Lighthouse History – 26 – Pachena Point (1906-10-05 to 1908-05-24)

Lighthouse History – 26 – Pachena Point (1906-10-05 to 1908-05-24)

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 Pachena Point, 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.


Dominion Government Steamer Quadra, Captain Hackett, arrived at the government wharf last night, and will today commence loading for Pachena Point, to which the vessel will carry material to be used in the construction of the lighthouse to be built there. It is hoped, by Dec. It is anticipated that 2 days will be occupied in loading the Steamer, and she will leave without delay to endeavor to land the material before the heavy swells make landing too difficult of accomplishment. [Colonist, 1906-10-05]


Tees, Captain Townsend, reached port yesterday from Clayoquot and way ports of the West Coast, after a rough passage, bringing a small number of passengers, among them being Messrs Ewan of Seattle and Arnold of New York, who are interested in the large sawmill of the Sutton Trading & Lumber Co at Mosquito Harbour, Clayoquot Sound; E S Busby of the Dominion customs service, who has been inspecting the stations at Alberni and San Juan. Fourteen loggers also arrived from Clayoquot. Steamer brought a large shipment of whale oil and fertilizer, which was landed at the outer wharf for shipment to Glasgow by the next outward bound Blue Funnel liner. 
The trip was rough throughout, and yesterday morning the Steamer was obliged to put into Bamfield Creek for shelter because of a heavy Southeast gale, encountered after rounding Cape Beale. Dominion Government Steamer Quadra is still at Bamfield Creek, awaiting opportunity to land the balance of the cargo of building material for the construction of a lighthouse tower and fog alarm building at Pachena Point. More than half of the cargo has been boated ashore, but latterly there have been few days when work could be continued. 
A call was made at Clo-oose for the casket containing the remains of Captain L W Rose of the wrecked barkentine Skagit, but the weather was too heavy to allow of the boats landing. Another effort will be made on the next trip. Included amongst the freight to be taken to coast ports tonight will be supplies and a large shipment of barrels for the whaling station at Sechart, and stores for Quadra. [Colonist, 1906-11-21]


After a rough trip to Clayoquot and ports of the West Coast Vancouver Island, Queen City, Captain Townsend, returned last night with further news of the storms ravages. Bark Coloma, from which the crew of 10 men was rescued by Dominion Government Steamer Quadra, had been driven ashore on the weather side of Vargas I at 9am Sun. The vessel, waterlogged and with the bow broken away and masts gone, was fast breaking up on the rocks of the Island at the entrance to Clayoquot Sound. 
Yesterday morning Schooner Eldorado, 27 days from Redondo in ballast for Everett, was close to the rocks of the Island coast near Pachena Point. When Queen City was on her way to Victoria Eldorado was seen within 1 � miles from the rocks where the lighthouse is being built. Queen City ran down to offer assistance, Captain Townsend asked the master if he wished to be towed to Barkley Sound. He replied he wanted to be towed to Cape Flattery. The wind changed about this time, though, and, while Queen City stood by to render assistance if need arose, the vessel wore off and stood out to sea. 
The 31-day Whigham automatic light established on Swale Rock by the Department of Marine & Fisheries had been washed or blown away during the recent storm. Not a trace of it was left. The light at Amphitrite Point, a similar aid, was disabled, the burner being sent to Victoria for repairs. The keeper is hanging a lamp nightly pending repairs. The coast telegraph line suffered severely; the line is broken in a large number of places. In one stretch there were no less than 22 breaks within a mile. 
Among the passengers by the Steamer were W J Sutton, of the Sutton Trading & Lumber Co, George Hunt and H Woods from Alberni; Mr Mousey, from Bamfield Creek, and S Smith, D Gillis, A C Matherson and H Perdue, loggers. 
No whales had been taken at the Sechart whaling station since the Steamer’s last trip; bad weather interfering with hunting. Queen City will sail again for West Coast ports on Fri night. [Colonist, 1906-12-12]


