Lighthouse History – 12 (1901-01-18 to 1901-01-25)

Lighthouse History – 12 (1901-01-18 to 1901-01-25)

 The following extracts taken from early Victoria, British Columbia (BC) newspapers are credited to Leona Taylor for her excellent work in indexing the papers. Full information can be found here: “Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers“, 2007-09.


The wreckage found on West Coast, of which news was given in the Colonist yesterday, was the theme of much speculation along the waterfront yesterday, but no one could offer any information regarding the identity of the vessel which has been lost, if, as appearances seem to indicate, such has been the case. The uncertainty regarding the letters on the nameboard found in the vicinity of Carmanah balks all attempts to take the shroud from the mystery . Lighthouse-keeper W Daykin, in charge of Carmanah lighthouse, in a letter sent down by Queen City, says that this black-painted nameboard, which is a 6×8 timber, about 8′ long, has white painted letters on it, which one man reports as “Rei-ner” – the centre letter being missing and another reports “Rin-ter”. The boats, which were described yesterday, were unmarked. The one found to the westward of Carmanah was the bow boat, and about 12′ long, while that found on Bonilla Point, which was badly broken, was about as large, and nearby was a smaller boat, which was black painted outside and red inside. There were several broken oars found near the boats, and some cases, etc, all of which went to show that the unfortunate seamen who had been in the derelict boats had provisioned them, before leaving the wrecked craft, and had never reached the shore, being, presumably, drowned by the swamping of their boats in the great swell which sweeps a wall of water on to the coast in that vicinity. Four miles to the eastward of the lighthouse, together with the quantity of lumber swept ashore, part of the boom of a Schooner, about 15′ long, went ashore. Everything points to the fact that the lost vessel is a lumber Schooner, and was loaded when she met disaster, for the coast is littered for 21 miles – for 5 miles to the eastward and 16 miles to the westward of Carmanah – with what the ocean has given up of her cargo of timber. There are rough and dressed lumber, scantlings and other timbers, piled up on the beaches in places to a height of several feet. The lumber is all badly shattered by the force of the waves. The siwashes are hard at work saving what they can of it. 
What the lost vessel is, where she is from, how many have lost their lives, are questions that as yet cannot be answered, for the sea has as yet not given up any sufficient mark to identify its victim. That her boats were painted black outside points to the fact that she was a lumber carrying, coasting Schooner, for the black-painted boats of the description found, are found more especially on such vessels. The fact that she had as many as 3 boats, if, indeed, these boats are all of the lost craft, shows that she must have been a vessel of some 500 or 600T at least. That the wreckage was new, points to the fact that she must have met disaster recently, presumably during the terrible storms which have raged of late. But there is where the evidence stops. The letters do not answer the name of any vessel shown in the shipping lists to have been loading lately. 
They have a slight resemblance to the letters in the name of the German ship Paul Rickmers, which sailed from the Hastings mill on Dec 12, at the time of the big mid-Dec gales with a full cargo of lumber, the “Rei” being, it is thought by some, perhaps the “Ric” too badly damaged for correct reading, and the ‘k’ being missing and part of the ‘m’, the ‘ner’ might possibly be the last syllable of the name of the German ship. This, however, is unlikely, for a metal vessel such as was Rickmers would hardly have a nameboard of the kind found near Carmanah. 
The letters of the board correspond with the name of Steamer Rainer, but as this vessel reached San Francisco with her lumber cargo on Wed, that vessel is not to be considered. The lists give no other vessel likely to be in that vicinity, that can be identified from the letters of the board, which may or may not be the whole name, with the exception of the centre letter, it being possible that there may be other letters at either end or reading before or after the letters given. 
The presence of the lumber precludes the fact of the lost vessel having been one of the many overdues, of which Rathdown, Andrada, Castle Rock which was bound here, have been all but given up, and little hope is held for Otto Gildermeister, Bertha and Cape Wrath. A San Francisco despatch sent by the Associated Press yesterday, says that shipping men there are of the opinion that Andrada was the vessel sighted some days ago bottom up off the Cape, and they believe that she has gone ashore somewhere on Vancouver Island. This belief will be investigated on the next trip of Queen City, on which she leaves on Sun, for Cape Scott, and a look-out will be kept for wreckage. 
News of the finding of part of another nameboard was given yesterday. Captain Cossman, who came here on Ardnamurchan some time ago, while walking with friends yesterday morning at Cadboro Bay, says he found part of a name-board there, on which were the letters ALF, presumably the beginning of the name of some small vessel, for the A was larger than the other 2 letters and seemed to be the commencing letter. [Colonist, 1901-01-18]


More discoveries of wreckage have also been made on West Coast. A despatch from Lighthouse Keeper Daykin at Carmanah yesterday morning said: 
“Boys found a boat’s rudder 4 miles East of here, with 4 letters M-A-C-E, and 3 crosses under the letters. They were not painted, but cut into the wood. The rudder had been painted brown at the top part. There is part of a vessel’s hull ashore a mile East of here, which seems to have belonged to a small vessel. It is pretty new and copper-fastened:.. [Colonist, 1901-01-25]

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Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

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