Thursday, September 18:
Thursday, our last full day at Powell River, we realized there was still much of the town we hadn't seen. We decided to take ourselves on a self-guided tour of the old Powell River townsite (along with one of the brochures from the Info Centre, of course).
The town started as a single industry resource-based town -- still today its main industry is the paper mill. It was built on the Garden City concept -- an English planning principle meant to keep industrial towns beautiful.
The town was designed with the workers in mind. Many of its features were put there to encourage people to relocate to this isolated wilderness. The town was built so that workers of the same occupations were in the same neighborhood. The first building was built in 1911. Here are some of the preserved houses - along with a few facts about each.
- Postmaster's House (now the Townsite Heritage Society headquarters) - 1912
- Bank of Montreal Building - 1931
- The Federal Building - 1939.
- Dwight Hall (the "Grand Old Lady of the Townsite") - 1927.
- The Cenotaph beside Dwight Hall - 1929.
- The Provincial Building - circa 1939.
- The Rodmay Hotel (first called the Powell River Hotel) - 1911.
- Dr. Henderson's House - circa 1911
- St. Luke's Hospital - 1913
- Oceanview Apartments - 1916.
- Church Corner with St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church - 1916 and St. John's Union (for all Protestant denominations) - 1913. These buildings are now privately owned.
- Patricia Theatre - 1928.
- Powell River Pulp and Paper Mill - 1909.
In 1955 MacMillan Bloedel merged with the Powell River company. In the 1960s Powell River's mill was the largest single producer of newsprint in the world. It's still in operation today.