At one time, Friendly Cove was home to about 1500 people. Yuquot, (Friendly Cove) has been continually occupied for more than 4000 years.
In 1778, James Cook of the Royal Navy, while anchored in Resolution Cove on Bligh Island, went into Friendly Cove and first contact was made, although the Spanish had been trading with the first peoples for 4 years at this time and in effect, had made first contact 4 years before Captain Vancouver.
In 1789, a Spanish trading post and a Spanish fort were built and maintained and operated until 1795. The Nootka were a great asset to both the Spanish and the British in trade dealings, as they were continually having trade issues with each other. A meeting was held in nearby Tahsis in 1792 to resolve the dispute between Spain and Britain over trading rights with the people of Yuquot, it was called the Nootka Convention. The talks between Captain Vancouver and Captain Quadra were facilitated by Chief Maquinna.
On March 22, 1803, while anchored in Nootka Sound, the trading vessel Boston was attacked by Nootka’s first peoples. Most of her crewmen were massacred, there were only two survivors, John R. Jewitt, and John Thompson, they became two of some fifty slaves owned by Chief Maquinna. There is a book out there about this called “White Slaves of Maquinna” it was written by John R. Jewitt himself.
Today, members of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Peoples of Nootka area conduct history tours that include a visit to the traditional gathering places of the Muchalaht or the site of the Spanish fort. You can also hike over most of the Island, on numerous trails that travel through old-growth rain forests and bright sandy beaches, you can hike around lagoons or swim in the numerous lakes. You will likely not see another soul once you are out of the village. The village itself has only about 20 people living there now.
When I was a young man, I logged for Art Mangles on Nootka Island. We were logging just down past the village at the lagoon. One day, when I had some time to myself, I hiked out to the west coast of the Island. I found a cabin that I was told had been built years back by a missionary. The walls were filled with very old newspapers. The headings on the papers were from the turn of the century. The stories were awesome to read.