Sand Point Lighthouse

Heritage Lighthouse

Sand Point, New Brunswick
General view of Sand Point Lighthouse (© The Saint John River Society, M. Demma)
General view
(© The Saint John River Society, M. Demma)
Address : Sand Point Wharf Road, Westfield, Sand Point, New Brunswick

Recognition Statute: Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (S.C. 2008, c 16)
Designation Date: 2016-06-14
  • 1898 to 1898 (Construction)
  • 1869 to 1869 (Established)

Other Name(s):
  • Sand Point Light  (Other Name)

Description of Historic Place

The Sand Point Lighthouse is a square, tapered wooden tower with a square lantern room, mounted on a two-tiered steel skeleton tower and set on four concrete footings. Built in 1898, the lighthouse is the second tower on the site and stands at 17.7 metres (58 feet). The lighthouse is located on the east bank of the Saint John River and on the west side of Kingston Peninsula, about 20 kilometers north of Saint John.

Heritage Value

The Sand Point Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values.

Historical values
The Sand Point Lighthouse is a very good example of the improvement of aids to navigation along the St. John River by the federal Department of Marine in the 19th century. The Department began the construction of six beacon lights along the Saint John River in 1869. By 1914 there were 21 lighthouses operating on the Saint John River system. As a prominent leading light and daymark, ships bound upstream travel directly towards the Sand Point Lighthouse to find the channel leading to the upper river.
The Sand Point Lighthouse played a significant role in the socio-economic development of the Saint John River area. The river has long served as a key shipping and passenger route. Steamboat service began in 1816 and by the mid-19th century over 50,000 people, along with substantial quantities of freight, travelled the river each year. A community grew up around the tower, and came to include wooden cottages, a wharf, a community hall, a beach and tennis courts.

Architectural values
The Sand Point Lighthouse is a very good example of a combined steel-framed and square, tapered, wooden lighthouse design. The square lantern room with hipped roof is mounted on a two-tiered steel superstructure. This design combination is fairly rare and the Sand Point Lighthouse is the only surviving lighthouse of its type in New Brunswick and possibly the oldest extant example in Canada.
Built to a standard lighthouse design developed by the Department of Marine, the Sand Point Lighthouse is an excellent example of a leading light built for a remote, low-lying area. Skeleton towers and square tapered wooden towers were inexpensive and easy to assemble and to maintain in remote areas. This rare tower design type also provided height and resistance to severe weather conditions and seasonal flooding.

Community values
The Sand Point lighthouse stands at a prominent point on Kingston Peninsula and reinforces the character of the community’s origins as a riverside transportation and recreation site. Sand Point is a small cottage community that emerged following the construction of the lighthouse. Ownership of the seasonal settlement is largely held by familial and long-term residents who maintain local and regional histories and traditions.
The design, location, height and the colour scheme of the lighthouse makes it highly visible both as a day mark and as a leading light. It is prominent both along the river and within the regional landscape. The lighthouse is a highly valued resource in the Sand Point community, and in the community of commercial and recreational boaters along the Saint John River more broadly.

Related buildings
There are no related buildings

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Sand Point Lighthouse should be respected: its prominent height and location on the western tip of Kingston Peninsula, along the Saint John River; its structural form and design as a combined steel skeleton tower and a square, tapered wooden tower; its square wooden frame structure with tapered sides; its square wooden lantern with hipped roof; the single window with gabled cap on the west face of the wooden tower; its square gallery running around the wooden tower at mid-point; the hatch, acting as the sole entry point to the wooden tower; its wood shingles sheathing; its four concrete footings supporting the two-tiered steel frame; its traditional red and white exterior colour scheme, consisting of red for the steel superstructure and lantern roof, and white for the wooden tower and lantern; its visual prominence in relation to the water and landscape.