Our History

The Alberni Valley has a rich history full of adventure and heritage. Before the Europeans came, it was originally inhabited by two tribes – the Tseshahts and the Hupacasasath – and later named for Don Pedro de Alberni, a Spanish officer who commanded a fort on the west coast of Vancouver Island from 1790 to 1792.

Industry has been an intrinsic part of the area ever since the arrival of the Anderson Company, a sawmilling firm, in 1860. Early settlers included farmers, miners, loggers and fishermen. Forestry has been key to the Alberni Valley’s economic foundation ever since.

The town of Port Alberni was originally two cities – Port Alberni and Alberni – which amalgamated in 1967 following a devastating tsunami that hit in 1964.

Find out more about the area’s heritage by visiting the Alberni Valley Museum, the McLean Mill National Historic Site, the Alberni Pacific Railway and the Maritime Discovery Centre.