George Bates first opened his fish camp for business in 1946. In the early years there were two tent cabins and wooden clinker built boats. Power was provided by a generator and there was more then the odd blackout. There were no phones, no electricity, not even a permanent road. However, Georges affliable personality and community minded spirit, coupled with excellent fishing contributed to a successful fishing resort.
Founder George Bates with his great dane -- An early shot of the campground
Fishing Derbies were common and a memorable one was when Georges own mother, Louisa Bates, won $22.00 with her 29 1/2 pounder. In those days $22.00 was a considerable fortune, so Mrs. Bates donated her earnings to the building of what was to become Bates Road. Before this it was nothing more than a railway grade left by Comox Logging Company, and each year it would require clearing to keep the path open. The donated money went to improving the road system for year round access.
George and Estelle Bates, Founders -- George and Estelle with son John
Bates Beach has now been in operation for over 60 years. Of course, a lot has changed around here since George Bates first opened back in 1946. But its reputation of being a beautiful family campground lives on, and we hope will continue for many years to come!
Our 50th Anniversary Party in 1996