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Crofton

Crofton, British Columbia, Canada, is a small coastal town that is part of the District of North Cowichan on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The population is estimated at 1,100 people. It is about 74 km north of Victoria. Residents of Crofton are known as Croftonians. A phrase commonly used as a kind of town motto is 'Rock Crofton, Rock Often'.HistoryEarly HistoryAccording to tradition, the first people to live in the area around Osbourne Bay where Crofton is now situated were native peoples known as the 'Chestermen'. Their name has been interpreted as meaning 'people of the mountain' and is possibly a derivative of the Japanese word yama or 'hill'. The Chestermen died out many hundreds of years before the Europeans arrived in the area.In the 19th century, the area was cleared and settled by several homesteaders. They farmed the land and cut lumber, as provided by the government. In 1873, what would become Crofton was incorporated as the District of North Cowichan.Founding of the TownCrofton was founded in 1902 by Henry Croft, who owned the nearby copper mine in Mt. Sicker. He built a smelter on the coast and exported the refined copper. Unfortunately the residue leftover from the smelter blackened the local beaches and the small glass particles often stuck to peoples' feet and hands. In 1906 Henry Croft sold the smelter to Britannia Mine. The smelter closed in January 1908, and soon after, rumours began that a large sawmill would be built. Nothing came of the rumours and when Henry Croft died in 1917, his namesake was struggling to survive.
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