"Masset -- circa 1876"
Original watercolour 20" x 29" by Gordon Miller © 1985

Situated on the north coast of Graham Island (Queen Charlotte Islands), just inside Masset Inlet, Masset was a large and important Haida village at the time of European contact, and grew in importance as it absorbed the inhabitants of other northern villages that were abandoned in the mid-nineteenth century. The Hudson's Bay Company established the first post in the Queen Charlotte Islands here in 1869, and the first missionary to the Haida took up residence in Masset in 1873.

The large house with two oval doorways was built by Chief Wiah circa 1850. Named "Monster House", it was the largest traditional structure in the Queen Charlotte Islands. It was 70 feet (21 metres) wide and covered approximately 3300 square feet (315 square metres) in area. Monster House was also the only house in the islands to have fully carved corner house posts.

By the time depicted in this painting, milled siding and scalloped gable trim had appeared in the village. Monster House's oval doors were soon replaced by a modern door and two glazed windows were installed high in the front. Within a quarter century all of the old style houses and posts disappeared from the village.

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