Museum at Campbell River photo Reel of paper coming off Number One paper machine; 1966.

Muesum at Campbell River talk puts the Elk Falls Mill in historical perspective

Symbolic of the changing times in Campbell River, it reminded people of how a village grew into a town

For many residents of Campbell River, the closing of the Catalyst Pulp and Paper Mill marked an historic moment.

Symbolic of the changing times in Campbell River, it reminded people of how a village grew into a town due in large part to the influence of the mill and the large numbers of people it employed. There was great local excitement generated in this small western boom town when the Elk Falls Mill first opened for operations in 1952.

Join the Museum on Saturday, March 23, from 1-2:30 p.m. for a historic talk and visual presentation on the history of the Elk Falls Mill. The mill was in operation for nearly 60 years and served as the main economic engine for the Campbell River region.

Described as “a milestone in the development of Campbell River” the opening of the pulp and paper mill was an influential factor in the new era of economic growth and job stability in the region.

Premier W. A. C. Bennett said that the Duncan Bay development was “free enterprise at its best.”

A writer from Victoria in August of 1953 commented: “Campbell River is becoming essentially a settled place, not just the loggers’ Saturday night town it used to be.”

The talk will be given by Norm Lee, a 40-year employee of the mill (1966-2006) and Museum docent Danny Brown. The afternoon will also serve as a opportunity for former employees to assist the museum in identifying unknown individuals in old photos of the mill.

Everyone in the community is invited to come witness a central story in Campbell River’s living history. The cost for the talk is $6. Call the Museum at 287-3103 to register.