Chrome Island Light

by John MacFarlane 2016

Chrome Island Light

Chrome Island Light (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )

Chrome Island Light was established on 01/01/1891 as the Yellow Island Light. In 1940 the name was changed to Chrome Island. Shippers of coal from nearby mines lobbied for the light to be established.

Chrome Island Light

Landing pad and station sign at Chrome Island Light as seen from the sea. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )

The first keeper was Tom Piercey (1891–1900), followed by his successors William McDonagh (1900–1901); Walter Gordon (1901–1906); John Doney (1906–1914); James Fredrick Street (1914–1917); Daniel O’Brien (1919–1922); Allan Couldery (1922–1939); Eugene Moden (1939–1951); Oscar Edwards (1953–1957); D.P. Gardner (1957–1960); Jim W. Bruton (1960–1964); William Edward Gardiner (1964–1977); Maurice Collette (1977–1979); Gerald Watson (1979–1980); Terrance Stewart (1980–1985); Charles Thomson (1986–1997); Barry Shaw (1997–1998); Charles Thomson (1998–2007); Roger Williamson (2007–present).

Chrome Island Light

The seabird colony on Chrome Island. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )

There is a colony of Double–crested Cormorants on the back of the island and there may be other species reported as transient or resident there as well. The characteristic white stain of bird guano can be seen for long distances.

Chrome Island Light

Boat launch gear. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )

There is a derrick for lifting the station boat into the water. There is an inflatable and a power vessel – perhaps one is owned by the keeper. The steep access to the water would be both a blessing and a drawback (in heavy weather).

Chrome Island Light

Chrome Island Light (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )

The tower was built in 1989 and stands 72 feet above the water. It exhibits a white light every five seconds. The light still ranges with a light on the opposite end of the island.

Chrome Island Light

Chrome Island Light (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )

There are houses for the keeper and the assistant keeper. The station is supplied by electrical cables from Denman Island and has the luxury of internet and telephone service.

Chrome Island Light

Chrome Island Light (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )

The ship Alpha sank there on 15/12/1900 while bound for Asia carrying a cargo of salmon and coal. She ran up on the island at night in spite of the light functioning normally. Some of the crew (including the Captain and the owner) died even after others reaching the rocks at the base of the cliff. They had climbed teh mast but were lost when she broke up in teh surf.

References: I am grateful for the names of the light keepers from Donald Graham's book Lights of the Inside Passage and the website http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=1187.



To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2016) Chrome Island Light. Nauticapedia.ca 2016. http://nauticapedia.ca/Gallery/Light_ChromeIsland.php

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