Sambro, Nova Scotia
|Municipality||Halifax Regional Municipality|
|• Type||Regional Council|
|• Governing Council||Halifax Regional Council|
|• Community Council||Chebucto Community Council|
|• Total||7.7 km2 (3.0 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||31 m (102 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|Time zone||AST (UTC-4)|
|• Summer (DST)||ADT (UTC-3)|
|Canadian Postal code||B3V|
|Telephone Exchange||902 868|
Sambro Island is located within the community southeast of the harbour and is home to the Sambro Island Lighthouse, the oldest operational lighthouse in the Americas (since 1758). It stands 62 feet on the top of the rocky island. The original lens from the lighthouse is on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax.
Sambro Harbour also has a small pepperpot style lighthouse located at the harbour entrance.
Three years after the founding of Halifax in 1752, 26 families settled and worked on Sambro Island after Governor Edward Cornwallis saw the need to populate the area with British settlers to prevent a French attack by sea. The community has evolved into a fishing and tourist community over the centuries, although many residents currently commute into Halifax for employment.
During the American Revolution, Sambro witnessed numerous naval battles, such as the Naval battle off Halifax. On 10 July 1780, the British privateer Resolution (16 guns) under the command of Thomas Ross engaged the American privateer Viper (16 guns) off of Halifax at Sambro Light. There was another engagement, described as “one of the bloodiest battles in the history of privateering”. The two privateers began a “severe engagement”, during which both pounded each other with cannon fire for about 90 minutes. The death toll was 18 British and 33 Americans.
During the American Civil War, Sambro played a pivotal role in the Chesapeake Affair. A Northern vessel was stolen by a crew Southern sympathisers who were loading the vessel with coal at Sambro for the journey to the southern states. Northern American warships arrested the vessel and eventually took it to Halifax.
- Simeon Perkins Diary. 13 July Thur. 1780
- Bandits and Privateers: Canada in the Age of Gunpowder; Beamish Murdoch A history of Nova-Scotia, or Acadie, Volume 2. p. 608
- There are varying reports on the casualties. Another source indicates that the Americans reported between 3 died (British reporting 30 American died), while British reported 8 killed and 10 wounded.