Rich in Natural History

We have Captain George Vancouver to thank as the first European to survey Stuart Island and surrounding areas in the summer of 1792. For a reason we will never know, Captain Vancouver did not enjoy his time in the area, naming it Desolation Sound for it's apparent lack of recreation, animal or vegetable. This is clearly not the Sound we know today!

Stuart Island, Home of the Coast Salish for tens of thousands of years.

A Rich History of Settlements

Before the arrival of Europeans, the area now called Grace Harbour was home of a very large First Nations winter village which welcomed thousands of people at a time. This traditional territory of the Coast Salish is rich with fish, hunting and large number of flourishing communities which include the Sliammon, Klahoose, and Homalco.

Thanks to the Sound's spectacular vistas and rich opportunities for remote living, the area has attracted a wide range of interesting individuals ranging from loggers, canneries, fishermen, draft dodgers, hippies and even those looking to hide from the law. In fact, Galley Bay was home to the largest hippie commune on the BC coast thanks to the remote location and spectacular natural beauty.

History remains on many of the outlaying islands which include 100+ year old boardwalks on Redonda Island which features many original buildings and eclectic shops, coffee, laundry and even an art gallery!

Stuart Island was named for John Stuart, the 3rd Earle of Bute which was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1762 to 1763. This also explains why the island sits at the head of Bute Inlet. In modern times, Stuart Island is home to many private ac rages and fishing lodges. The island includes a private 9 hole golf course, a 2100 ft long private air strip and the Big Bay Water Aerodrome which has the airport code of YIG and is quite an active airport as it provides the main air access to the many fishing lodges on the island.