Digby Thompsons

Everyday Life & Observations in Digby & Area

Lighthouses in our backyard – a multi part series

on August 16, 2012

Over the course of the next few months/years we will attempt to locate and report on lighthouses with historical value and awesome scenery in relatively close proximity to our home in Digby. 

The first lighthouse is the Gilbert’s Cove Lighthouse

This lighthouse is a provincial heritage property overlooking St. Mary’s Bay in Gilbert’s Cove, Nova Scotia, approximately 10 minutes from our home in Digby.

This square keeper’s house with the lantern on top of the roof was built in 1904 along the eastern shore of St. Mary’s Bay. The light is elevated 40 feet above the high water mark and visible 7 miles from all points of approach by water.

The automated beacon was decommissioned and removed from the concrete base in 1984 and the lighthouse was designed a provincial heritage property in 1991.

Views from inside the lighthouse

History of the Community

In 1783, Loyalist Colonel Thomas Gilbert and family arrived from Freeport, Massachusetts settling on granted lands where they built homes and boats.

Although the Loyalists were the first land grantees, most moved from the rocky lands and forests and the Acadians moved up the bay to work as tradesmen and labourers in the lumber and shipping trades. Ship building peaked in the mid 1800’s, when at time, most tradesmen left for the United States.

The families who stayed behind were primarily dependent on work in the woods, saw mills and on the sea. Most families also operated small farms for their food source. This continued until the 1950’s.

Men and women acquired skills in making most of their essential items for the farm, home and family. You can still see evidence of these talents today in the works of art and crafts produced in the region.


One response to “Lighthouses in our backyard – a multi part series

  1. Fran & Barry says:

    My mother’s maiden name is Gilbert, long lost relative??
    Gilberts in Digby & Carrolls in Boston.

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