Nootka Sea Glass

Nootka Lighthouse

When I wrote Recycling Glass as Sea Glass aka Mermaids Tears I never realized that keepers on one of the BC lighthouses, Nootka Island Lighthouse (photo above) were utilizing this free resource for jewelry.

They have a Facebook page showing some of the items for sale, some of which I am showing below. Very beautiful. My uses for the sea glass were a bit more mundane, but it is amazing what you can make with beach glass, sea glass, aka mermaid’s tears.

I also see that the keepers are also advertising their wares on Etsy – a very famous site for anything coastal.

There are lots more items than shown in the album above, so take a look at their Facebook page or the Etsy pages – very beautiful art work, and each is unique.

The designers can be contacted here:

Nootka Lightstation, 25 Huron Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8V 4V9

Phone: +1 250-726-1222
Email:  jtiglmann@hotmail.com

Nootka Lighthouse

Would you like to travel to Nootka Island to visit the keepers or pick out your own jewelry? Join the MV Uchuck III on a day tour to Nootka Sound. More information here.

Life on Nootka Lighthouse c. 1950s

Here is another story from Ms. Juanita (Swanson) DuLong. She was a young girl on most of these stations, but living there, and hearing stories from her parents, she has created   lighthouse memories from the 1950s time. Her older stories are found herehere and here. One more to come she says. 

It is said that for every person on earth, there is a place our soul will recognize as home.

Nootka lighthouse

Sometime in 1955, I was lucky enough to find that Nootka was mine. Ever since, no
matter where or how I was living, I went home whenever possible. Today, my husband
and I live on the West coast of Vancouver Island, not far from Nootka Island.

Nootka Lighthouse is picturesque, with 360 degree views of scenery. The area is steeped in history, being the true birthplace of B.C. Brick fragments are still sometimes found from the Spanish fort that so long ago enjoyed those same views.

But , I wasn’t yet ten years old, and history wasn’t uppermost in a little girl’s mind. Continue reading

Lighthouse History – 37 – Nootka (1910-11-30 to 1911-03-28 )

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 Nootka Light, 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.

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

New Lighthouse for Nootka Sound… [Colonist, 1910-09-30, p. 14]

  Continue reading

Howard Frazer Chamberlin Family Adventures c.1930s

– Narrated by Sharlene Macintosh with help from her cousin Zellie Chamberlin Sale (granddaughters of Howard Frazer Chamberlin, lighthouse keeper c. 1930 – 1941)

Nootka Light -photo - Bill Maximick of Maximick Originals

My grandfather was Howard Frazer Chamberlin who was lightkeeper at a few lighthouses around Vancouver Island  – Nootka , Pine Island , Quatsino , Trial Island  come to mind – my Mom knows them all. His brother, Charles Benjamin Chamberlin was also assistant at Nootka.

My Mom, Mina Peet (née Chamberlin) was born in Oct 1933 while her Dad was a lightkeeper. He originally did various jobs such as farming, prospecting, trapping, and logging with horses. He had a sawmill at Coombs, BC and he was injured while logging with horses on Vancouver Island. He was put into hospital where he met my grandmother Dora Anna Wordsell who was a nurse. 

They married December 12, 1928 in Nanaimo, BC. They had three daughters: Connie (who died in 1985), Pearl, and Mina. The first child, a son, died up near Prince Rupert, BC right after birth, so my grandmother was sent the next time to New Westminster, BC  to give birth (at a real hospital) where her parents lived, and the second two times to Victoria, BC.  Continue reading

Was Nootka Lighthouse Also Attacked in WW2?

page 1 of H. F. Chamberlin letter letter courtesy of Zellie Chamberlin Sale

 

Howard Frazer Chamberlin was on Nootka lighthouse in 1942 according to the interview by the Naval Reserve (see letters at left). But there is a problem here.

When I received a copy of this letter I thought it was referring to the attack on Estevan Point which supposedly helped introduce conscription in Canada during the Second World War. But if you check the dates, this seems to have occured almost a month later to the day that the Estevan Point shelling happened. According to all records, the shelling of Estevan Point took place nightfall of June 20, 1942. 

page 2 of H. F. Chamberlin letter letter courtesy of Zellie Chamberlin Sale

This letter seems to show that there was another attack at Nootka lighthouse about a month later on the evening of July 18, 1942. In fact the lightkeeper states that he phoned Estevan Point Wireless station to see if they were being plastered again! (my emphasis – JC) But Estevan returned the call and said that they had heard nothing so it must have been nearer Nootka. From working with explosives in mining and prospecting, Howard Chamberlin knew the difference between industrial explosives and high-explosives. 

