Island Timber: A Social History of the Comox Logging Company, Vancouver Island


309 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55039-101-1
DDC 338.7'63498'097112





Reviewed by Ann Turner

Ann Turner is the financial and budget manager of the University of
British Columbia Library.


The original grant-funded intent of this book was to record the history
of the Comox Logging Company, a major force in the social and economic
development of the Comox Valley in the first half of the 20th century.
At the turn of the century, the Valley was covered with a lush forest of
old-growth Douglas fir, rich enough to produce about three-billion board
feet of timber over the next 30 years, and the Comox Logging Company
owned much of it outright.

Through his extensive research in the company records, other archives,
papers in private collections, and 150 personal interviews, the author
meticulously reconstructed the company’s history. He tells it in a
very appealing way, through the experiences of the people who worked
there. He includes such a wealth of detail that he has documented not
only the logging practices and working conditions of the day, but also
the changing social and economic conditions in the Comox District as it
developed under the company’s influence. The text is lavishly
illustrated with historical photographs of exceptionally good quality,
in themselves a significant contribution to the history of the industry
and the community. The book includes a glossary of logging terms used in
the period and a detailed index.


Mackie, Richard Somerset., “Island Timber: A Social History of the Comox Logging Company, Vancouver Island,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,