Lighthouse History – 22 – Lennard Island (1902-09-13 to 1909-10-12)

Lighthouse History – 22 – Lennard Island (1902-09-13 to 1909-10-12)

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.

As I was collecting this information from the newspaper archive website, I noticed that many articles were in consecutive order and applied to Lennard Island, so I collected them all together here. It is a bit long, but interesting, as it describes the building of a lighthouse from the ground up as they say. Take note of the dates at the end of each article. it surely was not done overnight. More extensive information can be obtained from the actual scanned copies of the newspapers themselves on the above website.


Five new lighthouses are to be established in British Columbia waters. Colonel W P Anderson, chief Engineer of the Department of Marine & Fisheries, who has just completed his tour of inspection of the aids to navigation and lighthouses in these waters has located the sites of several newlighthouses… The 5th light to be established by the Marine and Fisheries Department will be placed on Lennard I at the Southeast entrance of the East channel to Clayoquot Sound. The site for this light was selected by Colonel Anderson on his recent visit to Clayoquot on Dominion Government Steamer Quadra. The light will, it is expected, be of more than local use to mariners entering Clayoquot Sound, for it is thought that it will be of considerable benefit to mariners who are picking up the Island coast after completing a voyage over the great circle route from the Far East. During the visit of Colonel Anderson to Clayoquot Sound he also located several new dangers – and had several buoys placed to mark them. The cruise was not extended further up the West Coast, for what other lights it may be desirable to place on that portion of the Coast must wait….. [Colonist, 1902-09-13]


Work on Lennard I is progressing favourably, 10 men working clearing the site for a new lighthouse. [Colonist, 1903-03-27]


Notice is given in the official Gazette that Lennard I lying on the West side of Templar Channel, eastern entrance to Clayoquot Sound is reserved and set apart for use of the Dominion government for lighthouse purposes. [Colonist, 1903-05-29]


….West Coast Vancouver Island. At the present time there is in existence on over 500 miles of dangerous coast practically only 2 lighthouses and 5 buoys. 
In regard to the placing of the most urgent lights, buoys and fog horns, would recommend as follows: 
1. Fog alarms at Cape Beale lighthouse. 
2. Referring to Templar Channel, the eastern entrance to Clayoquot Sound, would say that though a site for a lighthouse was cleared on Lennard I in the early part of the year, no further progress has been made in building. 
3. Lighthouse on eastern point near Hesquoit. 
4. The light on Great Bear Rock western channel of Barkley Sound, with sectors at, or at some suitable point so as to aid the navigation of this channel and the entrance of Ucluelet harbour. 
5. Clayoquot Sound, several buoys could be placed to advantage, as there are numerous rocks and shoals. 
6. North and South danger rocks, mouth of Quatsino Sound, should be buoyed. 
7. Fog alarm or automatic buoys at entrance of San Juan Harbour. 
8. Beacon built, or large buoy on end of spit, at western side of entrance to Hesquoit Harbour. 
9. Lighthouse, Entrance I, mouth of Quatsino Sound. 
10. Lighthouse, Lookout I, western entrance to Kyuquot. [Colonist, 1903-09-30]


Council of Trade minutes: …The secretary was instructed to wait on Captain Gaudin and ascertain if it is possible to proceed with a lighthouse on Lennard I earlier than next spring. [Colonist, 1903-11-04]


Dominion Government Steamer Quadra, which will be commissioned for service on Mar 1, will be immediately sent to replace the buoys which have been carried away from their positions by the recent bad weather. In the spring she will carry the necessary building material down the coast for the construction of the new lighthouse on Lennard I, at the entrance to Clayoquot Sound, this work the Department of Fisheries having decided to undertake just as soon as the weather permits. [Colonist, 1904-02-12]


Dominion Government Steamer Quadra will be sent to the West Coast of this island as soon as she returns with building material for the newlighthouse to be built on Lennard I. This station is to be one of the finest on the coast, and it will have a light that will be seen for probably 20 miles at sea. [Colonist, 1904-04-17]


Dominion Government Steamer Quadra has gone up the West Coast to Lennard I where the new lighthouse is to be built. Quadra took along a lot of materials. [Colonist, 1904-04-28]


Advices from the West Coast are to the effect that the bad weather prevailing is interfering with the work of the crew of Quadra in preparing for the erection of the fine new lighthouse on Lennard I. Strong westerly winds have made the sea very rough. [Colonist, 1904-05-05]


