Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia / Projects / Port Greville Lighthouse Renovations



Report on Port Greville Lighthouse Renovations
Oralee O’Byrne-Curator/Manager

The Port Greville lighthouse is a structure built in 1908. For years it sat in Port Greville overlooking the harbour and guiding the many vessels, from cargo schooners to fishing boats, to and from the wharfs. In 1976, with the destruction of the Wagstaff and Hatfield Shipyard the use of the harbour diminished.  In 1980 the lighthouse in Port Greville was decommissioned by the Coast Guard and cut in to two pieces and taken to the Coast Guard College in Sydney. In 1998 a committee of residents brought the lighthouse back to Port Greville and its current home at the Age of Sail.

At that time the lighthouse was painted and minor repairs made. Over the years regular maintenance has been performed by the museum society as needed, replacing shingles, replacing deck boards, painting and making other repairs at cost to the society. General funds were used from donations and the general accounts to pay for the upkeep. Over the past few years deterioration had advanced in several areas and it became apparent that more involved maintenance was needed to save the structure.


The board of directors and curator with input from local construction workers discussed the different alternatives available for preservation and future maintenance of the building. As an aging society concerns for future maintenance and cost played a large part in the decisions made. It was decided that shiplap or clapboard siding cut by a local sawyer, stained on both sides and played laid over the existing shingles was the preferred method of renovation, this was approved by the municipal heritage advisory committee.


This method will preserve the original building without seriously altering the appearance as well as providing airflow and easier maintenance. Funding was made possible by the Municipality of Cumberland County and Buildings at Risk from the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia. A local sawyer was hired to cut the wood, other materials were purchased at local businesses and a local gentleman was hired to do the work. Volunteers took on the task of staining the wood and assisting where needed. The preliminary work was started at the first of October 2010 and the majority of work finished by November. In the spring of 2011 a second coat of stain will be applied to the outside of the building and the new railing, made and donated by Kerwin Davidson will be installed.

painted lighthouse

The society is very happy with the renovation work and look forward to installing the new railing and showing off the new look for the 2011 tourist season. We are very grateful for the funding given to this project, which would not have been possible otherwise.