On any bright weekend afternoon in spring, Brockton Point Lighthouse is center stage for a display of sun-starved locals and tourists soaking in the warm, crystal clear air. Starry-eyed couples are being photographed, hotshots whiz by on rollerblades, families line up in a caravan of bicycles like ducklings on a pond, and older folks slowly stroll the promenade.
A Stanley Park showpiece, the present Brockton Point Lighthouse was built in 1914, but the story of the light on the point begins in 1890, just a year after the dedication of the park.
Francis Brockton, the engineer aboard the HMS Plumper, which, between 1857 and 1860 was used to survey the British Columbia coast, discovered a vein of coal near Vancouver. The right to bestow names on landmarks was a captain’s prerogative, and Captain George Henry Richards of the Plumber chose to call the site of the find Coal Harbour, while naming a nearby point, Brockton Point, in honor of his engineer.
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