LIGHTHOUSE RESTORATION PROJECT
We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia for this restoration project, in addition to generous contributions from the Westaway Charitable Foundation and Dr. Marvin Caruthers. Many other individuals have also donated to the success of this project, and we are sincerely appreciative of every contribution. Thank you!
UPDATE: Posted on May 26, 2019
The current restoration project is now in the final phase (Phase 3). While significant achievements have been made, there is still a lot we want and need to do, especially in terms of site improvement, Orca monitoring, repatriating and restoring historical lighthouse artifacts, and site security. Please see below for details.
The main component of the restoration project – the restoration of the historic structures on site – is now, essentially completed! All of the concrete repair work, corrosion removal, painting (interior and exterior – including the lantern room, tower walls, the metal staircase and the entire engine room), replacement of windows, restoration of vents, doors and the weather vane, upgrading and replacement of all electrical systems (heaters, lighting, wiring and electrical panels), waterproofing around the base of the tower and drywall repairs and mould removal in the engine room have now been completed.
Efforts are underway to check for leaks, settling and any post restoration issues that may become chronic. Three small issues have been identified and will be addressed shortly:
– Spot painting in both the tower and engine room due to the need to slightly move the location of the new baseboard heaters (leaving an unpainted strip where the old heaters were located). This can be done by volunteers and will be completed shortly.
– Leaking – volunteers are monitoring a very small leak in one of the windows in the lantern room. It appeared shortly after installation, but with curing and settling it appears to have stopped. Continue to monitor, and the window installers will come back to repair if necessary.
– Leaking – engine room roof. In the past couple of weeks, a leak in the engine room roof has been noticed (appears to be coming through some old flashing). Can probably be dealt with easily by volunteers and some caulking. Will address this in the next couple of weeks.
SAFETY, SECURITY AND SITE DEVELOPMENT
We are also now moving towards the completion of necessary safety, security and site development measures at the site.
Railings along the pathway/causeway to the lighthouse (i.e. relocation and replacement of stanchions as required, and installation of chain handrails) has now also been completed.
Still to be done:
– Installation of safety cable inserts into the fencing around the engine room and extending down the stairs to the viewing platform. (This is currently held up due to challenges in sourcing the components we want to use for this cabling). Expect to complete this in the next month or so.
– Landscaping to restore the heritage precinct to its natural form (i.e. to clean up after the disruption of the restoration work) is under way. Still at the planning stage. The work will be completed over the coming year, as appropriate for various plantings.
– Design and review of a simple pedestrian trail from the top of the property to the Westaway Plaza has been completed. Initial cutting of the trail will be completed shortly, and the work on the tread, final clearing and sign posting is planned to be completed by the end of the summer (the work will be largely completed by volunteers). The new safer and more secure hiking trail will be a continuation of the Lighthouse View Trail acquired for the public by the Society almost 10 years ago. It will connect to and continue Jennie’s Trail – the existing route from the small parking area on Sheringham Point Road to the Lighthouse Heritage Site gate. The new trail’s proposed route wends its way through the property with several viewpoints, gentle slopes and switchbacks for ease of use. It may also include installation of benches to make the site more accessible for seniors and those with mobility challenges. Partially Funded
– A new, more secure gate and partial fencing will soon be installed at the entrance to the site. The current, rickety chain link gate will be replaced with the new gate as soon as possible. Design is completed, and we now need to schedule the work with an installer. It is hoped it can be completed this summer. Partially Funded
As Phase 3 of the restoration project (the items listed above) is brought to a close, volunteers and contractors are also moving forward on with development of several additional components which will need to be considered in the coming months:
– An ongoing, cyclical maintenance plan to ensure that the restoration work completed to date will not be allowed to deteriorate over time. This will include both daily and seasonal activities, as well as longer term plans. This is currently not funded.
– A plan and operation of expanded ORCA monitoring and protection. Working with the DFO Pacific Marine Mammal Staff to create online publicly available orca sound and sight monitoring. Further working with groups and individuals to help monitor and save the fragile population in the Salish Sea. Partially Funded
– A plan for habitat restoration over the whole site is in the works (which will include removal of invasive species, and renaturalization as required, along with reclamation where possible of the plantings done over the years by the light keepers. The plan will be completed shortly, and implementation will begin in the coming months. It is expected to take another year or two to complete the work. Not Funded
– Review of and plan for all the equipment (artifacts) from the Lighthouse and Engine room that has been repatriated from the Sooke Region Museum. Included is the Fresnel lens and foghorn, all important parts of the heritage lighthouse history. Not Funded
While funding has been raised for some of the items listed above, many of the components still need to be funded. Presently, for example, there is no financial support in place for any of the items lost from the lighthouse and recently found and stored, including the historic lens and foghorn. These and many other historic components of the working Sheringham Lighthouse are in disrepair, and need to be restored to working order. Efforts are underway to find additional support to complete the remaining necessary work at the site, as well as to fund a professional evaluation and expert repairs and restoration of all the “lost” equipment that has been repatriated.
