What’s in a Name?

The weather in the Pacific Northwest might have led to some of these bleak names for these towns and geographical features.

CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT
Named for Capt. John Meares’ first failed attempt to find the Columbia River, Cape Disappointment is steeped in Pacific Northwest history. (parks.state.wa.us)CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT Named for Capt. John Meares’ first failed attempt to find the Columbia River, Cape Disappointment is steeped in Pacific Northwest history. (parks.state.wa.us)

DECEPTION PASS
George Vancouver felt deceived when he found out this body of water was a pass and not a port, making Whidbey Island an island, not a peninsula. (historylink.org)

DISMAL NITCH
The Lewis and Clark expedition got stuck in this area for a week during a fierce winter storm — and it was dismal. (nps.gov)

MASSACRE BAY
A British navy captain called it Massacre Bay after finding a Lummi Indian burial site there. A Lummi village was wiped out during a raid by other tribes. (historylink.org)

OBSTRUCTION ISLAND
In 1841 Lt. Charles Wilkes thought the island was in the path of an otherwise ideal route for large ships. (obstructionisland.org)

USELESS BAY
Charles Wilkes noted this bay wasn’t deep enough for ships and offered no protection for vessels.

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