Saturday, November 26, 2011

Swanson Bay, the town that vanished

While reviewing a project I came across the story of Swanson bay, a ghost town on the west coast of British Columbia. In 1901 the BC government passed an Act that allowed companies a interest in the land if the set up a mill. The Canadian Pacific Sulphite Pulp Co. Ltd. took up the challenge in 1906 and 1909 began to produce lumber. The town was serviced by the CPR and Union Steamship vessels. By 1919 the town had a population of 500 people producing 100,000 board feet a day , sulphite pulp and shingles.

In 1923 an earthquake hit Japan, their biggest customer (history repeats itself!) Sometime after 1925 the mill was closed and the town began to lose it's population. Soon the only persons there was a watchman. At some point around the 40's the town was completely abandoned. this is not an uncommon story on the coast, many towns were completely dependent on one company and mill/mine, when it would shut down the town would die. the mortal remain of the town exists but shrouded in the dense bush. If you have taken a cruise ship up the inside passage than you have passed the bones of this ghost town.

I have gleamed this information and pictures from 2 websites, please visits them, for more of the story and some excellent pictures.


  1. My father has spent the last 10 year writing a book on Swanson Bay, and loves your post! Thank you for the pictures and the accurate information.

    1. Hello
      What is the name of the book,my grandfather was a caretaker there from late 30s to early 40s his name was Roy Tapp.

      Mike Tapp

  2. Glad to and thanks for posting, I love reading about and visiting old towns like this.

  3. Mike
    Did your grandfather tell you any stories about it?