The Johnstone Strait and Broughton Archipelago area has been occupied by the first peoples for at least 9,000 years. They have a rich cultural heritage that brings a real sense of history here. In recent years the Europeans have created another history that may only be 150 yrs old, but it has had a really deep impact on the area.
Telegraph Cove’s first industry was a lumber mill and salmon saltery in the early 20th Century. It acquired its name in 1912 when the Superintendent of Telegraphs was looking for a north island community for the northern terminus of the telegraph line from Campbell River, this little Cove was perfect for the job and became known as Telegraph Cove.
In the 1920s Alfred Marmaduke Wastell built a sawmill and salmon saltery here, the lumber business prospered and expanded. Telegraph Cove lumber was used throughout the North Island and helped create the villages and towns. When I was a young man and hand logging up the coast, we sold our logs to this mill.
During the second world war, Telegraph Cove was a relay station for the Canadian Military. Many of the old buildings at Telegraph Cove are from this period of history. It’s pretty awesome to see them kept up and looked after.
For decades, Telegraph Cove remained a mill town with the only way in or out was by sea. Then in 1956, a road was built to the cove. By the mid-1970s, the lumber mill was slowing down and tourists were beginning to find the cove.
In 1980, Stubbs Island Whale Watching was launched, they were the first Eco-tourism business’s created to take people whale watching on the coast and they are still one of the best.
Today Telegraph Cove, has two resorts, two marinas, and three RV parks. There are many trails leading from the cove and its a great place to put in kayaks for heading out to the Broughton Archipelago Islands. Jacques Cousteau called the Archipelago one of the best places in the world to view and enjoy Orcas in their natural environment. I whole heartily agree.