The Hood Point neighborhood today has a comfortable mix of year-roundand summer residents. Hood Point was once seen as a collection of large properties purchased by wealthy Vancouver families but the years have brought many changes. (It is true, however, that at one point in its history, a roll call turned up three university professors, six doctors, seven lawyers, four accountants, one MLA, one judge, one Vancouver mayor and one alderman.) The year-round road has replaced the old trail and made it possible for more interaction with the island’s greater community. Today’s residents take pride in a variety of traditions organized by generations of families and friends. The area continues to attract newcomers who enjoy the area, the beaches and the other residents. The early days began in 1886, when two young loggers, John and William Simpson, pre-empted the 112 acres of District Lot 823. When they decided to move on, they sold to bank manager, J.C. Keith. His first move was to lease an area to Arthur Newlands who opened the Howe Sound Hotel in 1901. It provided lodging for loggers as well as accommodation for wealthy boaters: its bar was popular with both. Eventually, the Terminal Steamship resort at Snug Cove proved more popular and the Hood Point hotel closed in 1911, Keith then turned the hotel into a summer home for his family who named it Invercraig which meant, they said, “ between the rocks.”
Keith participated in the land rushes of the 1880s and 1890s and bought the adjoining 243 acres of District lot 2260. His plans included tennis courts and a golf course. However, when Keith died in 1914, the two properties ended up with Anne Jane Keith. Meanwhile, in 1920, Captain Jack Cates had sold the Terminal Steamship Resort to the Union SS Co and moved to the Similkameen Valley. When his mining interests there didn’t work out, Cates dismantled and packaged his log home, moved it to Hood Point and reassembled it on property he’d purchased in 1924. Three years later, 21 friends, all members of the Lions Club, created a syndicate to buy District Lot 823 from Captain Cates, for $35,000. It was a popular decision and by 1929, thirteen houses were there. The original plan was to be self-sustaining by packaging nearly 200 parcels, a 9-hole golf course, a golf club house, a yacht clubhouse, a store, a first-aid station, an office building, a community hall, a church and a school. There would be camping, picnic parties and a boat-mooring concession. Although the members disapproved this intense development, there was financial trouble. The depression was on and the company faced liquidation. That’s when Walter Barrett-Lennard, a chartered accountant, emerged as the saviour and the one who carried out the wish of all to have a quiet, orderly community. His business sense and devotion to an ideal saved the Hood Point summer colony from disintegration. Share holders turned all their shares over to Barrett-Lennard who paid the back taxes, built a float, tended waterlines and repaired culverts. His quiet philosophy has underlined the life of the community ever since and is recognized by a cairn on the point. Hood Point’s history is full of fascinating stories. Many could be told by those families having roots dating back to the early days of the twenties and thirties. A partial list would include Bagnalls, Barrett-Lennards, Bells, Chews, Finlays, Forresters, Harvies, Henders, Honeymans, Hughes, Ledinghams, Nunns, Rietchels, Shields, Smiths, Underhills, Wrights and more. In addition, Hood Point has had a unique series of caretakers who would have their own colourful stories to share.