Once again, Society Volunteers want to express heartfelt appreciation for the exceptional financial support from the Westaway Charitable Foundation and, in particular, the personal support, advice and guidance from Peter and Brigitte Westaway. As has been said previously, this restoration project would not have been possible without that tremendous support — it is simply the cornerstone of the restoration project — It is a legacy that will last for generations.
The Society Volunteers also gratefully acknowledge the remarkable and continuing generous support received from Dr. Marvin Caruthers. His advice and wise guidance has been remarkable. Also acknowledged is the ongoing support from hundreds of other individuals in the local community and from those who are supporters of heritage preservation projects such as this.
Most recently, we have received support from the Province of British Columbia (Capital Gaming Grant), which has enabled the Society to bring the project closer to the finish line. Past funding support came from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada (both to help with the restoration, as well as to enhance the educational and visitor experience components of our project), and we are extremely grateful for that support. Working with local and talented independent contractors, Society Volunteers have worked to carefully and lovingly restore the 1912 structures to their former glory and keep the foreshore passive park open and accessible to the public as a National Lighthouse Heritage site.
Thanks also to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Coast Guard and the many people within both organizations who have helped.
UPDATE: Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2018
Great news! Phase 3 of the Lighthouse Restoration Project is going very well. The painting, corrosion removal and repairs (both interior and exterior) for both the Tower and the Engine Room are now completed, and the Lighthouse looks tremendous! All that remains is for us to install the heaters and lighting, and replace some of the old corroded wiring, and the work on the structures will be complete. This remaining work will be done later this month. A great thank you to everyone who has supported our efforts and helped us get this far.
Next steps in this phase of our project are to upgrade some of the safety measures (restoration of the handrails along the pathway, and installation of safety cables in the rails around the engine room), which will be completed in January. Then we will move on to the installation of a new security gate, creation of better/easier trail access, and landscaping restoration, which will all be done in the new year. Please check back here for further updates as they take place.
Restoration of the lighthouse structures is nearing completion. Work on the exterior of both the tower and the engine room has now been completed, and the focus has shifted to the interior. The lantern room interior is almost complete, with just final touch up work to be done on the floor and the walls. In the tower itself, the interior walls and landings are mostly finished, with a final coat to be added soon. Also, the stairs are now being prepared for painting. The engine room preparation has started, with the mould removal now completed. Drywall repairs will be completed next and then the painting in a couple of weeks. Once the painting and surface work has been completed, we will be installing new heaters in both the tower and engine room. Also work will be underway soon to upgrade and enhance the handrails along the pathway and around the engine room. Stay tuned.
During the summer months, work continued on the lantern room. We removed all of the corrosion on the cast metal structure, removed all of the broken windows, and replaced them with newly manufactured windows that exactly replicated the originals. And then we applied several coats of paint to the exterior of the entire lantern room, as well as to the upper portion of the interior. (The remainder of the interior will be repainted shortly).
On August 27, the hoarding was removed, unveiling the renovated lantern room for all to see. Once the hoarding was removed, we were also able to replace the renovated weather vane at the top of the dome.
To view a time-lapse video of the unveiling:
Our aggressive and extensive restoration project continues at full pace. With the generous support provided by local resident Dr. Marvin Caruthers and the Westaway Foundation (led by Peter and Birgit Westaway), as well as a host of other donors, we have been able to proceed with our efforts to ensure that the Lighthouse will be fully restored and protected for generations to come. Erosion control measures and re-installation and upgrading of power to the site (including installation of a solar power array and a new electrical shed) are now complete. The railings around the engine room have been repainted (powder-coated), and the remaining railings will soon be re-painted. Also, additional safety measures will be added to the rails shortly. Significant concrete repairs to the inside of the tower have been completed, and patching on the exterior of both the tower and the engine room continues. Scaffolding and hoarding is in place around the lantern room at the top of the tower. This has allowed us to remove all of the windows (all but 6 were damaged, and will be replaced – replacement windows have been manufactured and are on site). As well, all of the corrosion (rust) on the exterior of the lantern room has now been removed. The badly-corroded door (to the exterior catwalk) was removed, then cleaned up and repaired, and has now been re-installed. The vents in the lantern room (which were painted over and made unusable) have been cleaned and will again be operational.
