Origin of place name: Rock formations in this area have broken up in rectangular patterns reminiscent of ashlar rocks used in masonry. It has been named thus since 1975. Source: The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names.
Origin of place name: This shoal was named in 1924 by the hydrographic service after John Barnsley who rose up through the ranks of the Union Steamship Co from agent to managing director until his death in 1924. Originally a gunsmith from Birmingham, UK, he immigrated to BC in 1881. John Barnsley also happens to be BC's first auto licence holder—in 1904 he drove a primitive vehicle known as a Waltham Orient Buckboard; he kept licence plate #1 until he died. Source: The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names.
Origin of place name:
Named after Spanish naval officer Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra (1744-94). According to Raincoast Place Names, in 1792 Quadra "sailed to Nootka Sound to meet Captain George Vancouver and, as Spanish commissioner to the Nootka Sound Convention, arrange British access to the Pacific Northwest and restore confiscated British property. He and Vancouver were not able to come to terms but established a firm friendship and agreed to give the name Quadra and Vancouver's Island to the large body of land that Vancouver had just circumnavigated. It was only later that this name was shortened to Vancouver Island. Quadra, unwell, returned to Monterey and died not long after at Mexico City."
Quadra Island, Francisco Point and Bodega Point on Quadra Island are also named after Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra.
Origin of place name: Named after Spanish naval officer Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra (1744-94). According to Raincoast Place Names, in 1792 Quadra "sailed to Nootka Sound to meet Captain George Vancouver and, as Spanish commissioner to the Nootka Sound Convention, arrange British access to the Pacific Northwest and restore confiscated British property. He and Vancouver were not able to come to terms but established a firm friendship and agreed to give the name Quadra and Vancouver's Island to the large body of land that Vancouver had just circumnavigated. It was only later that this name was shortened to Vancouver Island. Quadra, unwell, returned to Monterey and died not long after at Mexico City."
Quadra Island, Francisco Point and Bodega Anchorage on Quadra Island are also named after Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra.
Origin of Place Name: The name dates back to at least 1867 when it appeared on an Admiralty chart. It seems to have got its start as a fishing community and Union Steamship Co landing when Moses Ireland, a renowned timber cruiser, established a small hotel and ranch there in 1901. The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names notes, “A store followed, and a post office in 1911. Ireland came to BC for gold, went into business with Sewell Moody, who started Burrard Inlet’s first sawmill (and first industry), logged in the Cortes Island area and ran a freight business on the Skeena R. Bold Point lost its steamship service in 1952, its post office in 1960 and in the early 2000s was slumbering in rural peace.”
Origin of place name: The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names notes this island is named for John Brent (1729-1812), one of the owners of the British Shipyard, Randall & Brent, that built HMS Discovery. In 1792, Captain George Vancouver explored the Pacific Northwest in Discovery and explored marine channels in the area with Spanish naval officer Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra. The name was adopted in 1924.
Origin of place name: This cape, known for its treacherous offshore conditions was named for Zachary Mudge (1770-1852), who was first lieutenant on Captain George Vancouver's HMS Discovery in 1792 and in 1796 served on the HMS Providence in the same rank. According to the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, Vancouver visited a village on the cape— Tsa-kwa-luten, meaning "playing field"—that was occupied at the time by the Coast Salish people. Cape Mudge village, now the main community of the We-wai-kai people, a branch of the Lekwiltok (Kwakwaka'wakw) First Nation, is know today as Yaculta. A lighthouse station was built on the cape in 1898, replaced in 1916 and now the heritage structure boasts an automated weather-observing system and a solar-powered light, horn and videograph fog sensor.
Origin of place name: According to the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, "Chasina" is a First Nations name, but its meaning is unknown. It was chosen by the Union Steamship Co. which often used the Okisollo Channel, for one of its vessels. The ship was originally built in Glasgow in 1881 as Santa Cecilia as a private pleasure craft. In 1910 it was renamed Selma and ran between Vancouver and Powell River until 1917 when Union Steamship acquired it and renamed it Chasina operating it on the Howe Sound and Sunshine Coast routes for six years. It was then sold and became a rumrunner until 1928. In 1931, en route to Macao from Hong Kong, the vessel and 11 crew disappeared.
Chonat Point (centre) and Chonat Bay (left). Okisollo Channel is on the right side of photo.
THESE THREE FEATURES ARE LOCATED on the northernmost peninsula of Quadra Island—29 kilometres from Quathiaski Cove as the raven flies. Access by foot to this peninsula from the Granite Bay area would require more than one day and is for expert hikers only. Most of the extensively-logged peninsula is Crown land and falls within TimberWest's TFL 47. But there is also private property in the area, including some of the land between Chonat Bay and Chonat Lake (See map below).
Extent of private property around Pulton Bay and Chonat Lake. Everything else is Crown land within TimberWest's TFL 47 tenure. Click on the map for a larger image.
Raincoast Place Names notes: "Chonat is the traditional First Nations name for this bay. According to the historians Helen and Philip Akrigg, the word is Kwakwala for 'where coho salmon are found.' The bay and point were named by Capt John Walbran of CGS Quadra about 1904. Chonat Lake was named later, in association with the other features. Chonat Bay was formerly known as Lake Bay."
As of November, 2017, it is unknown whether coho or other salmon are still found in the bay. A 1977 DFO paper includes DFO records showing an escapement of 3500 chum, 400 pink and 200 coho in 1947. The study contains a 1955 report that the creek between the bay and the lake was "too muddy" for spawning. DFO recorded that the creek flowing into the lake at its east end was being used by 200 coho for spawning in 1977, with no chum or pinks observed. If anyone knows the current status of salmon in the bay, lake or creeks, please let us know.
Chonat Lake looking west over Chonat Bay and Sonora Island
Origin of place name: As noted in the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, this passage between Vancouver Island and Quadra Island was named after HMS Discovery, the ship that Captain George Vancouver sailed to explore the Pacific Northwest in 1791-95. The 303-tonne, 29-metre sloop carried a crew of 100, and was itself named after one of Captain James Cook's vessels.
Origin of place name: According to The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, Drew Harbour was named for Charles Randolph Drew, who died in 1873. Drew "was on the BC coast, based at Esquimalt, from 1866 to 1871. He was assistant secretary to Rear Admiral George Hastings, commander-in-chief of the Pacific Station, and then paymaster aboard HMS Pylades, under Captain Cecil Buckley. In 1872 he was in Jamaica as secretary to Captain Algernon de Horsey aboard HMS Aboukir. Drew Creek, which flows into Drew Harbour, is also named for him…" Raincoast Place Names notes, "the original Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation name for Drew Harbour was Tsatsahesin, or "place with plenty of gravel."
Origin of place name: John Thomas Gowlland (1838-74) was 2nd master aboard HMS Plumper and Hecate, under Captain George Richards. According to the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, he was a graduate of naval college and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He was involved in survey duties on the BC coast from 1957-62. He was drowned doing survey work in 1874 in Sydney, Australia.
According to geographer Robert Galois, Gowlland Harbour's First Nation name was Gwigwakulis, which translates to "whale between the two."
Origins of name: Granite Bay was the site of a major railway-logging camp fpr BC Mills Timber & Trading Company from about 1890 to 1925. The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names notes that "A group of Finns settled at the bay, and a small community grew up, complete with hotel, store, post office, school, brothel and steamship landing. The nearby Lucky Jim Mine produced copper, silver and gold ore, 1910-25."
Origin of place name:
According to The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, Heriot Bay was named "in 1862 by Captain George Richards after Frederick Lewis Mailand-Heriot (1818-81), a descendant of the 6th Earl of Lauderdale. Heriot was an advocate, justice of the peace, sheriff and deputy lieutenant of Fife, Scotland, and apparently a relative of Rear Admiral Thomas Maitland, commander-in-chief of the Royal Navy's Pacific Station, 1860-62, whom Richards wished to honour."
Origin of place name: This channel is named for Staff Cdr Richard Hoskyn, who was appointed chief draftsman of the RN's hydrographic department in 1864, and superintendent of charts in 1865. Source: The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names.
Origin of place name: Quadra Island historian and writer Jeanette Taylor notes that the name derives from the First Nation name for this place. In her book, Exploring Quadra Island, Taylor quotes Lekwala speaker George Quocksister, who translates this name as "you can walk through to the other side." An arm of Kanish Bay, Small Inlet, cuts east across Quadra Island almost to Waiatt Bay on the "other side" of the island. A trail connects Small Inlet with Waiatt Bay.
Kanish Bay is the site of an ancient First Nation winter village. On the north shore of Kanish Bay, near where it turns into Small Inlet, Taylor notes, in The Quadra Story, "The depths of the middens (refuse piles) in places like Heriot Bay and Waiatt Bay indicate they were winter villages in use for thousands of years. A site in Kanish Bay, at the northwestern entrance to Small Inlet, has a midden well over three metres (ten feet) deep."
Luoma Lake, looking southeast
FINNISH SETTLER Alfred Luoma pre-empted Crown land at Granite Bay in 1906, according to historian and author Jeanette Taylor. Taylor notes that Luoma arrived at Granite Bay "from Sointula when the utopian community failed." A tributary of Luoma Creek passes through the land settled by the Finn. Luoma Creek's headwaters are at Luoma Lake, and the creek flows into Little Main Lake. See our drone flyovers of Luoma Lake here.
Origin of place name: According to BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office, it was originally spelled "Maude" Island on 1870 edition of British Admiralty Chart # 580 (first published in 1862 from 1860 surveys by Captain Richards, and amended to include Captain Pender's resurvey of 1864; pre-1870 editions not in Geographical Names Office collection). Origin/significance not known.
Origin of place name: The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names notes these islands were named for Lance Corporal William Henry Metcalf, VC, MM (1894-1968). Metcalf was an American from Maine but fought in WWI as a member of the 16th (Canadian Scottish) Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The islands were named after Metcalf in 1924.
Origin of place name: This bay, east of Open Bay, was named in 1981 for the Mould family which lived in the vicinity in the 1940s. According to the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, John Allen Mould (1907-1985) is buried at the Quadra Island Cemetery. He married Jessie Margaret Munro (1915-96) at Powell River in 1939. They lived on Cortes, as well, and moved to Campbell River in 1948.
Looking north across Little Nugedzi Lake to Mount Seymour
Mount Seymour was named for Rear Admiral Sir George Francis Seymour (1787-1870), according to The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names. Seymour was commander-in-chief of the Royal Navy's Pacific Station, 1844-48, then based at Valpariso, Chile. A small nearby lake just north of Mount Seymour is locally referred to as Seymour Lake. Seymour Narrows on Quadra's west coast is named after Seymour as well.
Origin of place name:
Seymour Lake was named for Rear Admiral Sir George Francis Seymour (1787-1870), according to The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names. Seymour was commander-in-chief of the Royal Navy's Pacific Station, 1844-48, then based at Valpariso, Chile. Mount Seymour and Seymour Narrows on Quadra's west coast is named after Seymour as well.
Origin of place name:
Nixon Island is near the northwest corner of Quadra Island, in Kanish Bay. The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names states: "Paymaster Cdr Francis Robert Woodcock Nixon, from Victoria, was killed in Action April 30, 1941, aged 37. He was aboard the Nerissa, a former Red Cross Line passenger and cargo steamer that was owned by the Bermuda & West Indies Steamship Company and saw service during the war as an RCN troopship. En route from Halifax to England it was torpedoed by a U-boat off the coast of Ireland and sank in four minutes with the loss of 209 lives. Nixon is commemorated on the Halifax Memorial."
