Cumshewa was named after the town chief, Gomshewa, by the early fur traders. Its Haida name is Lqe'nul. The village was situated near the northern entrance to Cumshewa Inlet on Moresby Island. It faced a sandy beach connected at low tide by a long spit to an islet that contained both a burial ground and a fort.
Except for hinged rectangular doors, the village exhibits few European influences at the time depicted here. While Cumshewa was not a large village, it continued to be occupied long after the other southern Haida villages had been deserted. Some buildings were erected after 1880, and there were still people living here as late as 1905.