Trivia Trek: Willow Point

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. 

MCR 7319 - Bud and Peggy Adams standing outside the Willow Point store, 1939.

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.

MCR 88-24b14f141a - Artist Sybil Andrews working on a linocut in her studio at Willow Point, 1983.

This is only a little piece of Willow Point’s story.  To find out more:

Museum at Campbell River respectfully acknowledges the Liǧʷiɫdax̌ʷ First Nation, on whose traditional lands we work to preserve, interpret and share the collective human history of North Vancouver Island. The Liǧʷiɫdax̌ʷ First Nation is comprised of the We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nations. Our closest neighbors are the Coast Salish Xwemalhkwu, Klahoose and K’ómoks First Nations.

These nations have close connections to the land where Campbell River is located today.

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