Lighthouse History – 27 (1906-10-25 to 1907-02-02)

Lighthouse History – 27 (1906-10-25 to 1907-02-02)

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.


Victoria Daily Times – Barkentine Skagit, of Port Gamble, struck the rocks near Clo-oose at 4am. There was a bad Southwest gale and a heavy sea, with fog, at the time. 
Captain Rose was drowned, as was also the cook, name unknown. The vessel is a total loss. Mate Langkow and 7 men are ashore at Logan’s place. 
Skagit, bound from San Francisco to Port Gamble, is ashore and liable to become a wreck on West Coast Vancouver Island. She sailed from the Bay City on Oct 13. 
The point where she struck is near Clo-oose, a few miles Northwest of Carmanah Point, and about 7 miles Southeast of Pachena Point, where the ill-fated Valencia struck and went to her doom last spring, and where Dominion Government Steamer Quadra is now employed in landing supplies to erect a suitable lighthouse to prevent future catastrophes on that shore. 
When the vessel went on, is as yet unknown… 
Quadra will be on the scene in a very short time if Captain Gaudin’s wire reaches the skipper promptly, while Salvor will also probably be alongside as fast as steam can carry her there. 
The work of these vessels will be practically confined to salving the vessel herself, as fortunately those of the crew still remaining alive are ashore in the good care of Mrs Logan, Wife of the heroic lineman of the Dominion Government, whose work in connection with Valencia wreck is one of the bright spots in that dark page of marine history on this coast. 
The vessel went on in a Southwest wind, accompanied by a heavy sea and a fog, which prevented the officers on watch from accurately obtaining their bearings. 
As soon as the news was received at the Department of Marine & Fisheries the fixed signal was given to call the life-saving crew together. Four bells at certain intervals were rung on the fire alarm. In response, the former coxswain, Captain J C Voss, responded, proferring his services. These were not required, however. 
At 3:15 the Department of Marine decided to call the lifeboat crew together and dispatch them and their boat on SS Salvor to the scene. 
Skagit is a wooden barkentine of 507T register, which hails from Townsend. She is described in shipping registers as having one deck. Length, 156′; beam, 38′, and depth of hold, 12′. She was built at Port Ludlow, Washington, in 1883. [Colonist, 1906-10-25]


W F Best has just returned from a trip to West Coast points, during which her carefully examined the shoreline. Tees, on which he travelled, was favored by extremely fine weather, and steamed close to the shore. “A trail for life-saving purposes along the West Coast,” he continued, “could be very easily built. The difficulties to be surmounted have been greatly exaggerated. There is only one place at a distance of about 600 yards where the rocks rise perpendicularly; in every other locality they slope gradually from the shore, and there is generally a sandy beach. It is at the point I mention that Valencia was wrecked, and even there a path down the cliffs could be blasted out.” In his opinion the lighthouses being constructed near Bamfield Creek, Kyuquot and Quatsino provide ample guides to mariners, and in fair weather a ship at night is hardly ever out of sight of a light. He thinks the trail mentioned should be built, however, at once, and that it would cost a very moderate sum.” 
“Though the mill at Mosquito Harbour that recently started cutting is capable of turning out 500,000 shingles and a large quantity of lumber each day: he said, “outside the stumpage tax, it is of very little value to the province. With the exception of 5 men, all the employees there are Chinese or American citizens, and all the machinery and supplies are brought from the United States”… [Colonist, 1906-12-15]


Dominion Government Steamer Quadra, Captain Hackett, returned to port yesterday afternoon after a cruise on the West Coast Vancouver Island. Quadra left here on Jan 7, and has since made several short cruises. Headquarters were made at Bamfield Creek, where Captain Hackett waited for news of shipping in distress; but fortunately there was no distressed shipping. During the Steamer’s absence material was landed for the construction of shelters for lineman at Tsuhiat and Seven-Mile Creek, where comfortable cabins fitted with cook stoves, bunks, etc, and a telephone was installed in each, connecting with the coast wires between Carmanah and Cape Beale. Tsuhiat is at the waterfall between Clo-oose and Pachena Point, about 3 miles from where Steamer Valencia was lost a year ago. Seven-Mile Creek is between Carmanah and Clo-oose. The wreckage of Valencia is still visible at low water, the cylinders and parts of her machinery showing some feet above water when the tide ebbs. Calls were made at Lennard I, and other light points on the island coast. 
Quadra will remain in port until Mon, when she will probably be despatched in lighthouse and buoy work… Quadra’s crew will be enabled to vote today. Less fortunate will be the crews of steamers Tees and Queen City. Both vessels sailed last night on the eve of election day… Queen City for Clayoquot and way ports of the West Coast Vancouver Island. [Colonist, 1907-02-02]

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

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