Portlock Point Light, Prevost Island

The Portlock Point Light was built in 1895 on a headland at the eastern extremity of Prevost Island, British Columbia. The headland was named after Captain Nathaniel Portlock, who served on Captain Cook’s Voyages of Discovery from 1776-1779. Prevost Island is located between Saltspring and Galiano Islands and was named after Captain James Prevost of the HMS Satellite, who was the British Commissioner for the San Juan Island boundary dispute of 1859-1870. 

An unmanned stake light was established on Portlock Point in 1890 to help vessels transition between Swanson Channel and Trincomali Channel on their way between Vancouver and Victoria. Five years later a square pyramidal wooden tower was built that stood 48 feet (14.6 m) tall and exhibited a fixed white light with a red sector to cover Enterprise Reef. At the time of lighthouse construction, the island was a private hunting preserve, but in the 1920s most of the island was bought as a farm to raise sheep, goats and cattle.

The Portlock Point Light was fully automated in 1964 and rebuilt with a shorter tower in 1987. A wooden footbridge provides access to the tower from a nearby helicopter landing pad. In 2006, the lighthouse was transferred to Parks Canada and added to the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Read more here and here. Download or open the CoastView app and explore Portlock Point and Prevost Island here: