The Kaatza Station Museum is located next to Saywell Park on South Shore Road in Lake Cowichan, (turn at the Tourist Information Centre). For more information call the museum at 250 749-6142.
The museum is housed in a restored Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway station, constructed in 1912. Here you will find varied displays, photos, murals and archival material. Logging and forestry is a big part of Lake Cowichan’s history, but mining, railroading and early pioneer life are all very well represented. Some of the highlights include a re-creation of a pioneer home (detailed right down to the chamber pot peeking out from under the old iron bedstead), a mining tunnel, a 12′ high mural depicting life on the lake in the 1920’s done by Gaylia Nelson, a general store complete with penny candy and dry goods and a post office.
The museum hosts a variety of displays, some being permanent, others being temporary that are frequently changed throughout the year. The current temporary displays are titled:
Youbou – The Community
The Bell Tower School is located next to the museum building. It was built in 1925 and features an authentic 1940’s classroom on one side and meeting area on the other. Class pictures of people who went to Cowichan Lake’s schools are located just inside the entrance.
You will also find, on the south side of the museum, a 1927 Lima Shay steam locomotive hauling a 1916 CN boxcar, and a 1918 CN caboose. Before you leave be sure to walk down to the water’s edge for a great view of the lake, the weir and the head waters of the Cowichan River.
The museum’s knowledgable staff are always on hand to answer questions or ring up sales in the small gift shop. For group and school tours, phone 749-6142. The museum’s Manager/Curator is the very friendly Barb Simkins.
You can also check out the Kaatza Historical Society page for more information