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General News · 25th September 2019
This is a great article about Cortes on the CR Museum blog.....

I love the North Island Region. I love its people, its geography, and I love the islands that dot the seascape to the east. One of my favourites is Cortes Island where, when I was a child, I would go to visit my great-great-aunt in her tiny cabin at Smelt Bay. My aunt, Peggy Newsham, was the Queen of Cortes. She was tiny, at under five feet tall, but she was a feisty Irish lady, more than making up for her diminutive size with a big personality. I remember she had a driver’s license that that was only legal on Cortes Island. When visiting the island recently, I was told that islanders would see her barrelling down the road in her VW bug and pull over to get out of her way.

I find that in my work at the Museum, my thoughts often turn to Cortes Island and the colourful characters who have shaped its history alongside my aunt. It has been the homeland of the Klahoose First Nation for thousands of years, their deep history carved into the landscape. The much younger settler community got its start in the late 1880s with the arrival of the Manson brothers. Cortes’ largest settlement, Manson’s Landing was named for the brothers from Shetland, Michael and John, who became the first Europeans to pre-empt land on the Island. Both had large families and many still living on Cortes can claim descent from one of these two men.....

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