Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouseby
Yesterday we drove around the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island, surveying storm damage from the night before and witnessing towering waves crashing on shore and showering roads and pathways with debris. It was the first big storm of the season and being that we were on the Island, we were pretty concerned about our passage home. BC Ferries canceled their morning sailings but luckily my sister had reserved a spot on the 5pm a few days earlier, by that time they were running again and we were able to board on time.
One thing we did during our little drive around the area was visit Fort Rodd Hill and the Fisgard Lighthouse. The morning winds had calmed down somewhat so we ventured down a bumpy road, following the signs for a “National Historical Site”. The kids enjoyed seeing the four deer that were grazing in the middle of the field and I’m always a sucker for historical sites.
Fort Rodd Hill NHS commemorates the national significance of the Victoria-Esquimalt coast artillery fortress in the defence of Victoria and the naval base at Esquimalt harbour, as part of the larger defence strategy of the British Empire and Canada, 1878 to 1956.
Other important messages are the shift from British to Canadian responsibility for our national defence, and the evolution over time of the V-E Fortress in response to changing threats to Canada’s sovereignty. [Parks Canada]
Fisgard Lighthouse NHS commemorates the national significance of the first lighthouse on Canada’s west coast. Fisgard has been an important symbol of sovereignty-British, Colonial and Canadian-since 1860.
Along with Race Rocks lighthouse, Fisgard provides a guide for mariners to Royal Roads anchorage, Esquimalt harbour and its naval base, and points the way to Victoria harbour. [Parks Canada]
As we walked across the man-made pathway between land and the Island on which the lighthouse stood, avoiding getting splashed by the sea that was still reeling from its outburst that morning, I turned around to take a photo of my sister and her family. Across the entire Eastern sky there was a complete rainbow, it was pretty beautiful even though one side of it did land in Esquimalt.
The whole place had kind of a Fort Langley feel to it, although the natural scenery was breathtaking. The lighthouse contained artifacts, an interpretive video, old lenses, wicks and fog horns. It was kinda creepy being in there and feeling the whole place grumble with the turn of the light – as it is still functioning today.
It was a nice find and I’d like to return some day as there were several buildings in the Fort that we didn’t head into, as well as about a dozen foot paths up and down the hillside that were just begging to be explored.
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Chalking it up to never being content (or that the grass is perfectly green on the opposite side of the globe), I could use a good North-Pacific style fall/winter storm, despite the long hours of sunshine here. 😉
Well, maybe I’ll see a good storm at home after the New Year …
The fierce wind and crashing waves added a lot to the excitement. Thank god for ferry reservations !
Pretty pictures and great write up!
I used to go there quite a bit when I lived in Victoria. Walking among the old munitions and then heading out to the lighthouse. Then driving back across the lagoon was fun too.
Rebecca: I don’t know if you did this, but the navel base in Esquimalt (not sure how to spell it) they decorate the naval ships with Christmas lights too. As a family we would go see them.
[…] A great part about this weekend’s EPIC Expo was the diversity of exhibitors. From office products, to fair trade coffee, electric scooters, and bamboo underpants, EPIC pretty much lived up to its name. I really appreciated the Parks Canada display and DaveO had a chat with Coral over on the happy frog podcast. I stopped by briefly and noticed a large display featuring the Fisgard Lighthouse and Fort Rodd Hill. […]
[…] would highly recommend checking out these two castles and while you’re in the region, Fort Rodd Hill & the Fisgard lighthouse offer up some excellent local history as well. Tweet This Digg it Add to del.icio.us Stumble it […]