The illuminating apparatus for the new lighthouse on Lennard I is expected from England any day. The light is what is called a 1st-order one, and will class among the best on the Coast. An expert will be sent West to install the machinery. When the light is in service it will be seen for a distance of about 20 miles. It will have a very high elevation, and the prominent position in which it will be located will make it most serviceable to navigators. [Colonist, 1904-08-18]


Mr W H Noble, assistant commissioner of light in the Department of Marine & Fisheries, Ottawa, arrived in the city last evening from the capital. He is on his way to Clayoquot Sound, where he will install the light in the new lighthouse now being constructed on Lennard I
The new light will be, it is said, the most powerful now in operation in America. There was one bigger, the electric searchlight formerly in operation on Bedloes I, New York Harbour. The Lennard I light will throw a beam of light having a candle power of 750,000 and under favorable conditions the light should be visible for a distance of 25 miles. 
Mr Noble says that extensive improvements are being planned for lighthouse and fog signals and stations along the coast. [Colonist, 1904-09-22]


The following notes of interest to British Columbia mariners has just been issued by the Department of Marine & Fisheries: 
A lighthouse, established by the government of Canada on Lennard I, at the entrance to Templar Channel, the southernmost approach to Clayoquot, on the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island, will be put in operation on Nov 1, 1904. The lighthouse stands on the summit of the Southwest point of the island, where the rock rises about 35′ above high water mark. It is a wooden building, octagonal in plan, with sloping sides, painted white, surmounted by a metal lantern, circular in plan, painted red. It is 80′ high from its base to the vane on the lantern. A white wooden lightkeeper’s dwelling and outbuildings have also been erected on the island. 
The light is a flashing white light, giving a flash every 11 1/4 seconds. It is elevated 115′ above high water mark, and should be visible 19 miles from all points of approach, except where obscured by trees on Lennard I. The illuminating apparatus is dioptric, of the first order, and the illuminant petroleum vapour, burned under an incandescent mantle. [Colonist, 1904-11-20]


Queen City, Captain Townsend, sailed last night for Ahousaht and way ports on the Vancouver Island coast. Included in the cargo of the Steamer was cement and other supplies for the construction of the fog alarm in connection with the lighthouse on Lennard I, at the entrance to Clayoquot Sound. [Colonist, 1905-07-15]


Dominion Government Steamer Quadra returned yesterday from Lennard I, at the mouth of Clayoquot Sound, where she went with material for the new fog alarm apparatus to be installed in connection with the lighthouse on Lennard I... [Colonist, 1905-08-04]


…Quadra was delayed by rough weather. She will leave today for the West Coast Vancouver Island with Colonel Anderson, chief Engineer of the Department of Marine & Fisheries, and Captain James Gaudin, local agent, on board. They are going to the West Coast to locate a site for a newlighthouse and to inspect Lennard I light, where a new diaphone was recently added… 
[This voyage was interrupted when Quadra went on the rocks at Race Rocks. It had to be brought back to Victoria and went on the ways for repairs.] [Colonist, 1905-10-05]


Colonel Anderson, chief Engineer, and Captain J Gaudin, local agent, of theDepartment of Marine & Fisheries, on arrival from the West Coast yesterday announced that 3 points had been selected for the construction of lighthouses on the Vancouver Island coast at some future date, Estevan Point, at the entrance to Nootka Sound; at Entrance I, at the mouth of Quatsino, and at the entrance to Kyuquot Sound. The bar at Hesquoit will be buoyed. When the lights will be constructed is not known, it will not be for some time to come. J L Fraser, commissioner of lights, is to make a visit to the coast in the near future to substitute more powerful lights at some of the stations. The fog alarm building at Lennard I light, at the entrance to Clayoquot Sound, is now ready for the machinery. [Colonist, 1905-10-19]


Notice is given by the Department of Marine & Fisheries that a fog alarm building has been constructed to Lennard I, Templar channel, Clayoquot Sound, and the alarm will be placed in operation as soon as practicable. It may, however, be impossible to land fuel at the station before next spring. The building is of wood, painted white, with a red roof, and is situated about 300′ to the southeastward of the lighthouse. 
The fog alarm will consist of a diaphone, operated by compressed air. It will give, during thick or foggy weather, one blast of 5 seconds duration every 30 seconds… [Colonist, 1906-01-20]


