|Holland Rock, BC|
Description: The southern approach to Prince Rupert Harbor is bounded on the east by islands lying off the southwestern side of Tsimpsean Peninsula and on the west by Holland Rock, Kinahan Island, and Digby Island. In 1867, Captain Pender, while in command of the S.S. Beaver, named Holland Rock after Lieutenant Swinton Colhurst Holland, who would later rise to the rank of Admiral in the Royal Navy.
Built atop a concrete, pier, the lighthouse consisted of a rectangular, two-storey dwelling, with a square tower, topped by an octagonal lantern room, built into its northeast corner. A $13,500 contract was awarded to J.H. Hilditch to erect the lighthouse, and a Class “A” diaphone plant for the station was supplied by the Canadian Fog Signal Company of Toronto for $1,515.12.
Keeper James E. Gibson exhibited the station’s fixed white light for the first time in 1913. When necessary, the fog signal gave a three-second blast every twenty seconds.
In September 1946, an overheated cook stove set fire to the lighthouse. As the blaze quickly spread throughout the structure, the keeper had no choice but to flee the rock in the station’s skiff, taking along his pet cat. All that was left on the concrete pier after the fire was a pile of rubble and the lighthouse’s brick chimney, which survived the incident intact.
In place of the lighthouse, the Department of Mariner erected a white, skeletal tower, on the concrete pier to display a flashing white light and a fog bell that tolled once every twenty seconds.
The microwave remote-control equipment provides the resident lightkeeper at Barrett Rock, 4.9 miles away, with a means of selecting either of the two gasoline-engine-driven compressor units at Holland Rock and starting and stopping it at will.
The system was believed to be the first of its kind for the remote control of a fog-alarm station by microwave link. Tom Moran was the keeper at Barrett Rock when the system was deployed.
In 2010, a square, skeleton tower perched atop a concrete building on the old lighthouse’s pier sends out a group of three flashes every twelve seconds.
Head Keepers: James E. Gibson (1913 – 1915), William L. Howell (1915 – 1917), Edward Biddle (1917), J.H. Flack (1918), J. Hall (1918 - 1920), Joseph Sexton (1920), J. Milton (1920), Stanley Fredrick Lawrence (1920 – 1921), James Graham (1921), E.V. Vance (1921), J.W. Baker (1921 – 1922), D. Rodman (1922 – 1933), G.V. Hanley (1934 - at least 1937).
Located on the southern extremity of Holland Rock. The lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.
The lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.
Pictures on this page copyright Kraig Anderson, used by permission.