Race Rocks
This small collection of rocky islets in the Juan de Fuca Strait, off the south coast of Vancouver Island, has been an ecological reserve since 1980.1 In 1846, Captain Kellett adopted the name given to these treacherous rocks by officers of the HBC, circa 1842.2 In his log, Kellett described the name as appropriate because the tide makes a perfect race around it.3
A lighthouse was built on Race Rocks from 1859-60, and recently received some much-needed restoration.4 The presence and maintenance of the lighthouse appears essential, as at least 35 ships have wrecked on or near the Rocks over the years.5
  • 1. Andrew Scott, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2009).
  • 2. John T. Walbran, British Columbia Coast Names (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1971), 412.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Restoration, Racerocks.com.
  • 5. Scott, Raincoast Placenames, 488.
Mentions of this place in the documents
People in this document

Kellett, Henry

Places in this document

Juan de Fuca Strait

Vancouver Island