Queen City, Captain Townsend, returned yesterday afternoon from Ahousaht and way ports of the West Coast Vancouver Island, bringing further news from the sealers. Schooner Vera, one of the fleet of 6 vessels which carry full complements of white hunters, was in Bamfield Creek on Mar 31, with 132 sealskins, taken on the cruise northward, following the herds. When off the Straits, near the end of Mar, the Schooner encountered heavy weather, in which she lay hove to for a day and 2 nights. The weather in Feb was fairly good, but in Mar the sealers encountered gale after gale, although Schooner sustained little damage. She carried away her jibboom stays and jib… Schooner Diana was spoken on Mar 5 and reported that one of the boats had been smashed 2 or 3 days before… 
Queen City brought 140 sealskins from Schooner Vera. Carlotta G Cox had arrived at Clayoquot with 250 skins and Schooner Dora Sieward, the last of the fleet carrying Indian hunters to start, was ready to start from Clayoquot on her cruise. She had secured 10 canoes. One of the hunters of Carlotta G Cox had a good record, that of taking 31 skins in a day. 
Steamer brought 90 barrels of sperm oil which was secured from the sperm whale taken by whaler Orion, which was still successful, having a number of whales to her credit this month. There was also a shipment of ivory taken from the head of the sperm whale. 
Captain James Gaudin, agent of Marine and Fisheries, was among the passengers who arrived by the Steamer, he having embarked at Clayoquot, from Dominion Government Steamer Quadra, which was preparing to land stores for the lighthouse and fog alarm, at Lennard I. Captain Gaudin proceeded to Swale Rock, near Sechart, with the material for the erection of the tower and 31 day Whigham light for that point in the vicinity of the whaling station. Quadra also delivered stores at Cape Beale, where the child of Mr/Mrs Patterson, lightkeepers, who was injured by falling from thelighthouse tramway was recovering rapidly. [Colonist, 1906-04-06]


Tees, Captain Townsend, returned from Clayoquot and way ports, and Steamer Maude, onetime passenger Steamer on the island coast, now chartered to the Marine Department to carry building material and lighthouse supplies to the new lighthouses under construction, from Estevan Point and Lennard I. Tees brought 400 barrels of whale oil and 50T of fertilizer. A shipment of 500 cases of salmon from the Clayoquot cannery was also included. 
Fog has been hampering the whaler Orion of late, and only 3 or 4 whales were taken last week, while Saint Lawrence of Narrow Cut Creek stn at Kyuquot, has been absent from the hunting grounds having been beached at Ucluelet to have a new propellor shipped, which was successfully accomplished and the vessel taken back to Kyuquot to resume work. 
When Saint Lawrence broke her propellor, she had killed a sulphur-bottom 90′ in length and this was being made fast alongside to be towed to the stn, when the head swung in and snapped one of the blades f the prop as well as breaking the tip of another. 
While Orion was hunting during thick weather, a whale was killed, but the Steamer failed to recover it when she went to take it in tow. The whale was killed in the morning and after being inflated in the usual way, was left while the vessel went after another one. The 2nd one was killed and with this in tow Orion went to pick up that killed during the morning, but failed to find it. 
Among passengers of Tees were S Reid of Clayoquot, Captain Anderson of Sechart, C G McLean of Ucluelet, Mrs Worster and Mrs Williams of Port San Juan, Herbert Cuthbert of the Victoria Tourist Assn, who has been visiting Alberni, Dr Wilson of Victoria, returning from Alberni, J Dwyer of Port Renfrew and William Cox and F H Jones from Alberni. 
Steamer Maude which returned from Estevan Point, reported that the weather off the coast has enabled the vessel to lie in the open anchored off the coast near Estevan and Lennard I for 2 weeks. The 60,000′ of lumber, taken for the buildings being erected for the wireless telegraph and fog alarm stn at Estevan Point was rafted ashore satisfactorily, and work is progressing on the Station The tramway is complete from the landing place to thelighthouse stn, a distance of about 4 miles, and horses are engaged hauling the material to the new buildings. Sixty tons of coal was taken for the lighthouse at Lennard I, and this was boated ashore. Maude will lad another cargo of material for the West Coast light stn [Colonist, 1907-09-21]


The finding of a skeleton in a cave scantily covered by some boards, by the lighthouse builders at work at Triangle I, the body of a white man with only the boots left on the bony feet, the clothing having rotted away, is reported by Steamer Leebro, Captain Hunter, which returned yesterday after a rough voyage, nearly 1 week overdue. News was also brought of the finding of a lifebuoy marked ‘Maxwell’ at Lennard I by lightkeeper Pollock. 
…lighthousekeeper Pollock reported that a lifebuoy had drifted ashore near the lighthouse a short time before Leebro called. No other wreckage had been noticed. The lifebuoy was of the usual type and size, but part was broken away, the name of the port of registry being consequently obscured. 
Leebro is now blown down. Her next trip will be to carry stores and supplies to all the West Coast light stations and she will again visit Triangle I. [Colonist, 1909-10-12, p. 14]





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 *