and reassembled and is now on display in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on a permanent basis. Anyone with an interest in these beautiful lenses should make the Maritime Museum an absolute must seen in Halifax.
The "present" tower date is that of the 1906 modification of the tower that added 22 feet to the height of the tower.
A devastating fire, probably caused by vandals, destroyed the keeper's house on Sambro Island in September 2008 not long after the 250th anniversary of the first lighting of this historic light.
I have not managed to get to Sambro Island yet. My only photographs of the light have been from a considerable distance off shore. The photographs of the lens were taken in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Trying to show all of the bullseye panels of this huge lens was a photographic challenge that I approached by shooting up inside the lens from the bottom with a fisheye lens. I got some strange looks while lying on the floor of the museum to take that photograph but, IMO, it was worth it!