We are currently working to remove, clean and restore the weather vane at the top of the dome. Also, we are working on Once that is completed, we will move on to washing down the structure and then beginning to repaint (there will be three coats of specialized paint applied). Both the exterior and the interior of the lantern room and tower will be painted. Once the lantern room painting is complete, the windows will be replaced, and the scaffolding removed. Then we will repaint the tower, and following that, the engine room. We hope to be completed this work by mid-summer.
Restoration work is in full swing. All windows have been removed from the lantern room, in preparation for their replacement. Removal of the corrosion on the exterior of the lantern room is almost complete, and we are getting ready for repainting the exterior soon.
The lantern room door will be removed in the next few days and taken into the shop for restoration. Consideration is currently being given to how best to repair and restore the weather vane at the top of the tower (which is currently not functional).
Please note: We will be removing the railings around the engine room as of Sunday, April 15, so they can be taken into the shop and powder-coated. While these rails are removed from site, the site will be closed to visitors for safety reasons. The site will be closed from 2pm on April 15 and re-open (all being well) on Monday April 23rd. (There may be slippage by a day or to, so please check back with the website before visiting).
UPDATE: Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Installation of the scaffolding and protective hoarding around the LANTERN ROOM has now been completed. This will allow us to begin full restoration of the lantern room. We will first be removing all of the broken windows. Then the years of corrosion will be removed from the metal uprights, and from areas around the base plates and the roof. The entire lantern room (inside and outside) will be repainted, using a combination of three coats – a sealer, a main coat and a top coat. Colours will be historically accurate. We anticipate this phase of the work will take a couple of months (subject, to some extent, to weather).
Following the work on the lantern room, we will move on to concrete patching and repainting of the tower and engine room. This work is more weather-dependent, and will be done as it begins to warm up later in the spring. In preparation for this, over the past few weeks considerable concrete patching and repair has been done on the interior of the tower.
Also, please note: the red handrails located around the engine room will also be re-painted over the coming weeks. It may be necessary to temporarily remove these handrails so they can be taken into the shop and powder-coated. For safety reasons, it may therefore be necessary to close this part of the site at that time. Please check our website for more information about this.
All of the ground work required to lay the conduit for power and communications to be reinstalled in the Lighthouse has now been completed, as well as work to prevent further erosion along the causeway. Installation of the Solar Panels to provide the power is now also completed. The solar panels are connected to the BC Hydro grid, both for backup (when the sun doesn’t shine for extended periods), and also to route excess power (in the summer when we don’t need it so much) back into the grid. The new electrical shed is now complete and operational. It was designed to fit into the style and look of the existing lighthouse buildings circa 1960. All of the batteries, solar power connections and BC Hydro grid connection and solar monitoring are housed in the shed.
Now that we have the power infrastructure reinstalled, work has begun on the restoration of the Lighthouse structures. Our first priority is to restore the lantern room at the top of the lighthouse tower, which is quite severely corroded in places, and has many broken windows. This work will include refurbishing the old metal structure as much as possible, replacing some of the metal components as necessary, installing new windows (custom-made, using the original style and dimensions of the glass) and then re-painting the entire structure, inside and out.
Work on the lantern room will be followed by concrete patching and repairs on the tower itself and the engine room, and then repainting both structures, inside and out. This work (and the work on the lantern room) will require installation of scaffolding – which will be going up soon.
Also, new interpretive signs have been created with assistance from the National Cost Sharing Program for Historic Places, from Parks Canada, and have been installed on site. A small “interpretive plaza” was created as a location for the signs, and has been named the “Westaway Plaza” in recognition of the contributions of Lighthouse Society patron Peter Westaway and the Westaway Foundation.
UPDATE: This message posted on MONDAY, MAY 8
The trenching work has now been completed to lay the conduit for power and communications to be reinstalled in the Lighthouse. Work will now start on installation of the Solar Panels to provide the power. (The solar power will be connected to the BC Hydro grid, both for backup when the sun doesn’t shine for extended periods, and to put power back into the grid when we have excess). Getting the power into the lighthouse meant we had to lay the conduit above ground (to avoid having to blast into bedrock at the base of the tower), so to meet code requirements, we encased the conduit in concrete, as can be seen in the attached picture. When this portion of the work is completed, we’ll be cleaning up the debris, reinstalling the handrails and landscaping around the base. The electrical shed will also be completed within the next couple of weeks.
