|Triangle Island, BC|
Description: Situated at the southern side of the entrance to Queen Charlotte Sound, twenty-nine miles offshore from the northwest tip of Vancouver Island, Triangle Island seemed like a natural place for a lighthouse, and in 1909 a roadway was blasted from the shore to the island’s lofty peak, where a reinforced concrete lighthouse and a wireless telegraph station were built over the course of the next year. The forty-six-foot tower was surmounted by a circular lantern room that housed a powerful first-order Fresnel lens.
James W. Davies, who had previously served at Scarlett Point and Egg Island, landed on Triangle Island in 1910 with his wife and three daughters to take charge of the light. It was soon evident that the island’s 700-foot summit was a poor location for a lighthouse as during one year, the keepers recorded 240 days when fog, mist or low cloud cover obscured the light.
In 1919 the Department of Marine finally acknowledged its folly. The lightkeepers were removed from Triangle Island, and the tower’s lantern room and lens were dismantled and transferred to Estevan Point. The radio station, unimpaired by the fog, lasted two more years, but its operators were finally freed from the inhospitable outpost in 1921, and the seabirds once again had free rein over Triangle Island.
In early 2004, the Sooke Region Historical Society approached the Canadian Coast guard about acquiring the lantern room and first-order Fresnel lens used first on Triangle Island and then at Estevan Point. The Coast Guard agreed to donate the items, and that August the lantern room was trucked from the Coast Guard base in Victoria. The lens followed in March of 2005, and on June 26, 2005, a short concrete tower, topped by the massive lantern and lens, was dedicated on the grounds of the Sooke Region Museum.
Keepers: James W. Davies (1910 – 1913), Thomas Watkins (1913 – 1916), Michael O’Brien (1916), Daniel O’Brien (1916 – 1919), Alex Dingwell (1919).
The lantern and lens from the Triangle Island Lighthouse are on display at the Sooke Region Museum in Sooke. The replica lighthouse is owned by the Sooke Region Museum. Grounds open, tower open by appointment.
The replica lighthouse is owned by the Sooke Region Museum. Grounds open, tower open by appointment.
Pictures on this page copyright Kraig Anderson, used by permission.