In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

McNutt's Island Geography: Anthony Lockwood's map, 1816

Here's a map from Anthony Lockwood's A Brief Description of Nova Scotia (1818). Anthony Lockwood made a report to the to the newly established Commissioners of Light Houses in 1816. Up until then Nova Scotia's lighthouses had been under the authority of the Commissioners of Revenue. The same year the regulation of lighthouses was clarified by the House of Assembly. Lighthouse keepers would be paid an established annual salary, and would be expected to live full-time at the light.In 1816 there were only four lighthouses along the Nova Scotia coast, at Halifax, Shelburne, Liverpool and Brier Island. The light at Shelburne was the second one to be built. Its foundation stone was laid in January 1787, and it was completed in October 1790. It must have been a very arduous task to build this lighthouse. It would have required vast transportation of workers and equipment and supplies from Shelburne to the only possible landing sites, along the western cove, and then across the thickly forested island, to the cape on its southern end.

Even after the lighthouse was completed, it was not lit for another two years, first shining out of its distinctive two windows on September 7, 1792.
At the time of this map, Alexander Hood Cocken was keeper on McNutt's Island. He had taken over lighthouse duties after the death of his father Alexander Cocken, the first keeper, in 1812.

I found this map in W.O. Raymond, "Colonel McNutt and the Pre-Loyalist Settlements of Nova Scotia," Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, 3rd series, vol.V, 1911, sec.II, 23-115, p.97. The map and article can be found online at

1 comment:

Terry J. Deveau said...

A very nice map!

> the only possible landing sites, along the western cove

Curiously, though, the map only shows four anchorages along the shore of McNutt's Island; all of them on the eastern shore. It would be interesting to examine the shoreline adjacent to those indicated anchorage places to see if there is any evidence of landing sites. The areas of craggy cliffs seem to be indicated by a thicker black ink shore line.