A brief history of Ruskin

The recognition of Ruskin as a community distinct from Whonnock started with the establishment in 1896 of a sawmill on the confluence of Stave River and Fraser River by the Canadian Co-operative Society (Mission, 1995). They gave the location the name “Ruskin Mills.”

The influx of workers and their families in 1896 warranted a school—Stave River School—and the establishment of a post office that continued carrying the name Ruskin even after the demise of “Ruskin Mills” in 1900.

That sawmill was the first in a long series of lumber mills in the area creating steady work. Around 1910 a railway station with the name Ruskin was established in conjunction with the construction of power stations at Stave Falls. That was also the time when the school was renamed from Stave River to Ruskin School, reflecting the consolidation of Ruskin as a community.

For many years logging, sawmilling, the damming of the Stave, and the power stations created hundreds of local employment opportunities providing some form of financial stability unknown in other areas.

Sadly, with time Ruskin had to give up its railway station, its post office, its general store and not too long ago its elementary school when it merged with the Whonnock School.

The 1923 Ruskin Community Hall, however, survives due to the dedication of a group of proud volunteers.

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