north vancouver
Comox Valley

In 1991 an excavation took place and what was removed were the bones of an elasmosaur. Coast Salish Indians were the first human inhabitants of the Comox Valley but their history is much more recent then the 80 million years ago the 10 metre marine reptile lived in the shallow sea that is now the Comox Valley. A reconstruction of the elasmosaur is now on display in the Courtenay Museum.

The first non-native settlers arrived in 1862 when the Hudson Bay Company sent a group of 60 people to farm the area. One year later coal found on the Tsable River, west of Buckley, resulted in the opening of the first mine.

In 1864 the community of Union was founded when coal was found in what is now the Cumberland area. Robert Dunsmuir,and his son James, who commissioned and built Craigdarroch and Hatley Castles in the Victoria area, bought all the coal rights in the area in the 1880's.

The town of Cumberland was founded in 1889 and was incorporated nine years later. The Cumberland Museum has displays and artifacts from this colourful time or visit the businesses on the main street where the architecture reflects the past. In 1910 the Comox Logging and Railroad Co. was founded and for a time was the largest logging company in the British Empire. The rich heritage left behind by the logging is reflected by many of the street names found in the area.

The strategic defense location of Canadian Forces Base Comox was opened in 1942. Except for a brief closure after WW II this only Canadian air base on the West Coast has been the heart of Comox ever since. To learn more about aviation history visit the CFB Comox Air Force Museum. The past is fondly remembered in the Comox Valley and by visiting one of the museums or galleries in the area you may take home a small piece of it.

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