Galiano Island, 5787 ha, is one of BC's GULF ISLANDS, named for Spanish navy commander Dionisio Alcalá-Galiano, who explored the area in 1792. It has the driest climate of the islands. Shell middens at Montague Harbour suggest that CENTRAL COAST SALISH have used the island for several thousand years. Settled by immigrants during the 1858 FRASER RIVER GOLD RUSH, the island became known as "Little England" because British families sent sons there to learn farming. Most settled at the southern end; much of its narrow length was set aside for timber production. The island is now best known for its colony of writers, craftspeople and artists.