Lighthouse History – 23 (1905-04-01 to 1905-12-13)

Lighthouse History – 23 (1905-04-01 to 1905-12-13)

 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.


Some of the lighthouses have no foghorns and when the mariners are creeping through befogged channels they know this. But the lightkeepers do their best. 
There is one lightkeeper in a certain pass, not 100 miles from the city, who makes a fog horn of coal-oil tins. He beats these as the Steamer nears the pass he guards as a Chinese villager clangs a gong when brigands are descending on the village. 
When the Steamer has successfully voyaged through the channel, creeping in the fog, the lightkeeper starts a gramophone which plays: 
‘Keep a-moving’; keep a-movin’; 
Keep a-moving’ right along, 
Cross de ribber o’ Jordan – keep a-movin’ right along.” 
And there is another lightkeeper who cleans the lenses of a light nearer home. He has no foghorn but that which he occasionally moistens when his tri-monthly visit to the city is paid. Then he lubricates it with Scotch whiskey, not oil. 
A steam tug was in the kelp off his light, whistling so that the master could judge where he was by echoes. And the fog was very thick. 
Then a voice came from the curtain of smother. It was the human foghorn, “Come on, yer all right. Come on – come on.” 
The tug crawled on, and the lightkeeper shouted: “Come on – come on” – and the tug kept “coming on.” 
Then the voice rose: “Keep off – keep off. You blankety-blank-blank blitherer. Do yer want to knock me house down?” 
And the tug kept off. [Colonist, 1905-04-01]


Queen City, Captain Townsend, returned from Cape Scott and way ports on the West Coast Vancouver Island yesterday, after a rough passage, a heavy storm having been encountered West of Ahousaht. The heavy weather delayed the Steamer, which was expected on Fri. When at Carmanah the officers of the Steamer were informed by Mr Daykin, who came off from the lighthouse in a small boat, that the raft found on the coast near Carmanah had evidently come from a sailing vessel. It was made up of 3 ship’s spars, and a water-beaker was fastened to one of the spars. Further wreckage was found, as already described. No wreckage was found at Clo-oose, where a search was made after the raft was picked up, and no wreckage was reported on the coast at any port further to the westward. 
[Wreckage of a raft was found at Carmanah as mentioned. It had shown signs that people had been on it, but it was believed that they had been swept off during a storm. A report was given that a raft with 3 men and a woman had been sighted off the Oregon coast earlier]. 
Queen City brought about 40 passengers, including Mr/Mrs F W Vincent, who made the round trip on the Steamer, T W Banbury, an English visitor who has been elk hunting on the island coast with good success, having secured 3 fine specimens. Mr Price and son, mining experts, who have been looking after the work on some iron properties on the West arm of Quatsino Sound, where Messrs Piggott and Moore acquired options some time ago, and W Grant, Maine, who has been at the June group on Quatsino Sound. Mr Grand reports that some good ore has been uncovered on the June group, and prospects are excellent. 2,000 cases of salmon were brought from the Alberni Packing Co,’s cannery. Steamer Tasmania, belonging to Mr Huff, has been again placed in service on Alberni Canal. [Colonist, 1905-10-01]


Queen City, Captain Townsend, returned from Ahousaht and way ports on the Island coast yesterday, after a rough passage. She brought 18 passengers including H E Newton of the San Juan mines; A E Waterhouse of Alberni; H J Pake, son of the manager of the lumber industry at Clayoquot, and several others. Steamer brought no further news regarding the finding of wreckage at Carmanah, no call having been made at the coast lighthouse on account of the high seas preventing a boat landing. [Colonist, 1905-12-06]


 Two miles West of Carmanah Point lighthouse, at the entrance to the Straits of San Juan, more wreckage has been washed ashore, including part of the starboard bow of a small Schooner of about 50 to 60T, with the letter “F” cut into the bow, evidently the first letter of a name. Four miles West the remnant of a sealing boat was found and some white painted cabin fittings, white taffrail, stanchions, empty cases, barrels and lumber were scattered about the beach. At Clo-oose a coil of rope came ashore. Some days ago wreckage of white-painted cabin fittings and a hatch marked 5792 came ashore. On some of the cabin fittings was the lettering “to accommodate 10 seamen only.” 
In some quarters the opinion is advanced that the wreckage found comes from the missing sealing Schooner Fawn, which has long since been given up as lost. She was last heard of when she left English Bay after completing her Behring Sea cruise on Oct 4 with 502 sealskins on board. These sealskins were insured by the sealing company… [Colonist, 1905-12-13]




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

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