Campbell River

Captain George Vancouver reached Campbell River in 1792 aboard the ships HMS Discovery and HMS Chatham. The channel between Quadra Island and Campbell River is named Discovery Passage after HMS Discovery. The captain and his botanist, Mr Archibald Menzies, discovered a small tribe of 350 natives who spoke the Salish language. A Lekwiltok war party, heavily armed with European rifles, paddled south from Johnstone Strait in the middle of the 19th Century and were in control of the area when the HMS Plumper came through on a cartography mission under Captain George Henry Richards around 1859. Dr Samuel Campbell was the ship surgeon, and historians believe his name was given to the river by Richards. The community took the name of "Campbell River" when its post office was constructed in 1907. Likewise, the name of HMS Discovery’s First Lieutenant Zachary Mudge is preserved in the nearby Cape Mudge.

Sports fishermen travelled to the area as early as the 1880s, especially after the tales from noted anglers such as Sir Richard Musgrave and Sir John Rogers. The formation of the Campbell River Tyee Club in 1924, over concern regarding over-fishing of the salmon stocks, actually served to increase the popularity of the area. E.P. Painter, for instance, moved to Campbell River the following year and opened his Painter's Lodge in 1929. Painter's Lodge attracted clientèle from Hollywood and regular patrons included Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Commercial fishing was a large industry for many years. The town's magistrate Roderick Haig-Brown purchased a fishing cabin on Campbell River and wrote a number of books on fly fishing that are influential and well-loved around the world for both sport fishermen and conservationists.

Industrial logging took off in the 1920s with Merrill Ring and Company, Bloedel, Stewart and Welch and Comox Logging. A large forest fire started near Buttle Lake and burned much of the valley in 1938. Rock Bay, Menzies Bay, and Englewood all were big logging camps.