Lyell Island

Feature Type:Island - Land area surrounded by water or marsh.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Off East coast of Moresby Island, Queen Charlotte Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 52°40'14''N, 131°34'14''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 103B/12
Related Maps: 103B/11

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 7 March 1933 on 103/SE and on Ottawa File OBF 1420; as labelled on BC Land's Map #2F, 1927, "Queen Charlotte Islands," and on Hydrographic Services Chart #3844 (date not cited), "Queen Charlotte Islands."

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

Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875), born in Scotland and educated at Oxford, worked as a lawyer before dedicating himself to the study of geology. He wrote numerous books - including "Principles of Geology," "The Antiquity of Man" and two travel volumes based on his visit to Canada and the US in the 1840s - and had a powerful influence on Charles Darwin. Lyell was famed as a popularizer of uniformitarianism, which held that geological transformation was the result of minute changes accumulated over enormous periods of time. He won the Royal Society's Copley Medal and the Geological's Society's Wollaston Medal, and many geographical features are named after him around the world, as well as craters on Mars and the moon, Lyell Ck, Lyell Icefield, and Mt Lyell near the BC-Alberta boundary N of Golden also commemorate this eminent scientist. Lyell I, which has been heavily logged and once had a large forestry camp on its N shore, was the focal point for the numerous environmental protests, that resulted in the 1987 protection of the S Moresby region as Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. More than 75 Haida elders and activists were arrested here in 1985 for blocking loggers' access. The island was named by George Mercer Dawson in 1878; its Haida name is Tllga Kun Gwaayaay. Lyell Bay was named False Bay by Dawson the same year but was changed to its present form in 1952 to avoid duplication. Page 348.

Source: Scott, Andrew; "The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names"; Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, 2009. Page 348