The island separated from Savary by the Manson Passage.
It was named in 1792 by the Spanish explorers Dionisio Alcalá-Galiano and Cayetano Valdés for Hernán Cortes (1485–1547).
It was first settled and farmed in the 1880s, and it was logged in the 1910s.
In 1968 the island was listed for sale for $750,000. Several resort developments were proposed, but none took, it was eventually purchased and subdivided by a syndicate (again!), many of them Savaryites and many of whom built spectacular summer homes there.
(Source: KnowBC s.v. Hernando Island)