• Eat Local Cowichan Lake


Youbou is approximately 38 km west of Duncan on highway 18. There is close to 1,206 people (2016 Census) living in this beautiful little community on Cowichan Lake.
Read more…

Mesachie Lake
In early the 1940s, the Hillcrest Lumber Company faced a serious problem. It had cut all the trees in the area around Sahtlam and needed a new location for its mill. In the spring of 1942 Mesachie Lake was born when the Hillcrest Lumber Company moved its mill and company houses to the shore of Cowichan Lake.
Read more…

Lake Cowichan
The Town of Lake Cowichan is located at the eastern edge of Cowichan Lake beside the Cowichan River. There are 3,226 people (2016 Census) living in Lake Cowichan.
Read more …

Honeymoon Bay
In its infancy, Honeymoon Bay was a true working town. That is, if you lived in Honeymoon Bay, chances are you were employed by Western Forest Industries Mill, which was located on the shores of what is now the Central Beach area and March Road.
Read more…

Caycuse (Camp6)
Caycuse, a native name meaning scraping the barnacles off the bottom of the canoe, is located approximately 20 km outside of Lake Cowichan on the South Shore of the Lake. At one time there were over 400 people living in Caycuse.
Read more …

Mesachie Lake

Mesachie Lake is a small community located by the southern shore of Cowichan Lake. It is 6 km away from the Town of Lake Cowichan. Pacific Marine Road begins in Mesachie Lake and leads directly to Port Renfrew, with the old-growth tree, the Harris Creek Spruce, being one of the most interesting sights to see on the way. Public beach access in the community is available at Bear Lake, which is connected to the main lake by a channel. Bear Lake is the perfect lake to kayak, as the water is calm, the shoreline offers much to explore, and there is the opportunity to head to the larger Cowichan Lake via the channel. Camp Imadene, a summer camp located on the shores of Mesachie Lake, is a popular destination for children (and adults).

A Brief History

Mesachie Lake owes its existance to Carlton Stone who created the town to house the workers of his new mill in 1942.

Carlton Stone was born in 1877 in England, immigrating to Canada in 1908 and moving to Vancouver Island in 1910. He built a small steam powered mill near Fairbridge, developing a unique method of moving the logs. Horses were used to pull empty rail cars up to the logging operation and then, by use of a hand brake, the loaded cars coasted downhill to the sawmill. In 1917 he moved the operation to Sahtlam, which gave him access to railway transportation (E&N) and a world wide market. At this time the company was incorporated as Hillcrest Lumber Company. He designed a gas powered form of truck to be used on the rails, instead of the steam locomotive. Within 10 years he was one of the largest companies on Vancouver Island, cutting 45 million feet and employing 225 men in the mill and 100 in the woods. Over time the timber ran out and Carlton was forced to move.

After some amount of searching he decided on the site of Mesachie Lake. This area having been logged off in pioneer times had a substantial second growth forest on it. The acreage had to have room, not only for the mill, cookhouses and logging equipment, but also for a community with houses, church, hall, playing field and school. Over 100 acres were cleaned of new growth and old stumps, leveled and surveyed. Streets were laid out, water mains and sewers put in and power installations built.

The mill plan was completely new in design and allowed for roominess and efficiency. Some of the old machinery was to be used, but new and up-to-date machinery was installed.

In the spring of 1942 the great trek began. The power house was completed and the generators were installed, houses were cut into sections, transported and re-assembled on their designated lots. The mill at Sahtlam finally stopped, machinery was moved and put into its pre-determined place. The first sawn lumber came from the mill in August of 1943.

The power house was able to produce enough power not only for the mill and the community but on occasion supplied the Village of Lake Cowichan when its own plant was over loaded or broken down.

Hillcrest Lumber Company was referred to as a “family operation”. Apart from the fact that the members of the family became involved in its operation as they grew older, the relations between the management and employees was always exceptional. A large number of employees had a long record of service to Hillcrest. Mr. Stone was primarily responsible for the building of the hundred houses in Lake Cowichan financed by the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation in the late 40s. He was very involved in St. Peter’s Church in Duncan and gave generously to Queen Margaret’s Chapel as well as St. Christopher’s in Mesachie. Carlton Stone died on October 10, 1950, one day before his 73rd birthday. Mrs. Stone died on July 27, 1959.

