History of the Schafner Point (Port Royal) Lighthouse
Built in 1885, the Shafner Point Lighthouse in Port Royal is the oldest surviving lighthouse in the Annapolis Basin, and played a key role in the development of fishing and trade. It is located less than one kilometer from Parks Canada Habitation, believed to be the site of the first European settlement in Canada. Prior to electrification, the light was operated by a keeper whose house was in nearby Karsdale.
The Schafner Point Lighthouse is still a working light today, guiding boats through the tidal waters of the narrow navigation channel around Goat Island. Until 2015 it was owned and maintained by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. In the 2010s the federal government began to divest itself of lighthouses, and Schafner Point Lighthouse, though not decommissioned as a navigational light, was offered to any non-profit group that was willing to be its steward.
The Annapolis Heritage Society was awarded ownership in 2015. During the course of reshingling the structure in 2019, it was found that there was extensive wood rot in the corner posts and and other maintenance issues. Annapolis Heritage Society decided not to go ahead with the needed repairs, and eventually local residents grouped together to take some action to save the lighthouse.
In September 2022, the Port Royal Lighthouse Association was founded and acquired ownership of the lighthouse property. The Association’s sole aim is to repair and maintain the lighthouse. This is an important chapter in the history of the lighthouse. The future of this iconic structure depends on us. To make your mark on history, donate today.