The Legend of Princess Louisa Marine Provincial Park

Princess Louisa Inlet, called by indigenous peoples “Suivoolot”, meaning sunny and warm, has beckoned sea travellers since it was first seen by man. Except for aircraft, the sea is the only way there.

The privilege of enjoying this bit of paradise comes through the generosity and foresight of James F. “Mac” Macdonald who first saw Princess Louisa Inlet in 1919. Mr. Macdonald remembered the spectacular beauty of the inlet as he travelled over the world. In 1926, after years of prospecting in Nevada, “Mac” struck it rich. With his new found riches, he was able to attain his real Eldorado: Princess Louise Inlet. He obtained the land surrounding Chatterbox Falls in 1927 and build a log cabin that was tragically destroyed by fire in 1940.

For years, “Mac” acted as host to visiting yachtsmen and sailors. “This beautiful, peaceful haven should never belong to one individual,” he said. “I don't ever want it to be commercialized. Indians, trappers, loggers, fishermen and yachtsmen have always been welcome to any hospitality I had to offer. I have felt that I was only the custodian of the property for Nature and it has been my duty to extend every courtesy.”

In 1953, “Mac” made the decision to turn the property over to the yachtsmen of the Northwest. “In giving it to the boating public I feel as if I am completing a trust. It is one of the most spectacular beauty spots in the world,” he stated. “I am turning it over in perpetuity as an international project so that you, your children, and your children's children, ad infinitum, all may enjoy its peace and beauty as God created it, unspoiled by the hand of man.”

To maintain the perpetual trust, the non-profit Princess Louisa International Society was formed with an equal number of Canadian and American trustees. The formation of this society ensured the preservation of this enchantingly beautiful place for all future generations.

It was stipulated that Mr. Macdonald would always have a place near Chatterbox Falls to moor his houseboat. In 1972, his 83rd year, “Mac” spent his last summer at the Inlet. He died in 1978.

After ten years of careful guardianship, the Princess Louisa International Society, with the blessing of Mr. Macdonald, decided that for greater public benefit, administration of the property should pass to the Government of the Province of British Columbia. With the understanding that all previous stipulations would remain in effect, the property became Princess Louisa Provincial Marine Park in 1965. The Princess Louisa International Society continues to play an active role in the conservation and management of the park.

It is your park now, for you to enjoy. We are all its custodians. Your help and cooperation in helping to preserve and maintain it is earnestly sought. Please observe the courtesies of the sea whether afloat or ashore. It is our responsibility to make sure that this magnificent park remains as beautiful as it always has been.

Today, over half a century after “Mac” first saw this unique and lovely fjord, people still come, many of them again and again, to thrill to its new and ever changing beauty. A place where, as “Mac” said, “A person can find the peace that passeth understanding.”