Hall's Harbour Lighthouse
The first lighthouse was built about 1880. Captain
Dewis built the lighthouse pictured here below the Hotel
in 1911. It used a kerosene lamp with a red shade. It
was lit at dusk and put out at daylight. Once a year
a supply boat with an inspector on board, brought kerosene,
rags and soap for cleaning windows and the chimney.
The building was built on metal legs and one had to
climb a ladder to get to the first floor to clean the
lamp. Then it was necessary to ascend to a second level
(by stairs) to light the lamp.
Halley Neville painted the complete outside in 1944.
Joe Parker and other local residents painted the building
over the years.
Electricity was put in October 1, 1957. The light operated
from April 1 to Jan 10th and was changed to year round
during James Houghton’s time as keeper.
During its history there were seven light keepers.
The first was Elias MacDonald, James Watson (20 yrs);
Jesse Thorpe (3 yrs); William (Billy) Keddy (5 yrs);
James Leroy Houghton (17 yrs); and Marion Houghton (3
In 1963 the light was changed to the end of the long
wharf where the beacon operated automatically. The vacated
lighthouse and wharf gradually deteriorated and was
demolished in 1970.
Information from James L Houghton (1909 – 2000)
Click here for another historical description
of Hall's Harbour
Pirates, Pasha and the Sea
History of Hall’s Harbour
A Lighthouse on the Past
As told to Ethel Neville
Mrs. P.W. Neville, her mother-in-law
The first house (and oldest now) built in HH was by
Samuel Bucknam and it is still part of the house where
Mrs. P.W. Neville now lives (next to what was old P.O.
on the corner of Bay Hill (west side) and on the east
side of road (1983 lived in by David & Sharon Garnet).
Mr. Bucknam came from New Brunswick and settled here
about the same time as Thomas Parker Sr. came here from
New Brunswick also his wife Rachael Cross came with
him from New Brunswick. Samuel Bucknam married their
daughter, Margaret Parker. They had a son John Bucknam
and grandson Ezra, he was the father of Ramsey Bucknam
who was made Admiral of the Turkish Fleet. His mother
was Isabelle Roscoe. Mrs. Rachael Bucknam (?) died 1860.
Thomas Parker Sr. brought his wife and two or three
children from New Brunswick and settled here at HH.
His wife was Rachael Cross from NB and he was a captain
and went to sea; it is said that she was very lonely
here and would often take her children to the beach
saying if she saw a vessel going up or down by she would
wave to them hoping they would come in and take her
away. This couple had a family of eleven – eight
girls and three boys. Sons were: Elois, Tom, John, daughters:
Margaret (Mrs. Bucknam), Myra (to become wife of Sylvanus
Whitney), Sarah, Odelia, May, Jane, and Ann. He owned
all the land on the West side of the creek up to what
is now our church and built a house near there. He gave
the land for the church and cemetery –also the
frame for church building. His wife lived to be 102
years. They are buried ?? He died in 1870. The Parkers
were all sailors, mostly sea captains.
Another prominent resident here was Sylvanus Whitney.
According to the old Church records, he was clerk of
the Christian Baptist Church of Cornwallis (as it was
then called) in 1841 and 1841. He also came here from
NB and married another daughter of Thomas Parker (Sarah
Cross), Myra. He bought land from his father-in-law
and built a house and General Store, which was latter
the P.O. Later those places were sold to John Neville
Sr. who kept the P.O. and store.
Sylvanus Whitney had two sons, Fred (Frank Whitney’s
father) and George. George moved away to Billtown and
Fred married Roxanne Alley and lived in the big old
house (later Max Parker’s and now David and Sandra
Houghton’s) (Passed on by Mira Patterson, a daughter
and Nellie, as daughter) it is said that Roxanne was
very nervous living here and she dreamed that a pirate
chased her up the stairs with a sword, she got Fred
to sell and moved away from the sea bluff up to where
Major Simpson now lives. They eventually bought the
house just built by Leonard Porter in Vernon Mines,
(the home of Frank and Jessie Whitney) now Gerald Whitney’s.
The story goes that after raising his sons here, Sylvanus
and Myra were rich because Sylvanus found Captain Hall’s
treasure and moved to Dakota where he made more money.
He lived and passed away there. He was married twice;
his second wife was Alice Jane Boles.
also from here but living in Dakota sat the same time,
lived near Sylvanus and was asked to help the executors
at the time of his death to count his money, and they
counted out 60 thousand in gold; this is not fiction
but fact. His money and property was divided between
his sons. Their bodies were brought back here and are
buried in the old Billtown cemetery.. They gave many
gifts to the church.
The Nevilles descended here from Ireland. Three brothers
of them-Richard Neville settled in South Alton—he
was married when he came and they walked from Halifax
to South Alton. They had one small boy at this time
and carried him most of the way. They had three sons – Tom,
John and William and daughters Jane and Mary.
John came here as a young man and lived with the Hamilton’s
on the Huntington Point Rd. He learned the shipbuilding
trade. He later married Leah Monroe from NB. They lived
in the place now owned by Fred Parker at top of the
hill. Here most of his children were born – Andrew,
John, Richard, Stanley, George and Percy; Susan, Edna
and Violet. He later bought the store, house and farm
at harbour where Halley Neville now lives. He and his
sons built several sailing vessels. He had the P.O.
from about 1880 when he bought this place.
Retyped: 6 February 2008 by Joanne
From written record given to HHHS
from Gladys Whitney-Gervason's
On capsite computer filed under HHUBC