Newcastle Island
Newcastle Island lies just off-shore from Nanaimo Harbour. It draws its name not from the Duke of Newcastle, but from the British city of Newcastle upon Tyne, a hotbed of coal extraction.1 Though this tiny island is hardly comparable in its coal reserves, the seams were rich enough to remind the HBC of the famous city during their mining of the area in the early 1850s, which would continue until 1883.2
Quarries operated on the island from 1870 to 1932, which produced sandstone blocks for a variety of well-known buildings, including the Nanaimo post office and San Francisco's Mint.3 Newcastle Island has been home to Coast Salish villages, a CPR-built resort and, following the city of Nanaimo's purchase of it in 1955, a provincial marine park, established in 1961.4
  • 1. Andrew Scott, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2009), 425.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Ibid.
Mentions of this place in the documents
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Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes

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Nanaimo Harbour

San Francisco