Willow Point has long been considered a desirable place to live. Long before newcomers came to this area, there was a large indigenous settlement, and several fishing camps, in the neighborhood now known as Willow Point.
It wasn’t until recent years that Willow Point was even considered a part of Campbell River. Its distance from downtown meant that it was very much a separate community. It was more sparsely populated, so its business district was slower to develop than downtown Campbell River or Campbellton. The Adams family opened the first business, the Willow Point Store and Garage in 1939. At this time Campbell River had a total population of less than 2000 people, and there were only a few families living in Willow Point. The original grocery store was expanded to include a dry goods department, menswear and a meat market, saving residents of Willow Point the long journey into Campbell River for supplies.
The Willow Point Community Hall, also constructed in 1939, was built entirely by volunteer labour and donated materials, including the land, which was gifted by the Erickson family. This hall is still standing today, although it has been renovated over the years. Following construction, the hall quickly became the hub of community activities. Dances, church services, public meetings wedding receptions and sports events were all hosted here.
In later years the home of renowned artist Sybil Andrews, next door to the Community Hall, also became a local hub for the community. Sybil hosted movie screenings, music and art classes in her modest home. Today the Cottage serves as the base for the Campbell River Arts Council and continues to host community events, groups and classes of all kinds.
Coincidentally, the Sybil Andrews cottage was also originally built in 1939 by a man named Robert McKillican. He was the operator of the Willow Point Garage opened by the Adams family. He lived there with his growing family until 1947 when he sold the home to Sybil and her husband Walter Morgan. It was the first building to be placed on Campbell River’s Heritage Registry.
This is only a little piece of Willow Point’s story. To find out more: