« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
in two. Guerriere Bay, about three miles to the westward, is about three miles in length and a mile and a quarter in width, and has a depth of from five to fifteen fathoms. Both of these bays are excellent harbours. There is a small triangular bay, known as Fishtrap, extending a short distance into the southwestern end of the island, with its greatest depth ten fathoms. Within Ironsides Inlet, particularly towards the north end, are several beautiful spots of agricultural land and good timber, having the advantage of being immediately adjacent to an excellent harbour. Streams, having their sources in lakes in the mountain gorges, empty into the bay. One of the most pleasing prospects in this region, and especially along the shores of Orcas Island, is the frequent recurrence of beautiful cascades.
“A stream of water, after traversing for several miles a beautiful valley containing some good meadow land, empties in Guerriere Bay, near its head. The largest stream in the island empties into Fishtrap Bay. The land in this vicinity is beautifully located, and is well adapted to agricultural purposes.
“Between this place and the extreme western point of the island there is scarcely a locality of agricultural value; but leaving this and travelling towards Point Doughty, after passing one mountain range, we enter a region where the land becomes level and the soil rich and productive.
“There are some localities -one or two on Ironsides Inlet, and one at least on Guerriere Bay—where there is excellent water power, but the timber is not of the best quality at those points, as the Indians, and the white men too, in search for deer, have from time to time fired the forest, and thus greatly injured the growth of the trees. Doubtless, hereafter, when more desirable timber of other localities, especially on the adjacent shores of Puget Sound, has become somewhat exhausted, mills will be erected in these beautiful harbours.
“A very important feature of this island consists in the excellent pasturage which exists on the mountain slopes. The grass is green during every month of the year; and on the south side of Mount Constitution even almost to the very summits. Sheep, goats, and cattle, placed upon the island would thrive and multiply, without the necessity of special care, as there are no beasts of prey to molest them. Deer and elk are the only quadrupeds of the larger species on the island, and a few years ago these were very numerous.
The latter are now rarely seen, and the former are, year after year, rapidly disappearing before the approach of the white man, and in a few seasons will not be seen upon the island.
While the lower lands present the character of alluvials, the mountains are composed of trass, syenite, and quartz, and afford no valuable stone for building purposes.
“A deposit of coal is found near Point Doughty at the north-west end of the island, similar to that at Nanaimo on Vancouver's Island and at Bellingham Bay on the mainland. The extent of this deposit is not known, but, should future explorations make as favourable developments as are anticipated, a railroad of three or four miles could be easily constructed that would convey the coal to the excellent harbour of Ironsides Inlet.
66 SHAW'S ISLAND.
“Shaw's Island lies south of the west end of Orcas Island, from which it is separated by Harney Channel, and is bounded on the east by Frolic Strait, separating it from Lopez Island, and on the south and west by President Passage, separating it from San Juan Island. It contains about eight square miles. It is of very irregular shape, and its shores are indented by numerous small bays. In its interior there are no prominent peaks, though the surface is uneven and much broken by hills and valleys; the latter are small and generally very swampy, and are rendered almost impassable by thorny bushes everywhere heaped up in tangled masses.
In many places it is almost as difficult to traverse the higher ground, owing to the under-growth, which consists mainly of small pines and firs. The timber, consisting of fir and cedar, is small and scattered. Here and there are small patches of
arable land which, in the aggregate, would hardly exceed 300 acres on the entire island.
OBSTRUCTION ISLAND, “ This small island is between Rosario Strait on the east, and Ironside Inlet on the west, and is separated by narrow passages from Orcas Island on the north, and Blakely Island on the south.
“ Blakely Island lies immediately south of Obstruction Island, from which it is separated by a narrow passage, and is bounded by the same bodies of water as the latter on the east and west, and is separated by Thatcher's Pass from Decatur Island on the south. This island in its general shape is nearly square (it is a little longer from north to south than from east to west). It rises from the water almost like a pyramid, its highest peak, which is about 1,050 feet high, being a little north of the centre of the island. It contains about six and a half square miles, and throughout its extent is mountainous and rugged, presenting but fow localities of even very limited area which might be profitably cultivated. Its shores are all more or less precipitous and rocky. The timber has been much injured by frequent fires, for this reason there are no inducements for lumber-men. At least in one place (perhaps in more) there is excellent water power. Grass flourishes on the slopes of the mountains. Near the centre of the island is a beautiful lake of crescentic form, about two miles in length, and about 400 or 500 yards in width; its outlet is a rapid stream of considerable force, which empties into a small bay on the south-western side of the island.
“ The only profitable purpose to which this tract of land could be placed, would be that of grazing. In this particular it possesses the advantages enumerated in Orcas Island.
66 DECATUR ISLAND. “Decatur Island lies immediately south of Blakely, from which it is separated by Thatcher's Pass. It is bounded on the east by Rosario Strait, on the south and west by Macedonian Crescent, a bay lying between it and Lopez Island. The area of this island is about four square miles; its extreme length from north to south being three and a half miles ; its width about two miles. In its general shape it is quadrangular, resembling Blakely Island. About one fourth or more of its area is low land, well adapted to cultivation. On its eastern side there is a harbour, well protected by its natural configuration from the prevailing south winds, and a small island, known as James's, immediately adjacent to it in Rosario Strait, leaves it only exposed to storms from the north-east, from which quarter violent winds very rarely blow in this region.
“The shores are generally abrupt and precipitous; those on the north being rocky, while those on the south are composed of alternate layers of sand and clay; and their bold bluffs show the continuous action of the waves which for ages have been dashing against them. Evidences of land slides of limited extent, which have occurred, apparently very recently, gave further proof that the billows are changing them to such an extent that, in a few years more, their contour will be so much altered, that their present topographical features will be no longer recognisable.
“Several small streams empty into the bay mentioned as existing on the eastern side of the island ; and in this vicinity there is much good cedar timber, which, growing in the low moist lands, has escaped the repeated fires which have swept through the forest.
“The abundance of deer always found upon this island is evidence of its valuable grazing properties.
LOPEZ ISLAND. “Named after Lopez de Haro (Chauncey Island of Capt. Wilkes).
“Lopez Island is bounded on the north by Frolic Strait and Ironsides Bay, on the east by the Macedonian Crescent and Rosario Strait, south by Rosario Strait, and west by Little Belt Passage and Ontario Road, which separate it
from San Juan Island. It is very irregular in shape, being characterised, especially on its eastern shore, by deep indentations, which in their formation seem to follow no regular law. Its greatest length from north to south is about ten miles ; its greatest width from east to west about four miles; and it has an area of about twenty-eight square miles. At its southern end the land rises into a mound, which is nearly 500 feet in height, known as Watmaugh Head, and is a very prominent landmark for vessels in the Straits of Fuca. The southern coast is abrupt and broken, while to the north there are land-locked bays and beautiful harbours. A body of water lying to the west of Blakely and Decatur Islands, and bounded on the south and west by Lopez Island, called the Macedonian Crescent, is an extensive and well-protected harbour. This bay is studded with small islands covered with verdure.
“In many places on the eastern side of Lopez Island the shore is rocky, but on its western side the soil is alluvial; by washing away it has become in many places high perpendicular bluffs. The interior of the island contains much level land, well adapted to cultivation, and near its centre is a prairie of nearly a square mile in extent; there is also a smaller one near its northern extremity. As on the other islands mentioned, the timber has been much injured by fire. There are scarcely any trees of large size upon the island, except in a few low and swampy places. It is not very difficult to traverse much of its extent, especially about its centre; but near the northern end, tangled bushes and fallen timber render it a difficult matter, with great toil and trouble, to accomplish more than a mile an hour.
“There are permanent streams of water in several localities; and in many places, where the land might be too rocky for profitable cultivation, there is always good grass. Upon this island -alone, of the entire group, was found any positive evidence of the existence of beasts of prey. Wolves are numerous, and of the largest species known to exist on our continent; why they should be found here and not on Orcas