Updates

lighthouse-clip-art_422123_sm_6-150x106As most of you know, and I keep reminding people, this lighthouse website began as a simple list of lighthouse keepers after I retired from 32 years of lighthouse keeping in 2001. I created the first website for historical and genealogical purposes. After a few years, and much help from the public, it developed into this second website.

The database listing all the keepers resides on my personal computer and is updated on the website whenever I get more information. From the database I create a printout of the information and post it on this site. Last time I checked I had . . .

. . . collected 1129 British Columbia (BC) lighthouse keeper names on 96 different lights, for a total of 1922 changes / moves / appointments.

One of the lesser-known bits of lighthouse information is that lightkeepers did not always reside in a lighthouse – notice the term lightkeeper rather than lighthouse keeper. These men kept a light burning for mariners but lived on the land rather than maintaining a lighthouse. Most probably they held day jobs as well, as the only duties for the mariners was to row out to their light before dusk and light the lamp, and then row home. Just after sunrise they would row out again, extinguish the light, refuel the lamp, and clean the lens in preparation for the evening lighting. It was not a hard job except in stormy winter weather.

Not many of these men are remembered but I have managed to record a few in the database. If interested read near the bottom of the database page for my request “I need your help“.

Just recently I received an email from a Ms. J. Milton about Channel Rock Light which I had not been able to locate. Here is the information I now have on this light:

  • Channel Rock*……………- This was a light in Uganda Pass between Cortes Island and Shark Spit on Marina Island. One of the keepers was John Poole, followed by Alex McKee – I don’t know the exact dates.
    A writer, Gilean Douglas, moved to Cortes Island in 1948, to the property homesteaded by John Poole. That property is known as Channel Rock. – thanks J. Milton for the information.Unknown location could it be LL 258, on N. end of North Channel Islands, near Saltspring Island, chart 3478? (1914 – 1943){/private]

Please, if you know some information about any of these unknown lights or their keepers please pass it on to me. Thanks – retlkpr

 

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)

Drowning at Lawyer Island c. 1904

In the Lighthouses of British Columbia guestbook I came across an entry by an “M. W. Harding”. He stated that his grandfather had been the first lighthouse keeper on Lawyer Island, near Prince Rupert, BC, and had accidentally drowned. I contacted Mr. Harding and got more information from him about his grandfather’s death. – retlkpr

In the words of – Ned Harding (Grandson of Thomas Harvey who was Senior Keeper at Lawyer Island 1921 – c.1905)

Lawyer Island c. 1900s - photo CCG, Prince Rupert.

He said: “I have some information regarding the Lawyer Island Lighthouse. This information was given to me by my mother who was the daughter of the original keeper. The keeper’s name was Thomas Harvey who took care of the light starting approximately 1901. He was married to my grandmother in 1898 and my mother was born in Vancouver in 1899.”

“My mother and grandmother were also at Lawyer Island from about 1902. The grandmother’s name was Hannah G. Harvey, and my mother’s original name was Frances T. Harvey. The light was tended by this duo until 1904 when my grandfather was lost in the sea while rowing to Prince Rupert as was his practice from time to time.” Continue reading

Happy Birthday to Lighthouse Memories!

Aside

This is a real edible cake from Sweet Treats by Jen - http://sweetsbyjen.blogspot.com/

One year ago today I signed up with HostPapa, a Canadian website service provider, after having purchased my domain name, and learned how to use WordPress, lighthousememories.ca became known on the Internet. So today is the 1st anniversary of the website know as Lighthouse Memories.

Before that time, the site had been running for seven years as a self-hosted site on my son’s server in Canada. It was moderately successful, and I had many contacts, but with the help of HostPapa and Google things have boomed and we have the website as it is today.

Over the past year I have transferred over all the files from my old website, and reposted them on the new site. As well I have tried to keep up on things that lighthouse keepers feel responsible for – pollution, weather, oil spills, wildlife and fish protection, as well as manning the light. The Canadian lightkeeper keeps his eye on everything on the sea and in the sky while performing his job.

Since January 2012, the Canadian government under Prime Minister Steven Harper has been undermining the roles of the Coast Guard on all Canadian coasts, but especially on the British Columbia coast. Firing scientists and inspectors, reducing the number of staff manning MCTS centers and planning on closing SAR and MCTS stations, not to mention declaring most of the lighthouses surplus. Not much of a birthday present. 

I must say though, thanks for all the support, the nice comments and all the stories, documents and photos that have been submitted over the years.

Oh yes! Speaking of photos! Soon I will be starting photo pages for each of the BC lighthouses, and would love to see lots of submissions. I will post each station on a separate page and give credit to all who submit. Thanks.

