Canada’s western most province features a number of amazingly scenic lighthouses, a few of which we have featured here. (Photos by Stephen Cloonan.)
Scarlett Point Lighthouse
The Scarlett Point Light Station was established in 1905 on Balaklava Island at the north end of Christie Passage near Port Hardy, British Columbia. Sadly, the original Scarlett Point Lighthouse was demolished in 1965 and replaced by a skeletal steel tower topped by a light, which was later replaced by the round fiberglass tower with an octagonal lantern shown here.
William Hunt had the distinction of serving the longest tenure of any lighthouse keeper at Scarlett Point: from 1908 to 1939. On July 21, 1949, William Hunt was awarded the Imperial Service Medal for his years of dedicated lighthouse keeping.
Active Pass Lighthouse
Established in 1885, British Columbia’s Active Pass Light Station is on Mayne Island in the Strait of Georgia in the Inside Passage. Sadly, this is not the original lighthouse, which was replaced in 1940 and then again in 1969 when the concrete tower shown here was built.
Two of the men who served here stayed for many years. Henry “Scotty” Georgeson served from 1885 to 1920, and Arthur Broughton Gurney served from 1921 to 1945.
The Active Pass Lighthouse station is now operated as the Georgina Point Lighthouse Park.
Portlock Point Lighthouse
Portlock Point Light Station was established in 1895 on the eastern tip of Prevost Island at the junction of Swanson and Trincomali Channels in the Inside Passage near Port Washington, British Columbia.
When the lighthouse was first established, the area was a private hunting preserve whose members insisted that the first keeper come from within their ranks; that is until they found out what the meager salary was.
In 1919, lighthouse keeper George Andrew Watson, who became the keeper of Portlock Point in 1911, wrote a scathing and lengthy letter to the editor of Weekly Star describing what he considered were terrible working conditions and measly pay. He did get a pay raise, but by 1924 his health had deteriorated to the point that the government removed him from his job and he was given a small disability pension.
The current tower, built in 1987, looks like many Canadian cookie-cutter style lighthouses, but it is much shorter than the original lighthouse that once stood here. The lighthouse is now part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.
Pine Island Lighthouse
The picturesque Pine Island Light Station was established in 1907 at the northwest end of Queen Charlotte Strait near Victoria. Like many other British Columbia lighthouses, the station looks dramatically different today than when it was established. The current lantern-less tower was installed in 2001. The lantern from an earlier tower now sits atop a beautiful lighthouse facsimile at the Campbell River Heritage Center in Columbia River, British Columbia. If the Pine Island Lighthouse tower had a lantern we’d rate this station a ten in the photogenic category.
Dyrad Point Lighthouse was established in 1899 on the northeast end of Campbell Island near Bella Bella, British Columbia. The current tower was built in 1919, and the current keeper’s house was built in 1930.
Henry Bergen, who originally saw an announcement for a lighthouse keeping job while standing in an unemployment line, became the lighthouse keeper here in 1964. It was the perfect place to raise a family, and he stayed here until 1980. Interestingly, his son Harvey followed in his footsteps and also became a Canadian lighthouse keeper. Chris Mills, who has written several stories in Lighthouse Digest over the years and shared photographs with us, was stationed here in the late 1990s.
Boat Bluff Lighthouse
Established in 1907, the Boat Bluff Light Station on the south end of Sarah Island of the Inside Passage in the Tolmie Channel near Klemtu, British Columbia has been called by many as the most photogenic light station in the province. However, the biggest complaint by lighthouse aficionados is that the station does not have a traditional light tower, but instead has an aluminum skeletal tower with a beacon atop it. But, the way the buildings are designed and placed, it looks like it took years of dedicated planning for it to look this way. Most keepers who lived here found this to be a tranquil place to be stationed.
For more information about the Boat Bluff Lighthouse, please refer to the extensive story about the light station appeared in the November, 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest.
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This story appeared in the
May/Jun 2018 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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