BC Geographical Names

Name Details:

Name: Juan de Fuca Strait
Feature TypeClick here for a list of
Feature Types.
:
Strait - Passage, usually navigable, connecting two larger bodies of water
StatusClick here for an explanation of Status.: Official
Relative Location: Forming a portion of the International Boundary, between Vancouver Island and Washington State
Latitude-LongitudeClick here for an explanation of Position Type.: 48°20'00''N, 124°00'00''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
DatumClick here for an explanation of Datum.: NAD83
NTS MapClick here for an explanation of NTS Map.: 92B/5
Related MapClick here for an explanation of Related Maps.: 92B/5
92B/6
92C/10
92C/8
92C/9
  Nearby names within
  

Origin Notes and History:

Juan de Fuca Strait was adopted by the Geographic Board of Canada 1 May 1934 on 92B/6, as labelled on Trutch's 1871 map of British Columbia, and on numerous subsequent provincial maps and publications. Name confirmed 8 July 1948 on C.3607. The French form Détroit de Juan de Fuca is also recognized at the federal level in Canada.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
The decision to standardize the form Juan de Fuca Strait in Canada "...was made by the express personal order of Governor Seymour in 1864, to distinguish the British Columbia District from the U.S. District." (17 December 1901 letter from W.F. Robertson to Geographic Board of Canada, citing advice from Col. Wolfenden, who had been government printer during the colonial period of the 1860s.)
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
"Juan de Fuca Strait: ...The breadth of the strait between Cape Flattery, its southern point of entrance, and Bonilla Point on Vancouver Island (its northern point of entrance) is 12 miles; within these points it has a breadth averaging 12 miles in an easterly direction for 60 miles... at its eastern part are channels leading northward to the British possessions, and...southward to those of the United States." (British Columbia Pilot vol 1, 5° 1923, p.19)
Source: included with note
Proposal to change Juan de Fuca Strait to the form "Strait of Juan de Fuca" to conform to United States usage was rejected by the Geographic Board of Canada (GBC minutes 2 April 1953). (file V.1.39, also correspondence on file O.1.49)
Source: BC place name cards, files, correspondence and/or research by BC Chief Geographer/Geographical Names Office.
"Named in 1787 by Captain Charles William Barkley of the fur trading ship "Imperial Eagle," after the Greek pilot Juan de Fuca, who sailed up this strait in 1592. Captain Barkley, who was off the entrance to this inlet in July 1787, recognized it as the long lost strait [described by] Juan de Fuca. Missed by Captain Cook in 1778 owing to bad weather setting him off the coast in this particular locality. The old seaman Juan de Fuca, whose real name was Apostolos Valierianos, a native of Cephalonia, who seems to have been in his own day neglected and misunderstood as he was afterwards doubted and ignored, and whose pretentions in regard to the exploration of these waters were long scoffed at by geographers, was undoubtedly the discoverer of the strait which bears his name..... "
Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)
The United States Board on Geographic Names has adopted the form "Strait of Juan de Fuca." [as of October 1979, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names maintains that Captain John Meares of the "Felice" named the strait in 1788.]
Source: Canadian Geographical Names Database, Ottawa