 

Mission Boat “William H. Pierce”

– as told to me by Mike Gallagher – deckhand and acting skipper “W. H. Pierce” and mate on the “Thomas Crosby IV”.

The following guestbook entry was received by Ron Ammundsen, webmaster of the BC Lighthouse web pages and forwarded to me. It was signed by Michael Gallagher.

Between 1952-56 in the summers, I was aboard the “William H. Pierce” with Dr. George Darby out of Bella Bella (now Waglisla). We went ashore at most lighthouses from Boat Bluff south to Egg Island , sometimes for medical reasons, sometimes to take magazines, have tea and talk . . . mainly listen.

WH Pierce at pointer island c. 1953 - photo Mike Gallagher

After Ron forwarded the entry to me I contacted Mike and asked if he had any stories for my Lighthouse Memories webpage. He said:

I probably have too many stories of my four summers with Dr. Darby, so I’ll mention a couple as they relate to lighthouses. Continue reading

Another Lighthouse Destroyed by the Sea! 1967

 

Pine Island lighthouse after the storm

On February 18, 1967 at 00:30 hours, a giant wall of water slammed into Pine Island, destroying buildings and washing away equipment and personal possessions. [B&W photo left] The following article describes it well.
(If anyone knows the author, or or where this article came from, please let me know so I can give credit. It appeared with the photo on the left of the page and the page was numbered 13. Thanks.- JAC)

*****************************
Fury . . . and British Columbia

Pine Island, B.C. – The worst damage in the history of British Columbia’s coastal lighthouses was inflicted here ­recently when a 50 foot wall of water slammed into this tiny island during a raging storm. Continue reading

Return to Sisters at Christmas c. 1927

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

We were there [Nanaimo, BC ] nearly three weeks and it was two days before Christmas then. I wanted to be back on the lighthouse for Christmas as Bert was there with the other three boys.

I phoned The Government Office to see if any boats were going up that way, but everyone was off on Christmas and New Year’s holidays. I went all around the wharf looking and asking anyone with a boat to please take us up to the lighthouse. No one wanted to go at any price! They knew the old gulf too well and didn’t want to risk it.

I kept going back and asking them to please take a chance and go. At last an older chap said “Alright, we will start out but I don’t think we will make it”. Continue reading

A Trip by Helicopter up the West Coast to Carmanah Point 2006

 A trip by helicopter up the west coast of Vancouver island to Carmanah Point 
October 25, 2006
 

Bell 212 at Carmanah Point - photo Mike Shepherd

To see what part of the west coast of Vancouver island is like from the air, check out Mike Shepherd’s article Coast Guard Bell 212 Helicopter Trip

There are some really nice shots of the Pacific Ocean and familiar lighthouses.

– Mike Shepherd is a Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) bofficer at Tofino MCTS, which is located on Amphitrite Point, near Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada.

Illness at Sisters Island c. 1929

As told to me by – Allen Herbert Smithman (Grandson of Henry Herbert Smithman who was Senior Keeper at Sisters Island 1927 – 1929)

Sisters Island lighthouse c. 1929

Henry Herbert Smithman was a keeper of the lighthouse at Sisters Island (November 30, 1927 – February 27, 1929) until he became sick and was moved to a hospital in Victoria, B.C. where he died. I believe, although unconfirmed, that he died of rheumatic fever because my father, one of the four boys that were living at the light alone with their mother (my grandmother) Elizabeth Kate, contracted the same illness but was nursed back to health at home on the light.

My grandmother told me the story that when my grandfather died the “powers that be” would not allow her to stay on at the lighthouse as women were not strong enough to take care of a lighthouse. The cute part was that she was the one looking after the light for the past weeks as well as taking care of her four sons ranging in age from about three to ten. Continue reading

A Trip to Scarlett Point c. 1973

– as told to me by Jean (Bartle) Konkle (daughter of relief keeper Albert Bartle)

I remember going to Scarlett Point one Easter Weekend, the first time we (my husband Rodger and I) had been there. We traveled ten long dusty hours up mostly gravel road to Port Hardy . There we planned to catch a fish boat out to the island. But although the harbour at Port Hardy was glass, nobody would take us out.

Although we couldn’t afford it, we had only the long weekend, so we attempted to charter a helicopter, but they wouldn’t go out in this weather.

32 foot fishboat - photo Ray Morgan

We went back to the fish docks, where we found a 32 foot fish boat to take us out. It leaked diesel, and I lost my breakfast.

When we got to Scarlett, Ralph and Brian came out to meet us in the station boat. The waves were so high, we had to wait until the gunwhales of the fish boat were even with the 14 footer to transfer across. Continue reading