Lasqueti Island History

Cretaceous marine fossils present in the Lasqueti Island area have been shown to be 100 million years old! Beside this, the recent incursions of humans on the island seem very recent indeed.

Much later, First Nations people from the Pentlach Band lived here, and later still, in 1791, Spanish explorers arrived to explore Lasqueti and nearby Texada islands. They were taken with the peoples they found living there, finding them to be “much more docile and tractable”…..

White settlers arrived in the 1860’s, raising sheep which were then taken to market in Nanaimo. One hundred years later, farmers tried to raise beef cattle, with little success. More recently, farmers have been more successful with the growing of fruit trees and garlic.

Much of Lasqueti’s fine stands of huge red cedar were logged prior to the 1950’s.

Mail, until 1913, was brought by rowboat from Nanaimo, and then delivered on foot through miles of trails – a two day proposition. A fire on the beach indicated when there was mail to be picked up and a lookout at False Bay would row out to collect it. As on the Penders, two areas on Lasqueti wrestled for commercial dominance – in this case, False Bay and Tucker Bay.

Tucker Bay won first round with the first dock built in 1912, and the provision of steamship service. The post office, school and store were then erected here. In 1916, however, the power shifted to False Bay with the opening of a salmon cannery and the shifting of the population toward the subsequent jobs. Tucker Bay’s harbour was deemed unsafe for the regular public transportation when one of the boats hit a reef there, thus furthering Tucker Bay’s decline.

Eventually a school, post office, store and steamship service were added at the victorious False Bay. It became and still is the island’s centre.