Masset Inlet

Feature Type:Inlet (3) - Elongated body of water extending from a sea or lake.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: S. end of Masset Sound, Graham Island, Queen Charlotte Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 53°42'44''N, 132°18'25''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 103F/9
Related Maps: 103F/10

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 7 March 1933 on C.G.S. 278A, "Prince George Sheet," as established on BC Provincial Map 3L, 1915, and in the 1930 Gazetteer of Canada. Confirmed 3 July 1946 on Map 103SE

Source: BC place name cards & correspondence, and/or research by BC Chief Geographer & Geographical Names Office staff, file Q.1.45 and P.3.33.

The important Haida First Nation village of Masset, the largest community in the QCI, takes its name from nearby Maast Island (qv). The origin of the word Maast is uncertain, thought it may be a corruption of the name of an early European trader who died in the area. The village applied for a post office in the early 1900s, but when its application was allowed to lapse, a non-Haida settlement that had grown up 2 km to the SE, originally known as Graham City, pirated the name Masset for its post office instead. The original Haida community is now called Old Masset or simply, Haida. It consists of three ancient village sites: Uttewas, meaning “white slope” and probably referring to a small hill nearby; Edajo, just SE of the hill; and Ka-yung, farther SE still. When smallpox decimated their ranks, the Haida abandoned dozens of villages and congregated in just two: Masset and Skidegate. The HBC had a trading post at Masset for many years, and an Anglican mission was established in 1876. Commercial fishing has been an important source of jobs in the 20th century. A Canadian Forces Base just E of Masset acts as a signal-monitoring station for Canada’s national intelligence agency. Masset Sound was known as Hancock’s River in the early fur-trading days, after the vessel of Captain Samuel Crowell of Boston.

Source: Scott, Andrew; "The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names"; Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, 2009.