Cortes Island

CORTES ISLAND, 125 sq km, one of numerous small islands between VANCOUVER ISLAND and the mainland at the north end of GEORGIA STRAIT, was originally occupied by Coast Salish (see SALISHAN FIRST NATIONS). It was explored in 1792 by the Spanish mariners Dionisio ALACALÁ-GALIANO and Cayetano VALDÉS, who named it after the Spanish conqueror of Mexico. A shore WHALING station operated at Whaletown between 1869 and 1870 and is now the site of a small ferry terminal. The first permanent settlers...

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