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Horton Bluff Range Front, NS  Lighthouse accessible by car and a short, easy walk.   

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Horton Bluff Range Front Lighthouse

Horton Bluff Lighthouse is situated on the west side of the Avon River near its mouth. The original 1851 structure, featured a light shown from a window of three panes that projected from the roof of the keeper's dwelling. Three lamps were shown from the window. One lamp with an eighteen-inch reflector was directed down channel to the north, while a lamp with a twelve-inch reflector exhibited its light up the river to the east, and the third lamp operated without a reflector.

Postcard of Second Horton Bluff Lighthouse
Robert King was the first keeper of the lighthouse, and Charles Rathburn was appointed his successor in October, 1870. When Keeper Rathburn passed away in 1879, his wife was made responsible for the light.

The first lighthouse burned down in April, 1883, and five months later, its replacement, a square wooden pyramidal tower with attached dwelling, was completed. Mrs. Rathburn remained keeper of the light until 1921.

The present Horton Bluff Lighthouse was built in 1961 along with two keeper's dwellings, and the previous lighthouse was unceremoniously pushed over the cliff and burned after seventy-eight years of service. The 1961 lighthouse features an 8.7-meter-high tower rising from one corner of a square, flat-roofed building. An orange vertical stripe, visible from the water, is painted on the tower. Apparently, the color of the stripe has faded or is a recent change as others, including the Coast Guard, call it a red stripe.

The light sits atop Horton Bluff with the Avon river sixty-five meters below. This structure is designated as a front range light, and its companion rear range light is a skeleton tower located 539 meters away.

In 2008, the owner of a parcel of land on Bluff Road, not too far from Horton Bluff Lighthouse, began work on a replica of the second Horton Bluff Lighthouse. The owner’s website has lot of information about Horton Point Lighthouse and his replica.


  1. Annual Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, various years.
  2. Lighthouses & Lights of Nova Scotia, E.H. Rip Irwin, 2003.

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