Lighthouse History – 18 (1902-02-07 to 1902-03-09)

Lighthouse History – 18 (1902-02-07 to 1902-03-09)

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 from Ahousett and way ports on the West Coast last night, brought news of further wreckage off the island coast, which may have a connection with the fate of the missing Condor. When bound in, Queen City passed a … sail boom floating about 4 miles out from shore, and about 6 miles South of Clo-oose. The boom was about 40′ long or thereabouts, and was either yellow painted or scraped bright. As there are few sailing ships afloat these days which carry studding-sail booms other than warships, it may be that this wreckage is from Condor. Whether this is so cannot be determined, nor could it be learned last night whether Condor carried any booms such as that seen from Queen City. Steamer passed some distance from the boom, but it could be plainly seen, and it was noticed that the heel ropes were gone, evidently broken away. 
Queen City brought news that the boat belonging to the missing Condor, which had come ashore at Ahousett on Jan 6, and was in the possession of the Indians of that reservation, was taken from there by United States revenue cutter Grant, which called at Ahousett for the boat. The British survey Steamer Egeria did not call at Ahousett, nor was she reported at any other point along the coast. It is thought that she is making a sea search for the missing warship, leaving the search for wreckage along the coast to the revenue cutter Grant, which is expected to return at any time from her cruise. Grant was reported at several points along the coast, at which she had called prior to the arrival of Queen City. 
At Clayoquot no further news was received of the salmon or life-preserver which came ashore, and the marks on which showed that it had come from the salmon ship Red Rock, which sailed from Victoria with over 80,000 cases of salmon on Nov 29. 
The sealing Schooners on the coast between San Juan and Ahousett are all getting crews, and although none had sailed prior to the departure of Queen City, it was reported that all would sail shortly on their coast cruise with good complements of hunters. 
Queen City brought a number of passengers, including Colonel Hayes of the Nahmint mines, George Hall, traveller for J Piercy & Co, and other well known travellers. Steamer will sail again for the coast on Mon. 
Her mail was not sorted last night, and it could not be learned if there were any reports of wreckage from the lighthouse keepers at Carmanah or Cape Beale to the Department of Marine. [Colonist, 1902-02-07]

A despatch from lighthouse-keeper W P Daykin, of Carmanah Point, the first since the wire went down during the heavy gale of Christmas night, announces the finding of several cases of salmon, which bore no marks of identification. The finding of these cases of salmon will no doubt add to the uneasiness caused for the salmon-laden ship Red Rock, a life buoy and some cases of salmon from which were found at Clayoquot as reported in these columns some time ago. …The despatch received from Mr Daykin reports that his sons made a search along the beach to see if any fresh wreckage had been washed ashore, but nothing was found other than the few cases of salmon. The wire to Carmanah has now been repaired. During the storm of Christmas night a large number of trees fell across the wire and much work was necessary to restore communication. The linesmen are now at work on the line to Cape Beale, and communication is expected to be restored shortly with that point. Both Carmanah and Cape Beale – as well as Otter Point, the wire to which has been working for some time past – are important signalling stations, where incoming steamers and ships are first reported when bound in from sea. [Colonist, 1902-02-15]

Queen City returned from the West Coast yesterday. She was delayed at Alberni, having been neaped by the tide in the Alberni canal when at the old town, and detained 80 hours in consequence. Queen City draws 13′ of water, and as there was but 11′ on the bar, she was fast, and it was not until Sat’s storm brought more water to the canal that she continued her voyage. Steamer brought little news of wreckage, the only report received being at Carmanah, where it was learned that a Schooner’s companionway, painted white, had come ashore. This wreckage is probably from the derelict which broke up recently near the lighthouse at Cape Beale, the identity of which was never learned [I think this is the Amethyst – see R Bruce Scott’s note at end of story about Laura Pike]. It was not until Mon, when a westerly wind prevailed, that sealing Schooners Diana and Ocean Belle at Clayoquot, and Ainoka and other vessels at Ahousett left for sea. 
Steamer brought a light freight from the coast, amongst which was the usual consignment of about 2 score of empty beer kegs from Alberni. According to the story, which comes from that mining camp by Steamer, there was a beer famine when Queen City reached there, and her arrival was eagerly awaited. As she was putting out her lines, a voice was heard from the wharf asking that a keg be thrown ashore, as the need was urgent, and hardly had the plank been out than a man hurried on board, threw a keg up on his shoulders, and trotted away – the famine was relieved. 

Steamer had a small contingent of passengers. Mrs G H Hayes came from the Nahmint mines at Hayes landing; F S Spain, of the provincial police came from Clayoquot; C Pyle, foreman of the Nahmint mines, came from Alberni; W Price, manager of the Pacific Steel Co’s mines in Barkely Sound, arrived from Copper I; F Holden, O Lorne, H Wannock, W Alliott and H McDonald, were passengers from Alberni, and Rev Swartout came from Ucluelet en route to the meeting of the Presbytery at Nanaimo. 
Steamer will sail again for the West Coast, going on her long trip to cape Scott, tomorrow night. On her return, about 9 or 10 days later, she will probably bring news of any wreckage that may have come ashore on the coast. On her trip just concluded, enquiries were made at Clayoquot and Ucluelet for the wreckage found on Long Beach by the officers of Egeria, but the settlers had nothing to report other than had been told them by the officers of the warship. The settlers reported that Egeria had taken the life-buoy, marked Red Rock, found there. [Colonist, 1902-02-18]

More wreckage has been found on the Island coast. Despatches from Carmanah tell of the finding of cabin fittings, evidently from a Steamer, white painted wood, and other wreckage having been found on the shores near the lighthouse at the entrance to the Straits as a result of a search made by the sons of the lighthouse-keeper. This part of the coast is more travelled than the stretch on which the incoming tides leave wreckage drifted towards the coast by the prevailing currents, which, as was shown by the drift of Laura Pike derelict, sets right on the shore of the Island. If the other portion of the coast were more travelled wreckage would undoubtedly also be found there… Laura Pike derelict is reported to have gone ashore and Indians are taking the lumber out of the wreck. This will be welcome news to shipping men, for as long as the derelict drifted along the coast at the mercy of the tides, she was a great menace to shipping. [Colonist, 1902-03-09]

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

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