Crofton, Vancouver Island

Crofton is a small coastal community on Osborne Bay, about 46 miles (74 km) north of Victoria, British Columbia. The sloping topography offers dramatic views of Saltspring Island across the southern end of Stuart Channel.

In 1895, prospectors discovered traces of copper, gold and silver on Mount Sicker and the following spring began digging a mine shaft. However, a forest fire forced the prospectors to flee the site and their cabin and gear were destroyed. When they returned in the spring of 1897, the burned area revealed a copper outcrop 30 feet (9 m) wide at the mountain's 1,400-foot level (430 m). When news of the discovery became public, a staking rush ensued and within weeks the entire mountain, base to summit, was claimed.

In 1902, Henry Croft, who then owned the copper mine on Mt. Sicker, built a smelter and deep water wharf on the coast and founded the town of Crofton. The smelter closed in January 1908 and the town population quickly declined. A pulp and paper mill was built in 1957 and continues to operate today. In 1955, the smelter wharf was converted to a ferry dock to service Saltspring Island and BC Ferries now operates the route daily. Read more here and here. Download or open the CoastView app and explore more of Crofton here: