Concerning Place Names

Many places mentioned in this book are known by, or have been known by, more than one name. A selective list of these follows. The official names, listed on the left, are taken from current marine charts, or the Gazetteer of British Columbia.

Official Name Alternate Name(s)
Cypre River Trout River
Stubbs Island Clayoquot Island
Arnet Island Dream Isle, Castle Island, Tibbs Island
Beck Island Garden Island
Florencia Bay Wreck Bay
Neilson Island Bond Island
Esowista Peninsula Low Peninsula*
Bedwell River Bear River
Lemmens Inlet Disappointment Inlet
Felice Island Round Island
Strawberry Island Leach Island
MacKenzie Beach Garrard’s Beach
Cox Bay False Bay
English Cove Maltby Slough, Deep Mud Bay
Long Beach Long Bay, Wickaninnish Bay
Grice Bay Mud Bay, Mill Bay
Quait Bay Calm Creek
Haida Gwaii Queen Charlotte Islands
Yuquot Friendly Cove
Calmus Passage Hecate Pass
Heelboom Bay C’is-a-quis Bay
Hot Springs Cove Refuge Cove
Kennedy Cove Back Bay
Kennedy River Elk River
Marktosis Maaqtusiis

* Name still in use on 1921 census.

Throughout the book we have generally chosen to use place names as given in the Gazetteer of British Columbia. For this reason, First Nations villages appear as “Hesquiat” or “Ahousat,” without the “aht” ending that is increasingly used. However, we use the “aht” ending (meaning “people of”) in the names of the aboriginal peoples of Clay-oquot Sound.

We do not attempt to provide all of the names traditionally used by First Nations, nor all the names used by the Japanese who lived on the coast prior to World War II.

Place names around the world reflect choices made in previous generations, often for political reasons. Official West Coast place names repeatedly honour explorers, traders, naval vessels, missionaries, and settlers. Writing for the Daily Victoria Gazette in 1858, William Banfield questioned the names colonial authorities were giving to places on Vancouver Island’s west coast. “Good taste would lead us at the present day to adopt the Indian names,” he wrote, “in most instances…much prettier, many of them having a natural beauty of sound…Great Britain’s Colonies have enough Royal names, noble names, and titles of our grandfathers and grandmothers.” His comments went unheed-ed. But as time passes, place names in Clayoquot Sound, and all over British Columbia, remain subject to change. In a hundred years, a list of place names in this area could look very different.