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Firstly, following the formation of two successful agricultural settlements in Cowichan and Comox, the government wanted to know how much land was available for further colonization. Secondly, the discovery of gold on the mainland led to hope of further gold deposits on Vancouver Island.

With a crew whose experiences reflected mineral exploration more than farming, Buttle established a base camp in Clayoquot Sound, from which the men struck into the heart of the island. For five weeks, they explored the ravines, rivers and valleys, and in August , Buttle looked down from a high mountain to a chain of lakes below, and wrote the passage quoted above. Members of the crew also claimed to have found generous deposits of gold, which Buttle eagerly reported to his superiors in Victoria.


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Weeks later, when further exploration was cut short by illness and poor weather, Buttle returned to Victoria, only to discover hordes of angry prospectors waiting for him. John Buttle left for California, never to return.


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Whether or not this lake is the same as that which John Buttle espied is a matter of debate. In his journal, Buttle claims that the lakes are surrounded by low hills, but the peaks of Strathcona Park are steep and rugged, and could hardly be mistaken as gentle.

1989 – Hayman, John

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Biography – BROWN, ROBERT – Volume XII () – Dictionary of Canadian Biography

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Victoria BC Canada Travel Vlog - Vancouver Island Travel Guide

Robert Brown, Ph. When the Brown family moved to Coldstream, Berwickshire, it brought Brown closer to the centres for study. As a young undergraduate, Robert Brown displayed an inclination for travel. The party went on a whale and seal hunt, visiting the seas of the extreme Northern Islands of Zetland, Iceland, Spitsbergen, Greenland, and the western shore of Baffin Bay N.

Buttle's Lake

Brown competed with two other candidates for the position of expedition leader but he clearly had the most favoured credentials. In his application letter Brown had already stated that he would offer his services for free since he already received a small honorarium from his other employer, the Botanical Association of Edinburgh.

Also he was already acquainted with many members of the VIE-Committee. There he spoke briefly and to the point, referring his listeners to the newspaper articles in which he had recently outlined his existing knowledge of the islands and his own explorations of the previous year.