Lighthouse History – 16 (1902-01-14)

Lighthouse History – 16 (1902-01-14)

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, which returned to port from Ahousett and way ports on West Coast Vancouver Island yesterday, brought more news of wreckage. At 2 ports at which she called on her down trips news was given to her officer, meagre, but alarming, of a vessel seen off the coast floating bottom upward. This latest victim of the heavy gales was unidentified, and all that could be learned was that she was a good-sized sailing vessel, which was described by the Indians as a Schooner, thought to be a 3-master. It was at Clo-oose that the 1st news of the derelict was received. Rev Mr Stone reported that Indians had come in after sighting the derelict floating bottom upward a short distance off the coast. No particulars were learned by him which might render her identification possible. 
When Steamer reached Port Renfrew yesterday the Indians there reported having sighted the derelict floating in the vicinity of Carmanah Point. They went out to her, but were unable to give any particulars further than that she was a large vessel, which they believed to be a lumber schooner. What vessel it is must remain a mystery for the present, for those who arrived by Queen City could give no clue to her identity. W P Daykin,lighthousekeeper at Carmanah also received a report of the wreck from Indians, and he will probably write to the city regarding the find, and also regarding the wreckage which his son is said to have found to the eastward of Carmanah Point. As will be remembered considerable wreckage, presumably from the lost collier Matteawan, was found between Carmanah and Nitinat before Queen City returned from her last trip. 
It is not unlikely that the derelict sighted by the West Coast Indians may be that of Schooner Reliance. This vessel sailed from San Francisco 51 days ago for Coquille River, and was not reported since. Reliance was 61T register, was copper-painted, with no keel, and had a centre-board. A small Schooner answering this description was seen bottom-side up off the Columbia River last Fri by Captain Bailey, of the tug Tatoosh, who made a line fast, but it parted, and no further attempt was made at the time to secure the derelict. All the spars of Schooner were under water except one, supposed to be the mainmast, which was broken off and held by the rigging. It may be that the derelict seen by Captain Bailey and that sighted by the West Coast Indians are one and the same. 
News was brought by Queen City of the narrow escape of brigantine Blakeley which left here on Mon at noon from going ashore at San Juan on Wed morning. The brigantine, which is taking an expedition to Cocos I [treasure hunting – see Captain Voss’ Narrative] as told in these columns, put back from the entrance to the straits to shelter in San Juan and while anchored there her anchor dragged and she brought up when but a short distance from the rocks. It is said that she had a very narrow escape. She has since continued her voyage. 
Queen City had few saloon passengers and a large number of Indians from Clo-oose where they have been attending a potlatch, bound home to Neah Bay. [Colonist, 1902-01-10]

Since the heavy gales of Dec and the finding of wreckage has come from time to time been brought to the city, but heretofore nothing has been learned of the identity of the vessels that were victims of the winter gales. It was known that some of the wreckage was from the lost collier Matteawan, and the abandoned bark Highland Light in all probability contributed to the wreckage found on the more western part of the coast, and now comes news from Alberni, to which point it was brought by Queen City, of the finding of wreckage from the upturned craft, already reported, with the letters ‘L Paint’. Another despatch says the name of the upturned vessel was Minnie L Paint. Much wreckage has been found by W P Daykin, thelighthousekeeper at Carmanah Point, and amongst this wreckage which has drifted in to the beaches contiguous to Carmanah is some which bears the letters L Paint. Included too, is a piece of the hatch coaming of a Schooner, painted red, with the tonnage marked on it, showing the lost vessel, which turned turtle during the storm to be of 75T. Nothing is known anywhere along the coast of the crew of the upturned vessel, which, was seen by Queen City on her present trip, floating between Carmanah Point and Port Renfrew at the entrance to the Straits. Wreckage has also been found at the other side of the Straits. Indians arriving at Neah Bay from LaPush, 40 miles below, report having found wreckage consisting of 2 doors, 3 oars, one bucket, one life preserver, and a medicine chest containing bottles and plasters. 
Records of shipping, both British and United States and the list of vessels owned on the Pacific coast, include no Schooner or other small craft with the name “L Paint” or any very similar name other than that of the sealing Schooner Annie E Paint, which is at her wharf in the Upper Harbour preparing for her sealing cruise, and therefore safe. It is fortunate that she is in port, for the sealing Schooner has a tonnage of about 75T and with the similarity of tonnage and name, the impression doubtless would have been formed by many that the well known sealing Schooner had been a victim of the storm and with the fate of the vessel’s crew in doubt, there would have been much anxiety among their relations. The correspondents of the Colonist at Port Townsend and Seattle are unable to learn of the name of any Schooner with “L Paint” being on the shipping records. [Colonist, 1902-01-14]

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

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