The Townsite Heritage Society has many resources available on the history of the Townsite. At Henderson House, a variety of published books can be purchased such as the House Histories and Heritage volumes by Karen Southern. We also material available for viewing like our archival photograph collection. Below is a list of the resources available. 

Publications available for purchase:

House Histories and Heritage Vol. I : The Vanishing Buildings by Karen Southern

A Visual History of the Historic Powell River Company Townsite

Published by The Townsite Heritage Society of Powell River

This is the first volume on the historic houses and buildings that were once part of Western Canada’s oldest pulp and paper mill town in Powell River BC. As the title suggests, this particular volume contains buildings that are no longer standing such as Central Building, the first Patricia Theater, the first Fire Hall and Henderson School.


House Histories and Heritage Vol. II : The Old Town by Karen Southern

A Visual History of the Historic Powell River Company Townsite

Published by The Townsite Heritage Society of Powell River

This second volume, in a four-volume work about Powell River’s Townsite, provides detailed information about the historic houses and chronologies of its occupants. It also features iconic buildings such as the Patricia Theater and Henderson House.


House Histories and Heritage Vol. III : The New Town by Karen Southern

A Visual History of the Historic Powell River Company Townsite

Published by The Townsite Heritage Society of Powell River

The third volume of the House Histories and Heritage series continues the chronologies of occupants of Townsite Homes and the history of the homes.


People of the White City: Stories from the Powell River Mill by Emma Levez

“It was a welcoming beacon along the dark, lonely coast; a warm, happy glow that comforted boaters and fisherman alike. Known as the White City to those who saw it from the water, and Powell River to those who knew it from the land.” Filled with black and white photographs, People of the White City is an in-depth book covering the stories of workers from the pulp and paper mill. It also discusses the various processes that went into making paper including the paper machines, the yard crew, the steam plant etc.


Hulks: The Breakwater Ships of Powell River by John A. Campbell 

This book tells the story of the World War I and World War II ships that made up the floating breakwater protecting the mill pond in Powell River. It contains background information on the concrete ships such as YOGN82, which was recently sunk in 2018 to become an artificial shipwreck and diving site.


American Bungalow Issue 60, Winter 2008 

This particular issue of the magazine contains a feature article on the Powell River Townsite and analyzes the unique characteristics of craftsman style architecture. It contains many colored photographs and demonstrates the wonderful vision of the pre-planned company town.


Powell River Cookbook

Thanks to the hard work of Doug and Wendy Mobley we are happy to offer this “2nd edition” 1941 cookbook of local recipes for sale. 

Excerpts by Doug Mobley from the Foreword of 2nd edition:

• The original cookbook was printed in 1941 as a means to raise money for the Red Cross and its war work. It is unknown who or what group produced the work, but ladies from Townsite, Westview and Cranberry have been identified so it was clearly a community effort.

• The Townsite Heritage Society has a copy of the original but it is in poor condition as can be seen in the cover of this book which is a scan of the original. The interior of the book is printed on newsprint (appropriate for Powell River) but it has badly yellowed and the pages are deteriorating. However, the newsprint is 78 years old and newsprint was never manufactured for longevity.

• For anyone with a Powell River history going back before 1941, there is a good chance that your mom’s, grandma’s or great-grandmother’s recipes might be in this book.


Material available for viewing:

Photo Albums

We have eight photo albums that contain various photos relating to the Townsite and Powell River ranging from 1908 to 1949.


The Digester was a monthly periodical that was first created by the Powell River Company beginning in the early 1900s. The Digester is now produced by the Townsite Society and continues to be distributed throughout the Townsite semi-annually. Traditionally, they contain articles about the townsite, the pulp and paper mill and various other community events and information for the locals. We have a variety of Digesters available for viewing, ranging from 1922 to the 1970s. However, we do not have a complete collection. 

Powell River’s First 50 Years by Powell River News

Powell River 100 by Barbara Ann Lambert

Miscellaneous Archival Material

We have other ephemeral items that can be viewed such as old Discover Powell River Magazines. 

Links and Articles

National Historic District Designation

Explore our site for more information on the history of the Townsite, and enjoy a virtual tour of the historic district as well! 

Townsite Walking Tour: Here you can take a virtual stroll through Powell River’s Historic Townsite with a commentary on each tour stop.

Contact Us

6211 Walnut Street,
Powell River BC V8A 4K2 Canada
+1 604 483 3901