Whiskey Bay, Pacifica is the capital of the state of Pacifica and is the westernmost capital city in the United States. Whiskey Bay is located at the southern end of Vancouver Island, where it is part of the South Island Metro Area, a metropolitan area with nearly 500,000 inhabitants.

Whiskey Bay is the hub of a vibrant fishing industry in the Juan de Fuca region and is also the seat of Holt County. The city has a population of about 111,567 according to the 2010 census.


Whiskey Bay was founded in 1834 by Roger Holt and Victor Gomez, a pair of Cuban settlers who set up a small fishing outpost on the very southern end of Vancouver Island and called it "Holtsville." Holt died in 1837 and Gomez sold the outpost as well as the surrounding forests to George Portis and the Northwest Company, who renamed southern Vancouver Island the "Whiskey Bay District," in honor of the city's namesake in Cuba.

In the 1850's, Whiskey Bay grew as a major naval hub for the American Pacific fleet and the town of Sunderbury on its northern outskirt developed into one of the first immigrant communities in the West, home to thousands of Koreans who arrived in the 1860's. Whiskey Bay became the temporary capital of the Fraser Territory during the Alaskan War, when the Alaskans captured Sahalee, and there was a substantial building boom as it became the launching ground for several attacks northwards against the Alaskans on not just the island, but by sea. The placement of the temporary capital in Whiskey Bay also led to later support for the city's designation as state capital.

Whiskey Bay was officially made the capital of Pacifica when the state joined the union in 1899 (according to unsubstantiated historical anecdotes, the state's legislature wanted to keep politicians away from crime-ridden Sahalee) but failed to become the state's dominant city as it was not attached to a railroad. Still, the logging boom on Vancouver Island encouraged settlers to rush to South Island, and Whiskey Bay grew into a wild, bustling frontier town with a shockingly appropriate name.

The 20th century saw Whiskey Bay become somewhat gentrified and in fact an affluent part of the state, and the South Island region grew to nearly a million people, estimated at about 750,000 inhabitants as of 2010.


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