Nanoose Bay Beach

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Beaches, Pacific Northwest

Nanoose Bay Beach, Vancouver Island
Nanoose Bay Beach, Photo By Bud Logan

Nanoose Bay Beach is just beautiful. I remember going here as a young boy to summer camp. I had a great time the year that l went, the beach was incredible, it seemed you could walk for miles, but then again, l was very small.

The first European settler in the Nanoose area was John Enos. He was an adventurous young man and at the age of fourteen, he came to Boston, it was 1852, becoming bored with life there, he sailed for British Columbia. He had many adventures in the area, before becoming interested in mining. But after many disappointing experiences in this field, he finally settled on the Nanoose Peninsula, it was 1862.

Nanoose Bay Beach, Vancouver Island
Nanoose Bay Beach, Photo By Bud Logan

Clearing the land himself, he started to farm and called his farm Notch Hill Ranch after the silhouette of the hill that marks his location from the sea and land.

He continued to live in Nanoose Bay for 27 years, farming and welcoming others.

The community began to grow and prosper, in 1911, the Great Powder Company was founded in Nanoose, which produced dynamite and nitroglycerine for mining, land clearing and ultimately armaments for World War I. About the same time, a brick making plant was set up in what became known as Brickyard Bay.

Nanoose Bay Beach, Vancouver Island, Pacific Northwest
Nanoose Bay Beach, Photo By Bud Logan

A mill, the Straits Lumber Company, was built in the bay. Ships from many parts of the world came to the Harbor to transport lumber to markets back to their countries, the biggest buyers were in Japan. The mill was productive, supporting many families until World War II broke out. Due to the conflict with Japan, the mill was forced out of business.

More recently, in 1952, the Canadian government bought the north shore of Nanoose Bay for the Royal Canadian Navy for the establishment of the Military Experimental Test Ranges. The Nanoose Bay Peninsula is now a favored retirement community, with resorts, marinas, parks, hiking trails and a first class golf course.

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