Fisgard Light

by Captain Alec Provan and John MacFarlane 2016

Fisgard Light

Fisgard Lighthouse (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )

Fisgard Island was located in Esquimalt Harbour and the island is now permanently joined to the shore by an artificial causeway. It was named for H.M.S. Fisgard (the British frigate that surveyed Esquimalt Harbour in 1847) and the light on it was established on 16/11/1860 (a pre-confederation light).

There is a circular white 56’ brick tower with a brick light keepers dwelling is attached. The first lighthouse built in what is now Canada later established as a National Historic Park open to the public but still in use as an aid to navigation. A four foot thick solid granite base and a spiral iron staircase imported from San Francisco were the main features incorporated into the structure. The light was designated as a National Historic Site.

Fisgard Light

Fisgard Light (Photo from the Captain Alec Provan collection. )

A Fresnel lens built in Birmingham by Chance Brothers was imported for the tower. The first keeper, George Davies, was recruited from England much to the consternation of the citizens of Victoria who felt that a local person should have been appointed. Davies and his wife Rosina maintained the light station together each taking night watches to wind the clockworks of the lens keeping the light rotating. The light was automated in 1928 but remains a functioning lighthouse, one of the few readily accessible to the public. The central stairway was designed by John Wright and cast at San Francisco.

Keepers: George Davies, 1860–1861); John Watson, (1861); W.H. Bevis, (1861–1879 (Died on station, 1879); Amelia Bevis, (1879–1880); Henry Cogan, (1880–1884): Joseph Dare, (1884–1898); W. Cormack, (1898); John Davies, (1898); Douglas MacKenzie, (1898–1900); Andrew Deacon, (1900–1901); George Johnson, (1901–1909); Josiah Gosse, (1909–1928).

References: Walbran, Captain John T. (1909)

To quote from this article please cite:

Provan, Captain Alec and John MacFarlane (2016) Fisgard Light. 2016.

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