The Old Portage Island lighthouse was built in 1869 on Portage Island, at the entrance of the Miramichi River, exactly 6 km (4 mi.) from the coast of Burnt Church.
The New Brunswick Aquarium and Marine Centre acquired it in 1986 for relocation on its premises. It was disassembled piece by piece, transported by boat to Burnt Church, and then on to Shippagan. After construction, this lighthouse was equipped with a kerosene lamp until the 1950s, after which a battery-powered electric lamp was installed.
Twelve-and-a-half meters (43 ft.) in height, it stands four floors high, three floors of which are wood, with a cast-iron cupola. This lighthouse had a keeper until 1960, but after the arrival of modern equipment, it was no longer necessary. According to historic documents, the keepers of the light house were George Davidson (1869 – 1875), Hugh Murray (1875 – 1881), Duncan Robertson (1881), James Stymest (1881 – 1892), Peter Morrison, Jr. (1892 – 1924), J.W. Gratton (1925 – at least 1930), Thomas LeBreton (1930s) and Venance Savoy ( - 1960) who was the last to guard the structure. Although no longer used for navigation purposes, it is preserved as it stood on Portage Island. Experienced in restoration work, Mr. Donald Boudreau, of the Village Historique Acadien, led the relocation project for the lighthouse. This lighthouse is not open for access to the interior, but can be viewed from outside.