Brockton Point Lighthouse | Accidentally Wes Anderson

Brockton Point Lighthouse

Accidentally Wes Anderson - Brockton Point Lighthouse Enlarge

Vancouver, British Columbia | C.1890

Photo Credit: Edu Mayén

Perched at the most easterly point of Stanley Park, bordering downtown Vancouver, sits a thirty-five-foot lighthouse tower and signaling station that has guided ships through the sometimes tricky waters around the city for more than 100 years.

Once the sight of a graveyard for early settlers, Brockton Point was initially set to become a sawmill in the mid 1800s. However, once the area had been cleared, the project was abandoned due to the strong currents from the harbor impeding the construction of log booms.

The completion of the transcontinental railroad turned Vancouver into a growing city, resulting in increased shipping traffic into Burrard Inlet. In 1890 the first instance of a rudimentary light was placed on the Point and Captain William D. Jones was hired as the first lighthouse keeper. Over his 25 year tenure, Jones would be credited for saving 16 lives and his efforts to raise funds for Returned Soldiers charities by cultivating ornate flower beds in Stanley Park and selling the flowers. His proceeds amounted to more than his salary as a keeper.

In 1914, the current tower, with an automatic light and 12.5 meter focal plane was constructed with arches allowing visitors to pass along the shoreline pathway. The lighthouse would be manned by four additional keepers until the station was destaffed in 1956.

For many years, keepers were charged with firing the “9 O’clock Gun”. This muzzle-loaded naval cannon cast in Woolwich England in 1816 was initially fired at 6pm to signal the close of fishing. Later, the time of firing was pushed to 9pm to help mariners set their chronometers. Today the canon continues to be fired daily – although electronically – still assisting mariners, and startling any unsuspecting nearby visitors.

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