Logging North Vancouver Island

October 4th, 2019

Commercial logging began in BC in the early 1800s, but logging didn’t come to the north of Vancouver Island until 200 years later. Many towns on the north island came into being because of this industry. Port McNeil was the centre of logging on the north island and grew rapidly as loggers moved there. Soon, recreation facilities and then schools were built as their families joined them.

As the easy-to-reach trees near the water became scarce, inland logging was the future. This meant that road building was essential for the logging industry to continue. So loggers temporarily became road builders in order to expand the available forest.

Early logging was skilled and back-breaking work as it was done by hand and with oxen. As technology improved, so did the tools available. The most infamous tool used was known as a ‘Steam Donkey’. This tool was a steam powered winch which enabled loggers to pull trees from far up the hillside and into the water or onto the road.

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