Lightkeepers Gold................Race Rocks Islets .....
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  1. #1
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    294 times

    Lightkeepers Gold................Race Rocks Islets .....

    I think that if this account is true, anyone might be able to find the gold that was near the lighthouse....
    On Boxing Day 1860 the magnificent Imperial Light on the treacherous was lit for the first time. Since then, without interruption, a succession of dedicated lightkeepers have tended the light as a vital aid to navigation for ships transiting the Strait of Juan de Fuca bound for the ports of Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle and the inside passage.
    In 1867 Thomas Argyle was appointed as Chief Keeper of Race Rocks Light at an annual salary of $630. His wife Ellen was retained as matron at $150 and two assistant keepers were hired at a salary of $390 each for the year. Supplying the station was always difficult as it involved rowing out from Victoria but at least the Admiralty paid up to $900 a year for supplies. The employment conditions for the keeper of Race Rocks were relatively good at this time compared to the situation after 1871 when the new Dominion Government took over the lights. Argyle's annual salary was then cut to a paltry $125 and he was expected to pay for his own assistants and all supplies. Argyle apparently took to the sea to supplement his food supplies. His family had grown considerably as six children were born to the Argyles at Race Rocks. He was known to dive into the frigid waters around the station in search of abalone, scallops and mussels.

    It seems that Thomas Argyle's luck suddenly changed in about 1885. The Colonist newspaper reported that he was paying for his weekly supplies in Victoria with gold sovereigns. When Thomas died thirty years later at the age of eighty he had still not exhausted his apparently endless supply of gold coins. It would appear that Thomas Argyle's diving expeditions had resulted in the discovery of sunken treasure. "The sea provides!" Argyle served at Race Rocks for twenty-one years and retired in 1888. One son was drowned at age 19 when returning from Victoria with a friend. Another son Albert took over as temporary keeper until a new appointment was made on January 1, 1889. According to descendants of Argyle they would not allow him to stay on as keeper because he was not married
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow



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