SESQUICENTENNIAL: 150 years of Operation of the Race Rocks Lighthouse

On Dec 26, 2010 we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the lighting of the lamp in the lighthouse at Race Rocks. This lighthouse, on the most southerly tip of the West Coast of Canada, is the only rock-built lighthouse in British Columbia. It has served the people of the West Coast marine community uninterrupted all this time, and still continues as an important lighthouse and foghorn station today . To mark this sesquicentennial year, Lester B. Pearson College, who manages the island and the Ecological Reserve for B.C.Parks, has set up the Race Rocks Endowment Fund dedicated to the on-going sustainable operation of Race Rocks.

The British Colonist July 18,1859: ” The Imperial Treasury had advanced 7000 pounds to construct two lighthouses, a large one on Race Rocks : a smaller one on Fishguard (sic) Island, mouth of Esquimalt Harbor. Half the sum to be paid by British Columbia and Vancouver’s Island: the other half to be borne by the Imperial Government.”

The British Colonist December 27, 1860: “The Race Rocks Light—The beacon on Race Rocks was lighted last evening for the first time. We had not the pleasure of seeing it shine ; but are informed that it was very brilliant, and every way suited to the duty it will henceforth perform.”

rmnightlight2Night time exposure by Ryan Murphy. For this and other images of the lighthouse see this file;
On Dec 26, 2010 we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the lighting of the lamp in the lighthouse at Race Rocks. This lighthouse, on the most southerly tip of the West Coast of Canada, is the only rock-built lighthouse in British Columbia. It has served the people of the West Coast marine community uninterrupted all this time, and still continues as an important lighthouse and foghorn station today . 

 

To mark this sesquicentennial year, Lester B. Pearson College, who manages the island and the Ecological Reserve for B.C.Parks, has set up the Race Rocks Endowment Fund dedicated to the on-going sustainable operation of Race Rocks.

This file has many aspects of the history of the light station.

In the past year as much information as is available has been extracted on the early keepers of Race Rocks and several of the stories of heroism and tragedy are linked here.

Last year the tower underwent an extensive restoration and it now is in excellent condition.

From the top of the lighthouse, Camera1 provides 360 degree coverage of the Eastern entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, from this most southerly point of land on the West Coast of Canada.

Race Rocks Light tower is situated in the Race Rocks Ecological reserve, on an envelope of land on Great Race Rock leased from the Province of British Columbia. Lester B.Pearson College has since the tower and foghorn were automated by the Canadian Coast guard in 1997, provided an Ecoguardian to live on the lightstation and has a long term lease from B.C.Parks for the operation and management of the area.

Garry Fletcher

See the News Page for recent articles about Race Rocks
See the Race Rocks History FIle