Nixon Rock is just south of the island.
A cove nearby on Quadra Island, southeast of Granite Point, has been referred to as "Nixon Cove" by local rock climbers, who note: "Nixon Cove is hard to miss with its beautiful overhanging, white granite leaning over the deep, dark water at the northwest end of Kanish Bay 50°16'29.78"N 125°22'38.73"W. Nixon Cove has potential for some very challenging climbing."
Origin of place name: This 22-kilometre-long body of water wraps around the northern end and northeastern side of Quadra Island, separating it from Sonora and Maurelle Islands. The name applies to the channel from Discovery Passage to Surge Narrows.
According to The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, "Okisollo is an adaptation of a Kwakwala or Lekwala word meaning 'channel" or 'passageway." When Captain George Vancouver travelled through this region in 1792, it was occupied by the Coast Salish tribes of the Island Comox. In the early 1800s, however, the Lekwiltok First Nation took control of Quadra Island and the surrounding area and forced the Island Comox further south. The Lekwiltok are part of the Kwakwaka'wakw cultural allinance, and their language, Lekwala, is related to Kwakwala. Place names in the vicinity changed over the years to reflect this altered ownership. Okisollo has appeared on old charts as Okis Hollow Channel. The nearby Okis Islands are possibly an abbreviation of this name."
The channel includes two notable stretches of tidal rapids, the Upper Rapids near Cooper Point, and the Lower Rapids to the south of the Okis Islands. Canadian Yachting provides mariners a description of how to navigate these rapids under power. The Upper Rapids, which are more turbulent, have a remarkable feature—a standing wave—that attracts white-water kayakers from around the world.
Okisollo Channel is not all fun and no work, though. As of November 2017 the channel contained four open-net fish farms. Fish farms in the Discovery Islands, introduced in the mid-1980s, have been a contentious issue. The Discovery Islands farms were singled out by the 2013 Cohen Commission investigation into the possible causes of a dramatic decline in Fraser River sockeye salmon runs in 2013. Most Fraser River sockeye pass through the area's tidal passages during their first year of life. Opponents of the farms contend that wild salmon headed out to the Pacific are exposed to disease and sea lice as they pass close to the net pens, which increases mortality in young salmon. They also argue that returning salmon may be infected with viruses from farmed salmon that detrimentally affect their ability to reach their spawning grounds. Cohen's $37-million report recommended a moratorium on further expansion of fish farms in the Discovery Islands. He also recommended that “If at any time between now and September 30, 2020, the minister of fisheries and oceans determines that net-pen salmon farms in the Discovery Islands (fish health sub-zone 3-2) pose more than a minimal risk of serious harm to the health of migrating Fraser River sockeye salmon, he or she should promptly order that those salmon farms cease operations.” Cohen called for appropriate “research and analysis” to determine the risk.
The presence of the fish farms has inspired some local residents to do their own research into the issue. Notable among those have been Jodi and Tavish Campbell of Sonora Island who have, among other things, produced videos about their investigations, including those linked below.
Copyright 2020 Discovery Islands Mapping ProjectPowered by Invision Community
Origin of place name: Lt Colonel Wesley Peck, VC, DSO (1871-1956) was born in New Brunswick and came to BC in 1897. He lived in Prince Rupert for a number of years where he became involved in the salmon-canning business. He served in WW1, winning the Victoria Cross for his bravery in a battle in France in 1918. Pierre Berton called him "one of the most belligerent commanders in the Corps—a bulky, black-browed British Columbian with an enormous walrus mustache who believed senior offices should not hang back in battle." He was elected MP for Skeena in 1917 (despite being overseas), defeated in 1921. He served as a Conservative MLA for the Gulf Islands from 1924-33, and was then appointed to the Canadian Pension Commission. Source: The Encyclopedia of BC Place Names.
