Fanny Bay

Feature Type:Bay - Water area in an indentation of the shoreline of a sea, lake, or large river.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: E side Vancouver Island, opposite Denman Island, Nanaimo Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°30'26''N, 124°49'12''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92F/10
Related Maps: 92F

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 10 July 1923 as labelled on British Admiralty Chart 580, published in 1862 from surveys by Captain Richards, 1860, as listed in the Vancouver Island Pilot, 1864, and as labelled on BC map 2A, 1913.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Presumably named by Captain Richards, when surveying this area for the British Admiralty in 1860, and further presumed to have the same significance as Fanny Bay in Phillips Arm and Fanny Bay in Ramsay Arm [since renamed Frances Bay] - also named by Richards in 1860. Significance not recorded.

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

A popular & persistant local theory holds that Fanny Bay was named by Capt. Vancouver in 1792. However Vancouver's charts and journal descriptions are confined to details about the east side of the Gulph of Georgia [sic], including Texada Island; the eastern shore of Vancouver Island between Nanaimo and Comox is roughly outlined only, and omits Denman & Hornby Islands and the separating channels entirely.

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

None of the various explanations, comical, romantic, local or historical, for this name can be regarded without scepticism. Fanny Bay and Henry Bay (six miles to the north on Denman Island) first appeared in the 1864 edition of the Vancouver Island Pilot. If Captain G.H. Richards, RN, whose surveys provide the basis for that volume, knew who Fanny and Henry were, he apparently left that information unrecorded.

Source: Akrigg, Helen B. and Akrigg, G.P.V; British Columbia Place Names; Sono Nis Press, Victoria 1986 /or University of British Columbia Press 1997

"....Fanny Bay was named after a sea captain who lived in this vicinity." (Origin of Station Names, Esquimalt & Nanaimo Division, by A.B.McNeill) [publication date not cited, nor further details provided.]

Source: included with note