Dominion Government Steamer Quadra, which returned on New Year’s eve from Lund, where a 31 day light was established, and from the Sandheads, is making repairs to a leaking boiler, and will leave about the end of the week for the West Coast Vancouver Island. Orders have been received from Ottawa by Captain Gaudin, local Agent of Marine, for the despatch of the vessel to patrol the West Coast during the winter months, for the protection of life and property in the event of shipwreck. Meanwhile Steamer Cascade, chartered to carry on the lighthouse tendering work while Quadra was delayed in landing material for the light at Pachena, is unable to fulfil the requirements. It is probable that application will be made to the government for the use of the fishery protection cruiser Kestrel in the necessary lighthouse work. [Colonist, 1907-01-03]


The 9 miles of wire for which West Coast people have been agitating for a year between Toquart and Sechart whaling stn, connecting with the main coast telegraph and telephone lines, has been completed, and communication has just been opened by telephone between Sechart and Toquart from where connection is given with the main telegraph line at Ucluelet. 
Telephone Stations have also been placed at Seven-Mile Creek and Tsuhiat, points located between Clo-oose and Pachena Point, where the newlighthouse is nearing completion. Messrs Pillar and Rossander, 2 West Coast residents, have been appointed as linemen for these Stations by the Marine Dept. Their duties will be similar to that of Mr Logan at Clo-oose, to patrol and maintain their section of wire. [Colonist, 1907-01-22]


CGS Quadra when she leaves this morning for the West Coast with supplies for lighthouses, new automatic lights, and further material for the construction of a light at Pachena Point, will also carry a medal for presentation to Mrs Minnie Paterson of Cape Beale. The medal, a large gold souvenir suitably Engineeraved, is from Puget Sound Harbour, No 16, of the American Assn of Masters, Mates and Pilots… Beneath the figure of the running woman are 10 stars, to represent the number of lives saved by the West Coast heroine. 
Quadra will also carry 2 new 31-day automatic Whigham lights. One is to be placed on Swale Rock, near the entrance to the whaling station at Sechart, and the other on Plubber Point, near Mosquito Harbour, scene of the big sawmill in Clayoquot Sound. The Swale Rock light is to replace one washed away during the gale of last Dec. A quantity of ironwork for use at the Pachena Point light, and supplies and stores for the different coast lighthouses will also be taken by Quadra. [Colonist, 1907-02-15]


Steamer Maude will leave today for Estevan Point on the Vancouver Island coast with lumber for the tramway of the new lighthouse to be established near the Hole-in-the-Wall. Thomas N Tubman, who will have charge of the work, with a force of about 10 workmen, will go on Maude to commence the work. Steamer will anchor behind the rocks lying off shore about 5 miles to the westward of Estevan Point, where a landing will be established and from here the trolley and tramway extending about 4 miles will be built. A wooden roadway will be built, the expense of putting down steel rails being too great. It is estimated that $7,000 would be required for the necessary rails. Horses will be used to draw a car carrying material for the construction of the fog alarm, keeper’s house and wireless telegraph station, which will be established this year. Construction of the light tower will not be commenced until next year. 
Quadra, which has just left the ways at Esquimalt after being overhauled will also leave today for Estevan Point, taking Captain Gaudin, Agent of Marine, and Cecil Doutre, commissioner of wireless telegraphs for the Dominion government, who go to look over the site. A call will also be made at Pachena Point lighthouse, where a wireless telegraph station is also to be established. The work of erecting the mast at Estevan Point and the building of the house for the operators will be carried out as soon as possible following the decision of the commissioner with regard to the plans to be followed. 
The sea breaks in full force against the Hole-in-the-Wall at the extremity of Estevan Point, and the only place available for small vessels to lie is in a little bay about 4 miles to the Northwest. There is good shelter there, and it is from this place that the tramway is to be built. [Colonist, 1907-07-20]


