McNeil Beach Lighthouse


Lauchlin McNeil was the first keeper of the light station, appointed on August 1, 1884 at the salary of $150 a year. The was a small lantern on a 7.62 meter high pole with a small white shed at its base. The pole was replaced in 1909 by the existing tower at a cost of $780.00. In 1930 the lens was in operation and then in 1961 the Seal Island Bridge was built with the channel being marked with light buoys, rending the lighthouse redundant. Somewhere between 1955 and 1962 it was discontinued as an aide to navigation and bought by private interests. It was nearly destroyed by fire on March 29, 2006.

Architectural Comment

This lighthouse structure is a tapered square wooden white tower. The lighthouse has the original pepper shaker tower which is the only one to maintain its original shape. This tower stands 33 feet in height and the light height is 31 feet and could be seen in the range of five miles.

Contextual Comment

Lighthouses are emblematic of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia, so properties such as these hold great value as landmarks in the community.

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