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In 1915, Annie Rae Arthur arrived on a remote beach in Hesquiat Harbour on the west coast of Vancouver Island with her husband and three children to claim a parcel of land by working and living there. Over the years she married three more times and raised 11 children while taming the thick old growth rainforest and creating and cultivating a large garden from which she sold seeds, plants, and bulbs by mail order across British Columbia.
Arthur earned the nickname Cougar Annie after shooting 60 cougars over the years as well as 80 black bears who threatened her garden. The garden is still tended to today by volunteers and is the basis for a rainforest retreat and education centre.
Know Before You Go
Charter boats or seaplanes can be arranged in Tofino, the nearest town. Or join a scheduled tour to nearby Hot Springs and hike along the logging road from the small village there.