Yesterday following Maude which left with a cargo of lumber to build the 4 miles of tramway necessary before material for the new lighthouse, fog alarm and wireless telegraph station at Estevan Point can be loaded, Dominion Government Steamer Quadra left at noon for Pachena Point, Estevan Point, Cape Scott and other points carrying Captain James Gaudin, Agent of Marine and Fisheries, Cecil Doutre, commissioner of wireless telegraphs for the Dominion government, and Mr Morse, his assistant. The party went to look over the sites for the proposed wireless telegraph station. [Colonist, 1907-07-21]


From Bamfield news has been received that the work of building a coast trail is well advanced, 7 miles of the road between Bamfield and Pachena having been completed. [Colonist, 1907-07-27]


Tees, Captain Townsend, is being kept extremely busy. She arrived at 6pm on Wed and after disembarking her passengers and their effects went to the outer dock to discharge her cargo of whale oil and fertilizer. Returning to the Canadian Pacific Railway dock yesterday morning she spent the day loading cargo for Quatsino and way ports and left last night, well filled with passengers for the various ports of call on West Coast Vancouver Island. 
Those who sailed on Tees included: Mrs Jackson and family, Mrs Williams and family, Mrs Leech and family, Miss Ward, Mrs Weiger and daughter, E Sharples, W Garrard, Leo Waugh, Mrs Lindsay, Miss Smith, J Hawthorne, Tainer, L Peabody, R Clark, Charles Lay, Mrs Swartout, B W Bailey, Miss Dixon, Miss Woods, S J Bennison, C B Garrison, H C Newton, J O Cameron, M A Ward, H Chamberlain, C C Scott, Mr Garrard and wife, H R Swains and wife, M Waring, J C Buckle, D R Swift, Messrs Blackwood and William Columbus. 
The lantern for a new lighthouse at Pachena Point is on the way to the coast and is expected to be installed shortly. [Colonist, 1907-08-16]


Steamer Quadra will probably leave today for West Coast. She is carrying the fine-cut glass lenses brought from Chance Brothers, at a cost of $35,000, and other material for the new lighthouse to be established at Pachena Port, which is expected will be ready for operation by Jul 1. The cargo of the Steamer also includes the material, ready to be put together for the construction of a 5-roomed cottage at Pachena for use of the staff of the wireless station. Stores for Carmanah, Lennard I and other points will also be carried by the Steamer, as well as material for the party of trail-builders, who will leave shortly, headed by Mr Macdonald to spend another summer on the West Coast. [Colonist, 1908-04-21]


Taking a knock-down cottage ready to be put together at Pachena for use of the wireless telegraph stn staff, the lantern and apparatus to be installed at the new tower recently built at Pachena, stores and supplies for Carmanah, Cape Beale and Lennard I, Dominion Government Steamer Quadra left port yesterday for West Coast Vancouver Island. As passengers the Steamer had Mr Hughes, wireless expert of Dominion Government, and a party of carpenters bound to Pachena to erect the cottage. Mr Collinson and a party of 4 men went to Pachena to install the fine lantern brought from Birmingham, England, where it cost $35,000, for the new lighthouse which is to be the most powerful on this coast. [Colonist, 1908-04-22]


Captain Gaudin, marine agent, who was on board Dominion Government Steamer Quadra engaged inspecting lighthouses and fog alarms, has sent word that… the new lighthouse at Pachena Port, is being shown from a tower which stands on the top of the bank, at the extreme point. It is an octagonal wooden building, with sloping sides, painted white, surmounted by a red circular metal lantern. Height of tower from base to vane is 66’… describes flashing light… a white rectangular wooden doubled building with a hip roof has been erected NE of the lighthouse, on top of the bank, immediately behind a narrow gorge used as a landing place in fine weather… description of fog alarm… [Colonist, 1908-05-24]

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

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