Lighthouse History – 15 (1901-07-20 to 1902-01-03)

Lighthouse History – 15 (1901-07-20 to 1902-01-03)

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.


Queen City sailed tonight for Cape Scott, Quatsino and way ports of West Coast. On her down trip she will bring a consignment of clams from Quatsino. She will also have a consignment of gold from Wreck Bay. On her last trip she saved the lives of 2 men in the rescue of a Columbia River boat which was threatened with destruction on the breakers at Wreck Bay. A new propeller is being made which is calculated to increase the speed of Steamer 
An immense run of salmon in the Straits was reported by lighthouse keeper Daykin of Carmanah Point yesterday. [Colonist, 1901-07-20]

The storm of Christmas night played havoc along the coast of Vancouver Island, upon which in years past so many wrecks have been thrown during the stormy season. This time, fortunately, no vessels, unable to withstand the force of wind and seas, were caught out in it, at least a close lookout was kept along the coast by the officers of Queen City, which arrived last night, and no signs of distressed or wrecked vessels was seen, although a large piece of the deck house of a vessel was found near Cape Scott. This portion of a house was of soft wood and had the appearance of having recently been washed ashore. Of course it is possible that it was washed from a vessel which weathered the storm: in fact, had the vessel to which it belonged been wrecked more wreckage must have come ashore. The storm was a fearful one, as those who felt it in Victoria can testify. Thousands of trees along the coast were torn up by the roots and the flimsier Indian huts were mown down like grass. At Clayoquot an Indian woman and her boy were injured in the wreck of their lodge, and the boy subsequently died of his injuries. The woman also is not expected to live. It was thick when Steamer passed the stretch of water between Carmanah and Cape Beale, so it would not have been possible for the officers to have seen a Schooner if one had been ashore there, but a step was made at Carmanah and Mr Daykin, the lighthouse-keeper, had the telegraph line open to Clo-oose, half-way between the 2 Capes, and he had heard of no wreck, or rather mentioned none. Captain Townsend is of the opinion that Schooner seen from Duke of Fife is the old Vesta, which, as stated in the Colonist, has been ashore there for a year. Queen City was lying at Cape Scott on Christmas night, when the storm sprang up. The sea had been calm and Captain Townsend says the storm broke like a shot from a gun. There was no shelter where Steamer lay, and the only thing for it was to put to sea. This the Captain did and his vessel was out in the worst blow known on the coast for years, for 5 hours, before being able to make Bull Harbour, on the East side of Cape Scott. Here a safe anchorage was found and the vessel remained there until the storm subsided. Queen City being a splendid sea boat, did not suffer much, the only damage to her being the loss of a portion of her railing. 
A close lookout was kept on the down-ward trip, but, as stated, no signs of wreckage was seen beyond the finding of the portion of deck house at Lawn Point, Cape Scott. Besides the damage to houses at Clayoquot, 3 houses at Dodge’s Cove were blown down and damaged as done in other villages. During the storm a little schooner, Eagle, with a party of prospectors aboard, was off Cape Scott, and Captain Townsend felt sure that they had been lost, but Schooner made Bull Harbour at about 5am, having been in the storm since 10pm, when it started. 
There were a large number of passengers on Queen City, principally miners and prospectors, coming down for the holidays. [Colonist, 1902-01-01]

West Coast Vancouver Island is littered with wreckage. Robert Daykin, son of the lighthouse-keeper at Carmanah Point, made a search of the contiguous coast line as far West as Clo-oose and as far East as Bonilla Point, and he found a large quantity of wreckage. He said nothing of the wreckage to the officers of Queen City, but in a letter despatch to the city Mr Daykin details the wreckage found as follows: some large butter kegs or barrels with galvanized hoops, one of these marked “200 lbs butter”; the bowsprit and jibboom of a vessel; 2 hatches, painted a reddish brown; 2 white painted cabin doors, found near Nitinat: a large number of broken oars; the lid from the seat of a patent closet, evidently from a Steamer; a raft about 35′ long, broken in 2; the ends of this raft were painted, and it was made from 4″ lumber with 2″ planks spiked to the 4″ timbers; the lower part of a rudder, not coppered, but painted with copper paint; half of a hardwood, white painted ship’s taffrail, 18″ wide, with blue painted elm stanchions. Part of the derrick of a Steamer with about 100′ of hawser attached; 2 yds, about 18″ in diameter, painted black with white yard arms; a mess-table, which to the finder looked as though it might be from the fo’csle of a Schooner; pieces of a boat, painted lead color. After Queen City left bearing the letter from the lighthousekeeper, search was to be made of the beaches eat of Bonilla Point, where it was expected further wreckage would be found. Further westward the part of a ship’s deck house was ashore near Cape Scott….. [Colonist, 1902-01-03]

Published by

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *