New Lighthouse Photos of Langara Island Lighthouse

The following photos were sent to me by David F. Pearce for publication here. Please respect his copyright. You may download the photos for your own photo collection, but they are NOT to be reposted to another website. Thanks – retlkpr

Click on the photos for a larger version.

Lightstation Identity Sign

Langara Lifghthouse Tower

Langara Lifghthouse Tower

Tower with dwelling

Tower with dwelling

Continue reading

Light at the End of the World

Light at the End of the World
Three Months on Cape St. James, 1941

by Hallvard Dahlie (orig from Raincoast 18, 1998) with notes from Jim Derham-Reid (last keeper on Cape St. James before automation)

Image1A strange interlude in my brief seafaring life took place in the fall of 1941, when I signed on as assistant lighthouse keeper at Cape St. James, a light perched on top of a three-hundred-foot rock at the very southern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands. I had quit school earlier that year, at the age of sixteen, and found a job on the CGS Alberni, a lighthouse tender operating out of Prince Rupert. But when she had to go into dry dock at the beginning of September for a new wartime grey paint job and a bit of refurbishing, I chose to take a stint out at the lighthouse rather than scrape barnacles and paint for three months. Continue reading

Once Upon a Foggy Night . . .

110716_img_1741_sd850-is

There is a boat out there . . . click the button below . . .

Imagine you are a lighthouse keeper on the graveyard shift on a foggy night. All you hear are the diesel engines running, the foghorn blowing at intervals. As you stare out into the gloomy mist you hear this sound. It is a boat, but what kind of boat? What kind of motor?

Many old-timers will recognize it as the sound of a classic make and break Easthope 2-stroke marine gasoline engine on idle. It probably belonged to a fisherman waiting out the fog so he could see where he was going. It was a sound that carried through the fog just like the foghorn.

To hear it again brings back many memories. If you wish to see the fishboat that housed this engine take a look at this Youtube page.

EasthopeMarineSign

 

 

 

McInnes Island Lighthouse – a Tale from the 1950s

 

I published a report January 04, 2012 on the building of McInnes Island lighthouse in 1953 based on the adventures of Ken Stewart who was part of the construction crew. I updated that post later with more information in the form of a PDF file.

1977

When I arrived with my family in the winter of 1977 the first thing we did was explore the island. Pictured left is a small log cabin buried back in the woods on the trail to the SW tip of the island.

Now let’s skip ahead to December 09, 2012 when I received an email from Mrs. K. Marshall with another photo of the same cabin taken about twenty-two (22) years earlier! What a delight to see what she had written on who built the cabin and also for her to see my photo taken so many years later.

In her email she said:

My grandfather James “Jimmie” Smith was a junior lighthouse keeper on McInnes for a few years in the late 1950s.
He was there with my grandmother Mildred “Millie”, and their 2 daughters who were teenagers at the time, my mother Carol and her sister Sharon.

These photos are of a driftwood log cabin that my Mom and her sister built on the island. I’ve been scanning old family photos this past week and have quite a few from the lighthouses.

I’d be really curious to know if the cabin was still standing while you were stationed there.

Well, as I told her the cabin was there in the winter of 1977, but by the summer of 1978 we had burnt it down as it was very unsafe for anybody to venture inside and could not be repaired. An email from her Mom, the Carol mentioned above, says: 

Pool area – labelled

[To build] the cabin I pulled and carried the logs from just below the cabin from the beach. The shakes I cut those with a hand saw to length. Split them with Mom’s best butcher knife and a hammer on the back of the knife….that didn’t go over at all well…believe me.

McInnes island – no labels

That end of the island where the cabin was. No one had trails there at all. Sharon and I started to explore that area. Dad, Bruce and Tony when they realized where we where disappearing to, they cut the logs of the trail so the adults could get into that area.

The swimming pool was past the

The swimming pool

cabin. You went up the hill and there was the natural crater in the rock. Dad and Mom used a washing soda to clean it all. Then the guys had a pump and hoses. They pumped new sea water up into the basin. Dad made up a bag of concrete to sort of plug one end of the crater. We just lived in that area all good days. Lots of nights we spent in the cabin. Continue reading

Lighthouse History – 51 (1927-02-04 – 1927-06-29)

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.

Please Note: December 20, 2012 – I am continuing the series with this Lighthouse History #51 because the newspapers have now been indexed up to 1932. I quit posting at #50 as the extracts only went to 1926. They have now been extended from 1927 to 1932 so I will sift through the data for anything lighhouse! So far, a lot of it appears to be obituaries.

Henry Georgeson, 91, retired keeper of Active Pass lighthouse died Feb 3. [funeral Feb 10, 12…] [Colonist, 1927-02-04, p. 4]

 

Died May 9, 1927 at V, Captain James Christensen, 86. Resident here in 1864, aged 21, born in Denmark. He worked his way out in a cargo ship from Liverpool. Here he tried shore pursuits until he joined Surprise as mate, and in that capacity in 1869 came in contact with the loss of US bark John Bright, off Hesquiat… [see earlier accounts] 
Christensen was afterwards on schooner Alert, with Captain William Spring, and continued trading on the West Coast for some years. He was a pioneer in the sealing trade. His last journey to the west coast was to take material for the erection of Cape Beale lighthouse in 1876. He was successively in command of Beaver, Pilot, tugs Alexander and Lorne, and in 1891 became pilot for Victoria and Nanaimo districts [8 years]. 
In 1868 he married Mary Linklater, and leaves son, Andrew. His other son, Captain James Christensen, succeeded him as commander of Lorne and afterwards ran other tugs out of Victoria until 1894. In that year he lost his life with all the crew of steamer Estelle, which foundered off Cape Mudge. IOOF. Pallbearers: Captains J E Butler and J Gosse, E More, J Woodriff, W McKay, R Lawson. May 11, 14 – How Captain Christensen Conquered the Doubters… Family plot, H 093b094 E 23. [Colonist, 1927-05-08*] Continue reading

Visiting the BC Coast Lighthouses

Do you want to visit some of British Columbia lighthouses? A lot of them are isolated, but there are a few that tourists can easily see. Some of these are manned; some are automated.

One of the best websites for finding the location of the  lighthouses is Ron Ammundsen’s Lighthouses of British Columbia website. On the opening page he has maps of manned/staffed and unmanned lighthouses and their locations. This will show you what is available, and where they are located. To find photos and information on the chosen lighthouses check out Google.

 

One of the main items you will require is a place to stay. When flying to British Columbia via International Airlines (from another country) your point of entry would be Vancouver International Airport (YVR). From there you have a variety of ways to accommodate yourself – from hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, camp site, hostel, inn, resort, etc. Select from the list on the Hello BC website. Enter your dates, town, and preference, and select a place to stay. Really easy website to find your way around.

The next thing after a room for the night, is a place to eat. Canada is well-known for its diversity in the culinary arts, and British Columbia is no exception. The easiest way is to introduce you to a special webpage called Dining, again from Hello BC. This is an interactive menu connected to a BC map. Pick what type of food you want, where you want to eat, and wait for the results. It is well organized and easy to use.

The choice is amazing! Your selection may be saved as a PDF file for reference. Pick your town, pick your food and grab a cab to good dining. The nice thing is you can look on the map to see if a location is near your place of residence for any place in BC. The map (left) shows the 538 results from just selecting West Coast. Each red flag is a city with multiple locations in each. Each result will give you location, telephone number and website if available. A very comprehensive help page.

Fisgard Lighthouse

Before you come you should decide where you want to go, and what lighthouses you want to see. Most of the available lighthouses will be seen in and around the cities of Vancouver, and Victoria, BC. Others are visible from the ferries, and up and down Vancouver Island. On the Hello BC website on the Things To Do page there are no exact listings for lighthouses but if you type lighthouse in the search box (upper right) you will get a page of lighthouse listings, things lighthouse, resorts near lighthouses, etc. With the map from the website on Lighthouses of British Columbia you can then sort out where you want to go and which lighthouse you may wish to visit..

If you want to get off the beaten track, you can fly into many places or take ferries, hike in, or even rent a local water taxi or fish boat. The opportunities are unlimited depending on your time and finances. On the Hello BC webpage is also a section on Transportation and Maps listing many services available in BC.

Take your time, talk to other tourists, and if you have any questions, maybe I or other readers can help you out. They don’t call it Beautiful BC for nothing. Enjoy!

******************************

To help you enjoy the coast more, it might be helpful to read up on a few of the things you might find at the shoreline. A great website for this is Vic High Marine. Check out the information on all things you might stumble across, or see on your trip.

Any more good advice out there? Please send it on and I will post it.

Chris Mills – Canadian Lighthouse Photographs

 

Canadian Lighthouse Photographs

New website is coming.
http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/ketm/
is no longer online


Chris Mills
1121 Ketch Harbour Rd.
Ketch Harbour, Nova Scotia  B3V 1K7

 

 

British Columbia | Nova Scotia | Prince Edward Island | New Brunswick | Newfoundland

Chris Mills served as a lighthouse keeper for the Canadian Coast Guard on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

He is currently co-chair of a committee which is recruiting Members of Parliament in support of a private members bill to protect lighthouses.  To see how you can help, visit this site:  Canada Needs a Lighthouse Protection Act.

Photographs and enlargements are for sale. Contact Chris Mills for price information.
All photographs and slides in the collection are identified, dated and signed.

Chris Mills is also author of the book on Nova Scotia lighthouses Lighthouse Legacies available from Amazon.ca


Sambro Island restoration project


BRITISH COLUMBIA

Some of these photos may be viewed at the Lighthouses of British Columbia site.

Green Island (1994, 1995) 250 colour photos, 70 colour slides in collection. All aspects of the station and island documented — aerial views, sea views, night views, details of light and lighthouse, lightkeepers, Coast Guard helicopters, surrounding islands and seascapes.

 

Langara Island (1994, 1996) 250 colour and 25 black and white photos, 180 colour slides in collection. All aspects of station documented — aerial views, night views, detailed views of 1913 First Order Fresnel Lens (manufactured by Chance Brothers), light tower and lantern, lightkeepers, dwellings, interior of engine room, old cabin on island, face carved in tree, shoreline views, lightkeeper’s goats, stormy seas.

 

Triple Island (1994) 24 colour photos in collection. Aerial views, third order Fresnel lens, lightkeeper, detailed views of lighthouse structure, interior of workshop and engine room.

 

Bonilla Island (1994) 250 colour photos in collection. Many aspects of station — aerial views, sea views, night views, shoreline views (including Japanese glass fishing floats), lightkeepers, dwellings, engine room interior, light tower. (NOTE: this collection will be expanded during Sept/Oct 1996)

 

Boat Bluff (1994-1996) 160 colour photos in collection. All aspects of station — aerial views, sea views, night views, details of light tower, fog horns , engine room, main light (including views of keeper inspecting light at night, inspection of light and bulbs during day), views of station and mountains from 1000 foot hill across the channel from lightstation, snow views, old hand fog horn, three modern plastic lenses, sunrise views, surrounding bays and inlets, Santa and Mrs. Claus visit 1994. (NOTE: Available as of Dec. 1996 — selection of a further 200 colour and b&w prints taken during August 1996, including Coast Guard ship and work crews supplying station.)

 

Ivory Island (1994-1996) 600+ colour and 36 black and white photos, 100 colour slides in collection. All aspects of the lightstation — 30 aerial views, sea views, night views, lighthouse, keepers, dwellings inside and out, engine room, main light, surrounding area, beaches, salmon fishing, snow, totem poles, artist and photographer at work at the lightstation, Coast Guard helicopters, sunsets, shoreline and forest, various tidal life (sea stars, crabs, etc.), local minor beacon lights, 25th annual Santa and Mrs. Claus visit December 1995.

 

McInnes Island (1994, 1995) 48 colour photos, 22 colour slides in collection. Aerial views, lighthouse structure, radio room, keeper, detail of lantern and main light, large thunder cloud formations.

 

Dryad Point (1995) 32 colour photos in collection. Aerial views, light tower, main light, keeper and daughter, keeper and main light, dwelling. (NOTE: This collection will be expanded during 1997)

 

Addenbroke Island (1994) 14 colour photos in collection. Aerial views.

 

Egg Island (1994) 10 colour photos in collection. Aerial views.

 

Pine Island (1994) 3 colour photos in collection. Aerial views.

 

Scarlett Point (1994) 2 colour photos. Aerial views.

 

Point Atkinson (1994) 14 black and white photos in collection. Light tower, keeper and main light, station dwellings and exterior of radio/engine room.

 

Brockton Point (1994) 5 black and white photos in collection. Light tower.

 

Porlier Pass (1994) 32 colour photos in collection. Two light towers (Porlier is a range light station), main lights, boat and boathouse, lightkeeper, dwelling, interior engine room and fog horn building, Coast Guard hovercraft. (NOTE: The old front range light was demolished Feb. 1996 and replaced by a fibreglass tower and the lighthouse was automated shortly after.)

 

Fisgard (1994) 6 colour, 2 black and white photos in collection. Light tower and detail of gothic style window in old keepers dwelling.

 

Sheringham Point (1994, 1995) 20 colour photos in collection. Light tower, abandoned dwelling, sunset, old Fresnel lens at local museum.

 

Amphitrite Point (1995) 9 colour slides in collection (prints available). Lighthouse structure, old keepers dwelling.

 

Lennard Island (1995) 52 colour photos, 25 colour slides in collection. Traveling to island by boat, keeper in boat, keeper in lighthouse, keeper and wife on station grounds, dwellings, radio room, engine room, details of two fog horn systems, including traditional diaphone horn taken out of service Oct. 1995, light tower, station grounds.

 

Cape Scott (1996) 23 colour photos in collection. Aerial views.

NOVA SCOTIA

Some of these photos may be viewed at the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society site.

Baccaro Point
Bear River
Beaver Island
Black Rock Point
 (new lighthouse)

Black Rock Point (old lighthouse)
Boar’s Head
Brier Island
Cape Forchu
Cape George
Cape Sable
Chebucto Head
Fort Point
 (LaHave River)

Fort Point (Liverpool)
Fourchu Head
Gabarus
George’s Island
Grand Passage
Hampton
 (Chute Cove)

Horton Bluff
Jerome Pont
Louisbourg
Low Point
Maugher’s Beach
Medway Head
Peggy’s Cove
Point Aconi
Port Greville
 (old light, now at Canadian Coast Guard College, Point Edward, N.S.)

Port Medway
Prim Point
Rouse Point
Sable Island
 (east light)

Sable Island (west light)
Sambro Island
Scatarie Island
Schafner Point
Seal Island
Sydney Range
 (front light)

Sydney Range (rear light)
Western Head
Battery Point
Betty’s Island
Canso Locks
Cross Island
 (comprehensive collection including automation day)

Eddy Point
Mosher’s Island
Seal Island
 (comprehensive collection)

Seal Island Lighthouse Museum

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Blockhouse Point
Borden Range
 (front light)

Borden Range (rear light)
Cape Bear
Cape Tryon
Brighton Beach Range
 (front light)

Brighton Beach Range (rear light)
East Point
Murray Harbour Range
 (front light)

New London Range (rear light)
North Rustico
Panmure Island
Point Prim
Souris East
Summerside Range
 (front light)

Summerside Range (rear light)
Woods Islands
Woods Islands Range
 (front light)

Woods Islands Range (rear light)

NEW BRUNSWICK

Cape Spencer
Cape Tormentine
Fish Fluke Point
 (Grand Harbour)

Gannet Rock (comprehensive collection: 700+ prints and slides)
Great Duck Island
East Quoddy
 (Head Harbour)

Letite
Long Eddy
Long Point
Machias Seal Island
 (comprehensive collection)

Mulholland Point
Southwest Head
Swallowtail

NEWFOUNDLAND

Cape Anguille
Cape Ray
Cape Saint Francis
 (dwelling only)

Cape Saint Mary’s
Cape Spear
Lobster Cove Head
Rose Blanche
 (old stone lighthouse)

Reprint – Finders Keepers

Finders keepers
Published: 31/07/2012 with permission from the Aberdeen Press and Journal

Earlier this month, we revealed that the Northern Lighthouse Board was selling off three lighthouses near Stonehaven, Lossiemouth and Thurso, with price tags ranging from £75,000 to £270,000 – along with a foghorn at Girdleness, in Aberdeen.
All the buildings, once a beacon for sailors and fishermen, would be ideal for those willing to spend some time and money creating an unusual home.

Rua Reidh Lighthouse, on the other hand, is ready to move in to. The keepers’ accommodation, at the foot of the tower, has been run as a successful home and holiday accommodation for years.

This B-listed home sits in a stunning location, on the cliff edge at Melvaig, around 12 miles from Gairloch on the west coast – officially named as the happiest place in the UK last week – and overlooking the Isle of Skye to the south-west, Harris to the west and Lewis to the north.
It is for sale at offers over £325,000.
Building of the lighthouse was started by David Stevenson, one of the famous family of lighthouse engineers, in 1910. Two years later, it was helping steer boats safely through the seas. Continue reading

Reprint – A Light on the Past

A light on the past

with permission from Rosalind Duane, North Shore News, August 05, 2012

Elaine Graham remains the only resident among the historical buildings at Point Atkinson Lighthouse. Photograph by: NEWS photo, Lisa King

ELAINE Graham was raised in the slums of London, far from the multi-hued green of nature.

“There was nothing on my street when I was growing up,” she recalls. “I had lots of play-friends, loads of kids to play with, but there wasn’t even a geranium on a windowsill.”

Many years later, Graham is now surrounded by 75 hectares of the largest first-growth stand of coastal-elevation trees in the Lower Mainland. Her home is nestled among the remaining structures at the base of Point Atkinson Lighthouse, which stands on a craggy promontory at the edge of Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver.

She has spent half her life here, and is eager to tell the story of her neck of the woods.

Graham moved to the Point Atkinson Lighthouse station with her husband Donald and two young sons in 1980. Donald became the last of the lighthouse keepers at the site (along with senior keeper Gerry Watson) when the lighthouse was automated in 1996.

The Grahams stayed on in one of the two keeper’s houses, she as a park attendant and he as a groundskeeper. Continue reading

Schooling on the Sisters Lighthouse c. 1927

This story is not only about schooling! This is the whole family helping out to run the lighthouse while tending to daily living. Life on the lighthouse in the early days was anything but fun! – retlkpr

*************************

– Elizabeth Kate (Stannard) Smithman (Wife of Henry Herbert Smithman who was Senior Keeper at Sisters Island 1927 – 1929)

Sisters Island

Children get their schooling by correspondence courses and lessons are supposed to be sent to Victoria every month if its possible. The parents have to be the teacher. I took on that job for we had to have a plan so all of us could get a certain amount of sleep.

We would work it like this: Bert would go to bed right after supper after he lit the light. I would call him about 2:30 or 3:00 a.m. and he would get up and watch from then ’till the light could be put out at daylight. Continue reading