The only thing that appears to be at odds here is that he feels the vibration from the explosions as from underwater. I wonder if he was hearing depth charges going off? This is just one month later than the Estevan incident. I will bet that the Navy and the Naval Reserve were on high alert during this time and expecting the worse. Perhaps a floating log triggered the release of a few depth charges. 

A transcript of the original letter(s) follows:

                        From H.M.C.S. “Pryer”
To COAV
Esquimalt BC
                        Nootka Lighthouse
                        2200 / 19 / 7 / 42
Subject
            Interview With Mr. H. F. ChamberlinLightkeeper 

I was sitting in the kitchen of the Light
house, overlooking the sea, and having
a cup of Tea at 1902 hours July 18/42, when
I both felt and heard an explosion from
a southerly direction. (out to sea) and
this was followed by six other shocks
at intervals of about one (1) minute
between shocks.
I was naturally surprised and could
see the vibrations from the shocks in
the cup of Tea.
As an old Miner and Prospector I can
easily tell the difference between “blasting”
and “submarine” shocks, and the shock
I both heard and felt were definitely from
seaward, and from the “feel” of the vibration
I would say from underwater.
The first shock occured at 1902 and the
last shock at 1911, as I noted the time of last shock.
I phoned the wireless station at Estevan Point
and asked them if they had been “plastered” again, and
they informed me that they had felt or heard nothing.
It was at 1915 when I phoned Estevan Pt. Wireless.

Page 2
(same as Page 1 but with signature at bottom) 

Witness
      Chief Skipper J. D. McPhee, R.C.N.R.
            Commanding Officer
                  H.M.C.S. “Pryer”

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

– Howard F. Chamberlin (Lightkeeper on Nootka 1936 – 1941) 

More Delays for Cape Mudge

– from Campbell River Mirror News by Kristen Douglas, online under  BC Local News

The chief of the We Wai Kai First Nation is not pleased the Strathcona Regional District may seek heritage protection for the Cape Mudge Lighthouse.

 Chief Ralph Dick says the land surrounding the Quadra Island lightstation belongs to the We Wai Kai/Cape Mudge Band and he doesn’t understand why the Regional District is trying to protect a lighthouse it does not have direct access to.

 “We want them to just butt out, we don’t want them involved at all,” Dick says. “They can’t get at it by road or water, it’s our land all around it, so we’re quite upset they’re trying to muscle in there. Continue reading

Lighthouse Advocate Frustrated by Delays

– from Campbell River Mirror News by Kristen Douglas, online under  BC Local News

A petition to save four area lighthouses could have been circulating by now if Strathcona Regional District directors had been more informed, says the district’s vice-chair.

 Jim Abram, the vice-chair and a former lightkeeper who has been fighting to save lightstations for several years, is disappointed his latest bid has temporarily stalled largely because of a staff report.

Abram received an e-mail from former senator, and lightkeeper advocate, Pat Carney asking him to bring forward letters detailing legislation that allows regional districts to sponsor lighthouses. Continue reading

Ed and Pat Kidder Retire from Nootka Lightstation

Ed and Pat Kidder Retire from Nootka Lightstation

When a water taxi took the latest Coast Guard retirees from Friendly Cove to Gold River on May 3rd, a lightkeeping era ended. Over their 42 year career on the lights—the last 33 at Nootka lightstation—B.C.’s senior keepers Ed and Pat Kidder have seen many technical and political changes.

Two of the lights they tended have been destaffed. Ed was 19 and Pat 18 when they brought their newborn son Dean to Gallows Point in Nanaimo Harbour. The light was an Aladdin-type that sometimes smoked when the pressure changed, and blackened the tower walls.

At Quatsino Sound’s Kains Island, the only way off was from the rocks by the ship’s surf boat. “When they said ‘jump’ you jumped,” Pat recalls.

At Carmanah, everybody “the boss and the wife and the kids,”rode up and down in the coast’s longest highline (350 feet).

Following Scarlett Point Ed rotated two week shifts at Sandheads Light by Steveston. Pat, Dean and their daughter Petronella lived in Nanaimo.

On May 3rd [2003], while forty (40) staff from the Coast Guard Base at Huron Street and the Bartlett red crew watched, Senator Pat Carney presented Ed Kidder with a Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal, one of 17 awarded to veteran lightkeepers for their role in keeping B.C.’s coast safe for mariners.

“Lightkeepers keep people connected,” said Carney, “and no one has done that better than Ed and Pat Kidder.” Article and photographs by Shirley Hewett

Kidder 1

Pat and Ed with Siamese cat Sheba Nootka Sound from the Lightstation.
and toy poodle Macho

Kidder 2

Nootka Sound from the Lightstation.

 

Reposted from the Canadian Coast Guard Association (CCGA) Newsletter June 2003