Mr. & Mrs. Stone had six children. Hector served as the president and general manager, Gordon was mill manager, Peter was assistant manager, Paul was superintendent of mechanical affairs and Norman was the gang mill night manager. Auriol, the only daughter, married Ted Robertson, son of one of the early pioneers.

Some sixty families lived in the community. The houses were almost all company owned and rented to employees. The last six houses on the east side of the main road (called Forestry Road at the time) and three houses on Bear Lake Road south of the church were privately built. The company took care of maintenance of streets, houses, hall and church; also rentals of the hall and church. There was a water system, both chlorinated and fluoridated, and a sewage system that served the whole village.

The mill continued operating until August 6, 1968 when, because of a dwindling timber supply, it closed. Approximately 50 men were laid off reducing the mill employees to 200. The gang mill and barker mill were to be phased out by mid September and then after a clean-up the mill would shut down. The mill itself was destroyed in a fire in 1970.

Despite doom and gloom reports that Mesachie Lake village would disappear, the spirit that Carlton Stone brought to it has remained in the residents today and the community continues to thrive.

Mesachie Man

Legend has it that Mesachie Man was half man and half gorilla and that he had escaped from a sailing vessel that had foundered on the west coast. Fact or fiction??? Many people have claimed to have seen or heard this creature. Trevor Green remembers his father telling his about blood-curdling yells and the dreadful evil face with beetling brows and prognathous jaw. According to his aunt the creature lived in a cave on Mesachie Mountain. She maintained that the First Nations people were terrified of him and that the women and children would rarely venture from the camp on the shore.

It has also been said that Mesachie Man is not an escaped half-gorilla, but a sasquatch or sasquatch-like creature with the traditional name of Tzum-a-quat. A similar creature, known as the Big-Footed Devil, resides near Caycuse.

In 1943, Mr. Carlton Stone who had a mill at Sahtlam, about five miles form Duncan, found the need to move and expand (see story above), so he picked this spot, beside two small lakes and in the shade of Mesachie Mountain. There were many legends woven around this spot and the First Nations people so named the place because it meant wild, fierce, unpredictable and it was said that the “Devil Fish” lived in the lake.

Information From:

  • The Kaatza Station Museum and Archives
  • and former resident Ron Orr who helped us fix some small errors.

Continue on to – Mesachie Lake Town Info


Youbou is approximately 38 km west of Duncan on highway 18. There is close to 1,450 people living in this beautiful little community on Cowichan Lake. It is part of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. On Highway 1 just north of Duncan turn onto Highway 18. From there its only a 25 minute drive to reach the junction at the Town of Lake Cowichan. Proceed down Youbou Road (the right fork) 10 km to Youbou.

The community of Youbou is the second largest community on Cowichan Lake. Youbou was named for the original mill owners, Mr. Yount and Mr. Bouton. Today, the mill is gone but the town lives on. The town has an over 60 year old church, an elementary school, a volunteer fire department, and a Community Hall which was built in 1937. The Hall is a center point for community events such as dances, playschool, 5 & 10 pin bowling, sports and children’s programs and much more. The Youbou Little League Recreation Park is host to a number of baseball games during the spring/summer seasons and also has a playground, horseshoe pits and picnic tables.

Every year the Youbou Regatta is held in the middle of August. It is Youbou’s premier festival with dances, a sunset cruise, parades and more. The scenic Arbutus Park right on the lake in Youbou is the host to many of the events.

Parks at Youbou

Youbou has all sorts of parks. You can go swimming at Arbutus Park, hiking on Bald Mountain at Marble Bay and get away from it all on the secluded beaches of Price Park and more. Most of the parks in this part of Cowichan Lake are looked after by Youbou Parks and Recreation. Additional information about these parks is available on our Youbou Parks page.

Youbou Parks

Campsites at Youbou

Forestry Campsites are located just west of Youbou allowing easy access to this community and the beauty of the Lake. More Information about these campgrounds is available from our campground list.

Come see for yourself. Youbou on Vancouver Island where the people are friendly, time slows to a halt, the air is fresh and the water is blue.

History of Youbou

The community of Youbou, 10 km from Lake Cowichan on North Shore Road, is the second largest community on Cowichan Lake. Youbou was named for the original mill owners, Mr. Yount and Mr. Bouton.

Logging in the area dates back as early as 1907 by a company later known as Empire Lumber Company who secured large blocks of timber around Caycuse and Youbou by building the E&N Railway to Lake Cowichan, which was completed in 1913.

