A black-and-white photo of houses being built in Port Alice around 1918.

Photo Credit: Ben Leeson / VPL 14193

A 100 Years Later, Port Alice is Booming Again

A century has passed since its first boom

The town grew by 11 percent over the last five years.

Port Alice is growing. Between 2016 and 2021, the little town grew by 11 percent.

That’s great news for a town that has faced hard times until recently.

“It’s huge,” Mayor Kevin Cameron told the North Island Gazette. Cameron said things really started to pick up in Port Alice about three years ago.

“We’ve got people moving into the area with their kids who are using the school system here, and it’s just making us a richer community.”

Port Alice has had its share of ups and downs over the past 100 years. But the village was already bustling in the 1910s and 1920s.

Take a look at these pics of Port Alice from days gone by. Do you recognize the landscape? Of course, these are from the original townsite before the village was moved to Rumble Beach.

A black-and-white photo of a man with a horse and buggy in front of houses being built. Tall trees stand in the background.
Houses were built around 1918 for families who
came to work at the Whalen Pulp and Paper Mill.
Photo by Ben Leeson / VPL 14193.
A black-and-white photo of Port Alice. There are some structures built and piles of logs where the land has been cleared.
Land getting cleared around 1917. Homes, shops,
and the mill would be built in the coming years.
Photo by Ben Leeson / VPL 14178A.
A black-and-white photo of people gathering in Port Alice in the early 1900s. The smoke stack from the old mill is in the background.
Port Alice residents gather for a celebration around 1920. Photo by Ben Leeson / VPL 14180K.
A black-and-white photo of the Stanley Dollar ship doc
The only way to get anything in or out of Port Alice
was by boat. The Stanley Dollar docked at the pier.
Photo by Ben Leeson / VPL 14184.
A black-and-white photo of Port Alice in 1929. The mill sits on the shore of the inlet.
Port Alice was hopping by the time this photo
was taken in 1929.
Photo by Leonard Frank / VPL 16568.