Friday, August 10, 2018

Bluff Lighthouse: Keeper's Quarters 2

For a start, the structure to the right of the lighthouse (see previous post) had been there right from the day the lighthouse was opened i.e. 23 January 1867 - and it may well have been in existence prior to that. After all the lighthousekeeper (my great grandfather), once appointed, would have needed quarters before the lighthouse was officially opened. The lighthouse had been in the process of being built since the foundation stone was laid in November 1864, with the tower finally completed by October 1866. It is reasonable to suppose that the keeper's quarters would have been built by or during 1866 at least.

Looking carefully at the photograph below taken on the day of the opening, 23 January 1867, the building to the right of the lighthouse is immediately identifiable: the shape of the roof, with the chimney at the back, and the flagstaff at the front. 

A pencil drawing made much later shows the same structure to the right of the lighthouse. The other residence is that of the signalman.

This photo, after restoration,, shows what appears to be the identical structure. The picture was taken according to his tradeplate on the back by 'W E James, Photographer, the Point, Natal'. A handwritten note adds 'Uncle Dog [sic], Aunt Ellen, Cousin Violet Bell'.

More on this intriguing survival as well as the group of people in a future post. 

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