In 1913, Empire Lumber Company build a small mill in Cottonwood (Youbou) to mill smaller logs, and, starting in 1918, many improvements were made to the mill. By 1922 the mill was able to cut 30,000 ft. per day and employ 30 men.

A recession in late 1922 resulted in the mill closing until 1925 when the CP Railway was completed to Kissinger Lake. Around this time, the need for a school became important for those families in Youbou and, in due course, the “Old Hall”óa converted bunkhouseówas divided into two parts, one half being used for a school room. The school opened on October 5, 1925 with seven students enrolled and Miss Eleanor Redhead as teacher. C.C. Yount, Vice President of Empire Logging Co. furnished seats, blackboards and labour. The school serviced the community for ten years until, in 1935, a new facility was opened across from the Community Hall. This new school was named Yount after C.C. Yount. In 1947 Yount school enrolled a Kindergarten class, and was the first school in the district to do so.

The modern day Youbou mill was constructed in 1927 and was possibly the oldest fresh water sawmill in BC. It once boasted the longest craneway in the British Empire. Timberwest recently closed this mill and auctioned off its equipment in June, 2001. The closure of the last mill left on Cowichan Lake marks the end of an era for the region.


Lake Cowichan

The Town of Lake Cowichan is located at the eastern edge of Cowichan Lake beside the Cowichan River. There are 2,856 people (1996 Census) living in Lake Cowichan. To reach Lake Cowichan from Highway 1 (Trans-Canada), drive to just north of Duncan and turn onto Highway 18. From there its only a 20 minute drive (28 kilometers) to the Town of Lake Cowichan.

Gateway to the CarmanahPast Cowichan Lake’s eastern shoreline is some of the most spectacular outdoor adventures available on Vancouver Island. From the town, the forests of the Carmanah-Walbarn are only 2 1/2 hours away. Gordon Bay Provincial Park is less than a half-hour away and makes a great place to go camping. The area’s temperate climate makes the Cowichan Lake region ideal for outdoor activities all year round. For maps of Lake Cowichan, visit the map section.

Lake Cowichan is the sister city of Ohtaki, Hokkaido in Japan. Their website is in japanese, but, they have a nice photo gallery of the area and local events. Information about other Canadian cities with sister cities in Japan can be found on the Consulate General of Japan in Toronto’s website.

Services in the Town of Lake Cowichan
Lake Cowichan has all of the amenities that a small town could possibly provide. There are gas stations, grocery stores, a marina and more. Internet access for tourists is provided by CLIAS (Cowichan Lake Information Access Society) in the Bell Tower School located in Saywell Park. For history buffs, the Kaatza Station Museum in Saywell Park offers a look back into the history of the region. For more information about area services browse our business directory.

Parks in the Town of Lake Cowichan
The town’s parks offer plenty of opportunities for picnicking, walking and swimming. Central Park and Saywell Park both offer picnic facilities and are located on the Cowichan River. To take a dip in the Cowichan River, head over to Kinsmen Park (Duck Pond). Other activities awaiting you are tubing, kayaking, horseback riding, houseboat rentals and fishing. Additional information about park locations and facilities is available on our Lake Cowichan parks page.

Murals painted by local artist Michaela Davidson now decorate the buildings of Lake Cowichan.

Places to go from here
To the west along South Shore Road are the villages of Mesachie Lake, Honeymoon Bay and Caycuse. Gordon Bay Provincial Park, the most popular park on Lake Cowichan, is just beyond Honeymoon Bay. Around Cowichan Lake in the opposite direction is the Town of Youbou.

Lake Cowichan from the Air

Continue on to – The History of Lake Cowichan

Honeymoon Bay

Honeymoon BayIn its infancy, Honeymoon Bay was a true working town. That is, if you lived in Honeymoon Bay, chances are you were employed by Western Forest Industries Mill which was located on the shores of what is now the Central Beach area and March Road.

The homes on the original townsite were built and completed by WFI in 1947 and construction of the duplexes began in March of the same year. These homes were rented to mill workers and their families. 1947 also saw the formation of the Fire Department and the opening of the first post office.

WFI was a rather benevolent employer, taking care to ensure Honeymoon Bay was a thriving community with many recreational activities. The Community Hall was officially opened in February of 1948, as well as a park for the children and tennis courts for the residents to enjoy.

Catastrophe struck the first time in July 1948 when the mill was destroyed by fire leaving 500 unemployed. Fortunately, the shut down was not permanent and the mill was rebuilt and began operation again in 1950.

