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First Settlers Choose Deer Harbor Lagoon

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart." 

Jean Baptiste Massieu

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Deer Harbor's First Settlers

Pick area around the Deer Harbor Lagoon 


Deer Harbor is said to have been named by its first permanent settler, 

Louis Cayou, for the many canoe-loads of deer meat he hauled from here to Victoria. A Kentucky born Frenchman, Cayou, then 25 had arrived in British Columbia just as its Caribou Gold Rush was fizzling out. Hudson's Bay Company hired him and three others as hunters and sent them to 

Orcas Island to procure venison for the company. 

The three hunters establishing a small encampment on the inner bay 

where there was plenty of fresh water and grass for grazing animals. In 1858 

the name Deer Harbor first officially appeared on British Admiralty charts.


Louis Cayou pictured in front of his first homestead close to the head 

of the lagoon. He later moved a little uphill near the foot of Stewards' Knoll.


Louis Cayou working his farm.


Mary Anne, Wife of Louis Cayou


View of Louis Cayou's  homestead.

Original home and shed were closer to the lagoon.


Questions about Deer Harbor History?

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