Discovery Island Light, Sea Bird Point

Discovery Island Lighthouse was built in 1886 on Pandora Hill at Sea Bird Point. The island is at the junction of Haro Strait and Juan de Fuca Strait and was named in 1846 by surveyors in honor of the HMS Discovery, the ship used by 18th-century British explorer Captain George Vancouver to chart the coastline of British Columbia between 1792 and 1794.

Sea Bird Point is named for the paddle steamer Sea Bird, that on September 7, 1858 was bound from Victoria to the Fraser River loaded with Gold Rush passengers. The steamer caught fire near Discovery Island, forcing the captain to deliberately ground the vessel on the eastern point of Discovery Island. Though the steamer was eventually freed, its name has since been attached to the point.

Richard Brinn was appointed the first keeper of the lighthouse, and in 1902, his daughter Mary Ann Croft became the first female lighthouse keeper in Canada. The light station has two homes for the lightkeepers, a helicopter pad, a diesel power generation station, a well, a water reservoir, a boathouse and dock. The station was automated in 1996 after being continuously manned for 110 years.

The island was also the home of Captain E.G. Beaumont, who purchased part of the island in 1918. Beaumont owned about half of Discovery Island, and in his will gave his share of the island to the Province of British Columbia. Today the Songhees First Nation control the northern part of the island, and the southern part including the light station is within the Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Discovery Island and Seabird Point.