Ocean Falls is a community found in the central coast of British Columbia. It is sometimes called the Land of the Rain People because of the abundant rainfall that occurs each year. The remote area has a rich history, spanning many millennia, with the Heiltsuk First Nations people being the first inhabitants. They occupied the area for more than 9000 years and had a peaceful life isolated in the mountainous region.
Early in the 20th century, European settlers arrived and started to see the potential in Ocean Falls. The place was a reservoir for plenty of natural resources, with its many forests that can be used for timber, and the vast expanse of water that could be found. Since Ocean Falls is situated in Link Lake, which is connected to a fjord called Cousins Inlet that leads to open water. As a result, many companies had wanted to come and exploit the landscape and resources.
The Bella Coola Pulp and Paper Company surveyed Ocean Falls and decided to set up a pulp and paper mill after seeing the hydropower potential in the area. The mill began operating in 1912, and at this time, and for many years, it served as the largest mill in British Columbia. Along with this, the town was evidently progressing, with its population growing from 250 in 1912 to 3,500 in 1950.
For almost 70 years, Ocean Falls was a thriving town with a school system, hospital, hotel, orchestra, and many others. The mill provided work for many of the residents, and swimming became a top competitive sport. The company Crown Zellerbach built a swimming pool where champions trained, and the town was able to send seven swimmers to the Olympics from 1948 to 1960s. Prominent swimmers include world champion medalist Ralph Hutton and Richard Pound.
While Ocean Falls was evidently progressing, business started to slow at one point. The 1970s, in particular, marked a turning point when the population suddenly dropped to 1,500 and financial losses were prominent among businesses. Crown Zellerbach withdrew its interests from the town in 1973, causing more people to leave. The mill was shut down in 1980, and it was too expensive to use the land near Ocean Falls, so the town was gradually abandoned.
Today, Ocean Falls has become an isolated place with a population of less than 100. You can only visit the place through boat or plane, and while the town may not be as lively as it used to be, people still occasionally visit. While the location may be remote and harder to reach than other areas, it still houses some breathtaking views and landscapes that can get visitors excited.
If you are looking for some peace and quiet out of the busy cities, you can visit Ocean Falls and spend some time exploring the community. It may be considered a ghost town, but many believe that it is still not dead.