UPDATE: This message posted on SATURDAY, MARCH 25
Trenching and other heavy machinery work will be taking place on site beginning on TUESDAY, MARCH 28 and continuing for several days. This work will allow us to lay the conduit for electrical connections between the Lighthouse, the electrical shed, the power pole and the solar array. The site for installation of the solar array will also be further prepared at this time, and the solar panels installed in the next few weeks. We will also be backfilling around the electrical shed at this time, and the shed will then be completed in the coming weeks.
Work is currently underway in the lower field. We are installing a small electrical shed as part of our project to re-establish power to the Lighthouse and engine room. Local builder Chuck Minten is building the shed and, when completed, it will have a similar appearance to the original buildings that were on site. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days. (Next steps will be to install the solar array – this will include trenching to lay the power cables).
UPDATE: This message posted on THURSDAY, JANUARY 20
Work has recently been completed to clear areas required for installation of solar power collectors and for the construction of a utility shed. In the coming days, shed construction will begin, as well as trenching for laying power cables. Please check this site regularly for further updates.
UPDATE: This message posted on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Work will be getting underway tomorrow, FRIDAY NOVEMBER 25 at 8:00 a.m. This work involves trucks and heavy machinery, and will involve brush clearing and preparation for EROSION CONTROL measures on the causeway leading to the Lighthouse. Please exercise extreme caution if you visit the site today, and stay well away from any machinery or activity – follow any instructions from the contractors on site.
Further Update: October 3.
This week we are doing some work on overhead electrical wires. Please be cautious if visiting the site.
The fence removal is now completed. Further work will be done over the coming week.
UPDATE: This message posted on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
Today’s activity involves temporary removal of a portion of the lower fence. Please stay away from this area.
Site remains open until further notice.
The Sheringham Point Lighthouse was built and began operations in 1912. It was de-staffed in 1989, and most of the site’s operations ceased at that time. The Lighthouse currently retains only a green beacon and a small weather station. The site was eventually declared surplus for government needs. It was acquired by the Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society in 2015, under the provisions of the Heritage Lighthouse Preservation Act, after more than a dozen years of community organizing and advocacy.
As the new stewards of this unique heritage site, the Society’s first major task is to restore the Lighthouse, Engine Room and other key features to ensure their ongoing protection, to make the site safe for visitors and to provide a glimpse back to the heyday of the Lighthouse when it was in full operation.
This work, in total, will take a number of years, but the Society’s volunteers and commercial partners are beginning with two phases of work that will make significant improvements in the condition and safety of the site. This work was identified following an assessment of the site by conservation engineers John Dam and Associates. The restoration work is being coordinated by project manager Ian Fawcett of Change Canada Consultants, and involves, wherever possible, contractors from the local (Shirley/Sooke) area.
The restoration work includes the following:
Phase 1 (September to December 2016)
- Erosion control along the causeway
- Provision of power to the site and the lighthouse structures
- Safety upgrades
- A new access trail through the site
- Upgrades to the public access section of Sheringham Point Road and the lower parking area, as required by CRD and MOTI
Phase 2 (January to June 2017)
- Re-fabrication and re-painting of the Lighthouse lantern room
- Concrete patching and re-painting of the tower (exterior and interior)
- Concrete repairs and repainting of the engine room (exterior and interior)
- Installation of additional site security measures, including an upgraded access gate
- Replanting and site foliage restoration as necessary
Phase 3 (July 2017, ongoing)
- Accommodations for people with limited mobility/agility following further consultations
- Further landscaping, as required
- Further restoration of the lantern room, including re-patriation of the Fresnel lens
- Potentially: further visitor amenities following additional consultations with site users and the neighbourhood
This work represents a major step forward for the Society and its volunteers. It is the culmination of the past twelve years of our work, and the beginning of a new phase of our operations. It will require significant resources – both human and financial. Much of the work will need to be done by qualified professionals, under the guidance of heritage experts, but other aspects of the work will be carried out by our volunteers and our community. To be fully successful, we will need a lot of help.
- If you are able to volunteer your time and/or expertise to assist with this project, please contact us by clicking here.
- If you are able to make a financial donation to help us pay for this restoration, please click here.
If you have any questions or comments about the work being done at the Lighthouse site, please use the reply box below.