Early years at Hope Island Light

Charles Tizard was the first lighthouse keeper at Hope Island, between Collingwood and Midland. He started the light on Oct. 27, 1884, and closed it down Dec. 15 at the end of the navigation season on the Great Lakes. The Celtic was the government supply ship at that time.

On Jan. 4, 1886, Tizard sailed from Hope Island to Thunder Beach on the nearest mainland, presumably for supplies. He was unable to return because of strong northwest winds. Ice formed along the shore at Thunder bay, so F. Labatt pulled Tizard’s boat ashore at the beach with horses .

Charles Tizard returned to Hope Island over the ice on Jan. 24. He died suddenly on Aug. 17 that year and his wife carried on tending the lighthouse until it was shut down on Dec. 16.

* * *

On Aug. 1, 1888, the logging tug Resolute lost her raft and lifeboat off Hope Island. The tug sprang a leak and ran aground on the east end of the island. Lightkeeper Allan Collins took the crew off at 4.00 p.m. on Aug.8, and they were sent to Midland the next day.

* * *

In 1889 the American schooner Imperial sank three or four miles off Hope Island light. Capt. A. Warden was the master. There was no loss of life.

The next year the schooner Homer struck a rock off the Western Islands on April 23. The propeller Imperial ran aground on the northeast point of Beckwith Island, east of Hope, on May 31.

These anecdotes were collected by Juanita Rourke in 1980, and contributed to The Water Rat, a short-lived newsletter by Ancient Islander.

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