Digby Thompsons

Everyday Life & Observations in Digby & Area

Welcome to Cape Forchu Light Station

on August 18, 2012

In keeping with our multi part series on “lighthouses in our backyard”, the next lighthouse, or lightstation as it is called, is located in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, approximately 100 km from our home.

Cape Forchu Lightstation is known as the “Beacon to Canada” welcoming visitors since 1604, when Samuel de Champlain landed and named the area Cap Forchu, meaning forked tongue of land.

The Cape Forchu lightstation has been guiding vessels into the Yarmouth Harbour since it was erected and lit in 1840. The light stood 126 feet above sea level and 91 feet above ground. In 1869, a fog alarm was installed that sounded with a four second blast every 26 seconds.

In 1961 the old Cape Forchu lighthouse tower was demolished as the wood was so weakened by high winds and rotted by age. The existing lighthouse was erected in 1964 at a cost of $66,000.

Views around the light station

The new lightstation stands 75 feet high and is said to be the first of its type built in Canada. This unique applecore style lighthouse was constructed of concrete 8 inches thick and reinforced with 12 tons of steel bars. The applecore style is a prototype for its kind in the world, and was named so because of its resemblance to an applecore. The narrow shape allows the wind to travel around the tower instead of against it. The lighthouse’s one million candlepower beam can be seen over 30 nautical miles out to sea.

In June 2000, the lightstation became the first operating lightstation in Canadian history to be transferred to a municipality by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. In 2003, the Cape Forchu lightstation was designated as a registered heritage property by the Province of Nova Scotia.

Record Keeping Logs

Did you know:

Longest stretch of fog ever recorded was 85 days in the summer of 1967 in the town of Yarmouth.

Number of days Yarmouth was without fog that summer: 7

Of course, there was fog the day we visited!


2 responses to “Welcome to Cape Forchu Light Station

  1. Duggers says:

    Did you say 85 days of fog or blog ? Please make it stop !

  2. Debbie Thompson says:

    What a winderful journey thru time! Its so amazing the places you are close to! You guys are so wondercul and what an education you are giving all of us! Beautiful!!

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