Ada Annie and William Rae-Arthur and their three children moved to Boat Basin in June 1915. They cleared five acres of rainforest and were deeded 117 acres. Using questionable tactics Ada Annie established the Boat Basin Post Office to support her mail-order nursery garden. For additional income Ada Annie shot over 50 cougars for bounty payments andtrapped fur-bearing animals. Ada Annie bore eight more children at Boat Basin during the garden’s formative years.
After her children moved away during the 1940s the garden slowly reverted back to rainforest. Ada Annie departed her beloved garden for the final time in 1983 and died two years later days short of her 97th birthday. Against all odds the garden was restored, a process requiring over thirty years of hard work. Boat Basin Foundation was established during 1988 as a charitable organization to own the property by donation, to preserve the garden for future generations, and to promote interest and education in cultural and natural history.
Day visits from Gold River or Tofino and overnight stays at Temperate Rainforest Field Study Centre provide an opportunity to experience this special heritage first hand.