Queen Charlotte, Graham Island, Haida Gwaii

The village of Queen Charlotte has a population of about 850 and is located on Skidegate Inlet at the southern end of Graham Island, the largest island in the Haida Gwaii archipelago (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands) in British Columbia. Charlotte was founded when the North American Timber Holding Company began a sawmill in 1908. This early sawmill ran until 1912. The operation of the sawmill and mining drew more settlers to the town and in August 1909 a hospital opened to serve the community. Three general stores, a drug and clothing store, two hotels, a pool hall, a boarding house, a barbershop and the newspaper were all operational within a year. The first school classes were held in September 1909 in a room above the pool hall, and at the beginning of October, the new Methodist Church building was opened. Several of the buildings from these early times are still in use today. The sawmill was put into operation again towards the latter part of World War I to mill clear Sitka spruce for airplane lumber. Mining and especially fishing were historically important sources of income in Queen Charlotte, and today many residents still work in these resource-based jobs, but the economy is gradually shifting towards more tourism-oriented employment. Learn more about Queen Charlotte here, and here. Click on the picture and download CoastView to explore more of Queen Charlotte and Graham Island in Haida Gwaii.