Sand Heads
Sand Heads marks the northern entrance to the main channel of the Fraser River. The position of Sand Heads was ever changing due to the roughly 20 million tons of sediment that the Fraser River empties into the Strait of Georgia each year.1
Scott describes Sand Heads as a nightmare for mariners.2 In 1859, gold prospectors demanded a light at the river mouth, but it was not until 1865 that the government purchased a vessel and anchored it offshore to mark the safe route upstream.3 Later, in 1879, a unique lighthouse was built, one of twisted iron poles driven deep into the silt and topped with a wooden lighthouse tower.4 As the entrance to the Fraser River shifted over the years, more lighthouses and anchored boats were used to mark the safest entrance.5
  • 1. Sand Heads Lighthouse, Lighthouse Friends.
  • 2. Andrew Scott, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2009), 522.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Sand Heads Lighthouse, Lighthouse Friends.
Mentions of this place in the documents
Places in this document

Fraser River

Strait of Georgia

The Colonial Despatches Team. Sand Heads. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/sand_heads.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)