Origin of place name: According to the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, the HMS Plumper was one of the main hydrographic vessels on the BC coast from 1857-61 under Captain George Richards. Richards named a half dozen geographical features on the coast—including Quadra's Plumper Bay—after his ship, a 591-tonne barque-rigged steam sloop.
Origin of place name: The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names notes Pulton Bay was named in 1902 by Canada's Superintendent of Lighthouses Lt Col William Anderson for "a lumberman using Okisollo Channel." Presumably Pulton Point honours the same man.
Origin of place name: According to the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, "Quathiaski" may be a Northern Coast Salish word meaning "island in the mouth," referring to Grouse Island at the entrance to the cove. Another translation is "place on north side of the point."
Pidcock Bros built a cannery on the cove in 1904, and the village that grew up around it was the largest in the area until the mid-1920s when Campbell River emerged as the regional centre.
The cannery changed hands a number of times until it was bought by BC Packers in 1938. It was destroyed by fire in 1941 and not rebuilt.
Origin of place name: Village Bay was the site of a sizeable First Nations community and is currently a reserve of the Cape Mudge people of the Kwakwaka'wakw Fist Nation. According to the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names: "An old trail and a stream link the bay to Quadra's networks of interconnected lakes. Loggers once floated logs down to this stream, ruining it for salmon and angering the residents of Yakwen, the village on the bay. To preserve their fishstocks they blew up the dam that had been built at the lake exit."
Origin of place name: According to the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, "This bay, with its rich marine resources, was an important First Nation habitation site, both for the Klahoose (Coast Salish) people and for the Lekwiltok (Kwakwaka'wakw), who controlled the area in later years. An old portage trail crosses Quadra from the bay to Small Inlet. There are fine examples on Waiatt Bay of what are known today as 'clam gardens,' an early form of aquaculture in which clam beds were seeded and tended. The name is usually translated as 'place where herring spawn' and should be pronounced WU-ad, according to First Nation informants. It appeared on Admiralty charts for many years as Wyatt Bay, which was also the post office name, 1913-46. Moses Ireland, a well-known logger in the region, bought land there in 1884. A general store was in operation on one of the nearby Octopus Islands prior to WWI and lasted until about 1940. A few handloggers lived in the area, as well as a boatbuilder and the manager of the Wyatt Bay Fish Oil and Fertilizer Co. The south shore of the bay is part of the 760-hectare Octopus Islands Provincial Park, established in 1974."
Access to Waiatt Bay by foot is possible by taking the Newton Lake trail from Granite Bay to Newton Lake. Near the northwest corner of the lake is a well-marked trail leading down to Small Inlet. The "old portage trail" mentioned above has been maintained. To see the clam gardens requires timing your visit with a low tide. The Quadra Island Outdoor Club estimated in 2015 that the Granite Bay-Waiatt Bay roundtrip is 14 kilometres long and takes about 5.5 hours.
Origin of place name: The Lekwiltok village of Yaculta, whose occupants are known as the We-wai-kai, is often referred to locally as Cape Mudge. According to the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, "This area was visited by Captain George Vancouver and naturalist Archibald Menzies in 1792, when it was home to the Northern Coast Salish people, who occupied a village just to the south of present day Yaculta. In the mid-1800s, the Lekwiltok, who are a branch of the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation…moved from Knight Inlet and gained control of the region. The name Yaculta, which is an anglicized form of Lekwiltok, began to appear on Admiralty charts in the 1860s…It may mean 'unkillable' and might refer to a sea worm that can survive even if cut into pieces."
Origin of place name: According to the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, this bay and mountain were named for "Frederick Charles Yeatman (1862-1903), from England, [who] came to Quadra Island in 1894 with his Welsh wife, Emma (1863-1937), and bought an 80-hectare farm just north of Quathiaski Cove from Tom Bell. They homesteaded, logged, fished and raised a large family." Fred disappeared on a hunting trip to Vancouver Island in 1903, though his remains weren't found until a few years later. Two of their sons, Fred and Sam, drowned on Heriot Bay in 1921.