Manson Passage
The passage between Indian Point and Hernando Island.

It was named for Michael Manson (1857–1932), one of four brothers who immigrated to Canada from the Shetland Islands.

According to KnowBC: "He arrived in BC about 1876, started his career as a merchant at Nanaimo and then eloped with Jane Renwick (1862–1939), the unhappy daughter of his tyrannical business partner. The couple married at Victoria in 1878 and had 13 children, many of whom died in a diphtheria outbreak.

Michael Manson, 1911 
(Source: Cortes Island Museum and Archives)

Michael Manson, 1911
(Source: Cortes Island Museum and Archives)

The Mansons were the first white settlers on Cortes Island, establishing a trading post in 1887 beside the sandspit at Mansons Landing, a feature long known to First Nation residents as Clytosin and now part of Mansons Landing Provincial Marine Park. Michael, his younger brother John (1869–1957) and friend George Leask all pre-empted land in the area in the 1880s, and John remained on Cortes until his death.

Michael was Cortes Island’s first postmaster and also a justice of the peace; he investigated several sensational crimes in the district, including the murders of Jack O’Connor, in 1893, and Chris Benson, in 1894, on Read I.

After leaving Cortes in the late 1890s to become superintendent at James Dunsmuir’s Wellington Colliery Co at Comox, Michael served as Conservative MLA for the Comox riding, 1909–16. He then farmed on Hernando before returning to politics as MLA for the Mackenzie riding, 1924–32. Michael Manson died at Bella Coola."

1. According to GEOBC, it was originally named False Passage, but it was renamed Manson Passage by the Hydrographic Service to avoid confusion with another "False Passage" in Waddington Channel (between the Redonda Islands).
Categories: places names

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