Guemes Island
Guemes Island is part of the San Juan Islands group, which lie between the Juan de Fuca Strait to the south and the Strait of Georgia to the north. Spanish explorer Eliza called it Isla de Gueme in 1792, to honour the Viceroy of Mexico, who had ordered Eliza to explore northwest waters; sparing the ink of cartographers, Eliza truncated Guemes's name, which in full is SeƱor Don Juan Vicente de Guemes Pacheco y Padilla Orcasitees y Aguayo, Conde de Revilla Gigedo.1
Wilkes set to change its name to Lawrence Island, in homage to US naval hero James Lawrence, during his expedition to the area in 1841; however, in 1847 the name was restored to its former Spanish origin by British captain Kellett, and US charts denoted it as such thereafter.2
  • 1. Edmond S. Meany, Origin of Washington Geographic Names (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1923), 105.
  • 2. Ibid.
Mentions of this place in the documents
People in this document

Kellett, Henry

Wilkes, Charles

Places in this document

Juan de Fuca Strait

San Juan Islands

Strait of Georgia