Cape Forchu Lighthouse

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia - 1962 (1840**)

Photo of the Cape Forchu Lighthouse.

History of the Cape Forchu Lighthouse

Dennis Kent has provided some history of this lighthouse:

The first light was built here in 1839 and it's first light was generated by a kerosene lamp in 1840. It stood 91 feet above the ground but sat on a high bluff giving it an effective height of 126 feet. The kerosene lamp kept going out so it was upgraded to kerosene fueled vapor which improved its efficiency. In 1869 a fog signal was added. A double dwelling was built in 1912 and is still in use today. This station became the monitoring station for all the lights in southern Nova Scotia. It was fitted with a Second Order Fresnel Lens estimated to shine for 20 miles.

After 122 years of service the original light was demolished to make room for the current "apple core" tower built in 1961. The unique design of this lighthouse eases the wind to flow around it rather than up against it. It is only 5 feet across. That was upgraded to a modern beacon which is rated at 1,000,000 candle power which peers out to 30 miles. Modern electronics allows the control and monitoring of 20 other lighthouses and is capable of monitoring 64 unmanned lighthouses. It was de-staffed in 1993. In June of 2000 it was transferred to the municipality of Yarmouth for its care and responsibility.

Lightkeepers for Cape Forchu Lighthouse:

  • Fox, Lt. James C. (1839-1840)
  • Fox, Cornelius J.T. (1840-1873)
  • Fox, Robert Braddon (1873-1874)
  • Doane, Capt. John H. (1874-1904)
  • Doane, Thomas (1904-1922)
  • Cunningham, Herbert (1922-1952)
  • Smith, Albert (1952-1963)
  • Baker, Ray (1963-1964)
  • Chetwynd, J.E. (1964-1972)
  • Flemming, D. Earl (1972-1977)
  • O'Connell, Wayne (1977-1977)
  • Wentzell, Lawrence (1977-1988)
  • Goodwin, Walter (1986-1991)
  • Murphy, Vicent (1989-1992)
  • Fairservice, Marjorie (1992-1993)

Directions: Per the website: To find the Light Station from Hwy 101 or Hwy 103: Turn into Yarmouth go west on Starrs Road to the end, turn right on Main Street, follow Main Street to Vancouver Street (you will see a gold horse monument) turn left at the lights, past the Hospital turn left on Highway 304, and remain on Highway 304 to Cape Forchu.

View more Cape Forchu Lighthouse pictures
Tower Information
Tower Height: 77.00'
Focal Plane: 114'
Active Aid to Navigation: Yes
*Latitude: 43.79400 N
*Longitude: -66.15500 W
See this lighthouse on Google Maps.


* Please note that all GPS coordinates are approximated and are meant to put you in the vicinity of the lighthouse, not for navigation purposes.

** This year denotes a station date. This is the year that a lighthouse was first reported in the vicinity or at that location.

All photographs and information on this site is copyright © 2016 Bryan Penberthy unless otherwise specified. No content may be used without written permission. Any questions or comments, please email me.