Nanoose Bay

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

The first peoples have inhabited the Pacific Northwest Coast for more than 10,000 years. Vancouver Island has been lived on for at least that long, Those who lived in the Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island area were the Coast Salish. They are part of the community of those who lived in the Nanaimo area, they split off from there to form the Nanoose band, this was many years ago, long before the settlers arrived.

The first Europeans to arrive here were the Spanish, Captain Juan Jose Perez Hernandez on the frigate Santiago first explored the area in 1774, in 1778 George Vancouver surveyed the inside waters extensively, creating the first correct maps of the area. The area still remained pretty much untouched by the Europeans until the Hudson Bay Company requested a new survey done, this was in 1847. They became the driving force behind the development of the island.

Nanoose Bay Vancouver Island Communities, Pacific Northwest
Trail In Nanoose Bay, Photo By Bud Logan

The first settler to arrive in the Nanoose Bay was John Enos, he arrived in 1862.  He cleared the land himself, creating a wonderful home that he named the Notch Hill Ranch. He continued to live in Nanoose Bay for 27 years, farming and helping others to settle here. As more settlers arrived, the community grew. In 1911, the Great Powder Company built a factory in Nanoose where they produced dynamite and nitroglycerine. About the same time, a brick-making plant was set up in what became known as Brickyard Bay and the Straits Lumber Company built a mill in Nanoose bay, the area was booming.

Today, Nanoose bay Vancouver Island and the peninsula is home to a variety of folks, you will find farmers, artists, Navel Personal from the joint Canadian/American base located in the bay, the area is becoming a choice spot for those looking at retirement and you will find marinas, resorts and some of the best golfing on the island.

There are many wonderful hiking and biking trails in the area along with great places to fish, there are waterfalls to visit and mountains to hike up on. in the bay itself, you can go crabbing at low tide or just have a picnic on the shore. When I was just a lad, I was sent to a summer camp on the bay and I can remember great times swimming in the bay or gathering wild fruit on the bluffs above the beach to make pies and other sweet desserts.

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