Race Rocks were appropriately named by Hudson's Bay officers in 1842 for the violent rip tides which race past at up to 10 knots. In 1860 a circular tower was built of stones cut and numbered by Scottish quarrymen and sent "around the Horn" to Victoria as ship's ballast. The beacon atop the tower was lit on Boxing Day, 1860 and was visible for 18 miles
One of the first tasks of light keeper George Davies was to haul himself up in a bosun's chair and paint the black and white stripes which to this day set Race Rocks lighthouse apart from all others on the Pacific Coast. Race Rocks remains one of the most treacherous navigational hazards on the West Coast.