Lighthouse Libraries and Their Book Boxes

Thomas Crosby V

After writing about the Bookboats and how the Thomas Crosby V used to bring us books to read from their onboard library, I was reminded of the libraries on each lighthouse I worked on. Each keeper that worked the island would leave a few books behind, mostly pocketbooks, and they would take with them new ones from our library.

Library on McInnes Island - photo Paul Kurbis

On McInnes Island lighthouse we had a library of a few hundred pocket books of all sorts. Sometimes, when we got desperate for new reading material we boxed up a bunch of books and sent them off to another lighthouse in return for a box of theirs. We also traded off magazines and newspapers whenever a helicopter came by. Continue reading

Lost Boats #1 – Thomas Crosby V

One of the interesting things about writing articles about lighthouses, is that one gets to do a lot of research on maritime matters such as boats, shipping, photography.

TCV underway

My last article on the Thomas Crosby V (TCV) left me with the question, what happened to the ship itself? According to all the reports she was sold to Kennford Limited, a cruise operator in the Cayman Islands. The only listing I can find in the Cayman Islands is Kennford Hotels, and then it is a dead end. Continue reading

Thomas Crosby V – One of the “Bookboats”

TCV underway

One of the most frequent visitors to the lighthouses, beside the Coast Guard (CG) ships and helicopters, was the United Church medical mission boat, nicknamed a God-Boat or Godship, the Thomas Crosby V (TCV).

The following article used to be on the Prince Rupert Library (PRL) website. The article was borrowed with their permission before it was removed from their website.

In this story the boats were nicknamed the “Bookboats” because they brought with them a library of books, both fiction and non-fiction for all ages, plus an assortment of magazines. After the Prince Rupert Library ceased sending boxes of books to the lighthouses, the TCV was one of our only sources of reading material.

TCV at Boat Bluff - photo Ed Whitebone

Not only books, they also brought friendship, and on many trips, a nurse. The nurses were most welcome to families with young children, advising on baby problems and administering inoculations when required. The minister on board came as a friend and was welcomed as one. They performed baptisms and weddings, and provided counselling when required. Just like the lightkeepers, the ministers on the Thomas Crosby V were jack-of-all-trades. – JAC Continue reading