People of the Sound - Sing Lee

The first general store at the end of the Esowista Peninsula was started by Sing Lee ca. 1901. Lee seems to have originally ventured to Clayoquot Sound with the hope of finding gold. Bedwell River was a hot place for prospectors between 1866 and 1886. In 1901 Lee was prospecting at Wreck Bay (Florencia Bay). One fruitful haul brought him $500. The store became quite fruitful as well, though started out small.  

Lee's store operated at a small-scale level for many years, later growing to compete with Walter Dawley's general store at Clayoquot village. Lee bought furs and sold a variety of goods. Walter Dawley was severely vexed by the competition and would become enraged if he suspected any one of his suppliers was also supplying foods to Lee or at a better price. Tensions were increased when Stockham (Dawley's former business partner) started doing fur trade business through Lee's store. 

By the time Lee passed away in 1906 he had gained fame as a successful businessman throughout Clayoquot Sound and in Victoria as well. 

 

Sources

Guppy, Walter. Clayoquot Soundings: A History of Clayoquot Sound, 1880s-1980s. Tofino: Grassroots Publication, 1997. 

Horsfield, Margaret and Ian Kennedy. Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History. Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2014. 

Horsfield, Margaret. Voices from the Sound. Nanaimo: Salal Books, 2008.