The community was very active during the ’50s, taking part in such activities as badminton, square dancing, card parties and garden clubs.

A unique thread in the fabric of Honeymoon Bay history is the Honeymoon Bay Lawn Bowling club which was formed in 1952. Originally, the club was for employees of WFI but later became open to all residents of Honeymoon Bay. The club was very active during the 1950s and ’60s and was dissolved around 1976. The original club hut still stands in the playground in the centre of the townsite.

March Meadows Golf and Country Club officially opened in October of 1970. The challenging nine hole course was developed using the natural lay of the land and is the original home of LPGA star Dawn Coe-Jones.

The mill closed its doors in 1981, causing profound unemployment and creating an era of confusion for those who occupied the homes in the original townsite. Many of these residents were able to eventually purchase the dwellings for a reasonable price but most had to leave the area in search of employment.

Despite setbacks Honeymoon Bay continues to flourish. Although some residents have left, development and the low cost of housing make it attractive for others to purchase in the area, many of which are young families drawn by the charm of a small community.

The townsite still boasts the community hall, the volunteer fire department, a general store, butcher shop and post office. As well there’s been an impressive modernization of the elementary school.

Today, the RV parksóthree in totalóhave boosted the summer population of Honeymoon Bay immensely.

Tourists are attracted to the beauty of the area and recreational activities include camping at Gordon Bay Provincial Park, walking through the Wildflower Reserve, golfing at March Meadows or visiting any number of beaches.

In 1997, Honeymoon Bay saw the gas station at the entrance to town re-open as well as a neighbourhood pub “the Cutthroat Tavern” open for business.

One cannot have a complete history of the Bay without mentioning the first resident, Henry March. Very much a pioneer braving untouched wilderness, March came to the Bay in 1887 and cleared a site with the aid of horses and oxen that became the March farm, of which the original house still stands today.

From a booming mill town to the spectre of becoming a ghost town, few could have seen how Honeymoon Bay would become the tourist destination it is today. For those who live there, however, Honeymoon Bay will always be seen, first and foremost, as home.

This history first appeared in the Lake Cowichan Gazette, July 30 1997-by Kelly Johnston

Honeymoon Bay Info

Visit Honeymoon Bay’s Website

Caycuse (Camp 6)

A Brief History of Caycuse(Camp 6)

General Information
Caycuse, a native name meaning scraping the barnacles off the bottom of the canoe, is located approximately 20 km outside of Lake Cowichan on the South Shore of the lake. At one time there were over 400 people living in Caycuse. Today the population is 65, 13 of which are summer residents. It has a fire department and a two lane bowling alley.

Caycuse’s History
Some records of early logging around Camp 6 date back to 1902 when George Lewis was reported to have been logging in the Nixon Creek area. In 1905 Joe Vipond, a logging contractor who worked for the Cowichan Lumber Co., owned by the Mossom Boyd interests, ran a logging camp at Nixon Creek, using one of the earliest steam donkeys.

[cryout-column width=”1/2″]

[cryout-column width=”1/2″]



The history of Caycuse is tied in with Youbou when about 1909 the Empire Logging Timber grant included the area and vast forests back of it. A few years later the Empire Co. actually had a camp there which was later leased to the Genoa Bay Lumber Co. Later in the early 1920′­s the Jesse James Co. took over for a short time.

However, a continuous history of the area really started in 1927 when Gibson and McCoy formed the Cowichan Logging Co. They had contracts with the mill at Cottonwood (Youbou) and were logging Empire Logging Co. timber. They prepared for a permanent camp there and built for family accommodation. Many of the men from the Youbou area (Camp 2 and Yap Alley) moved across the lake and worked for Gibson and McCoy. Much of the camp was on float houses for many years, including the cook-house, bunkhouses, office and store. Although there were still float houses in use in the middle forties, more and more buildings appeared on land. In September 1927 there were enough children to start a school, indicating the growth of the camp. The first school was a building on land, the first teacher was Miss Mable Jones from Cumberland, teaching 15 pupils.

During the depression the camp was closed for two years but opened again in 1933. By 1935 the single school room was too small and two room school with basement was built. The school went from grades k-7 until 1987 when it went from grades k-6. The school shut down in 1989 as there were only 8 students attending and the school still stands along with the playground equipment.

On March 17, 1928 a community hall was opened. Several boat loads of people came from Youbou and Lake Cowichan for the celebration. Dances, concerts and parties became quite frequent. In the early days the camp had to provide its own entertainment. Getting away from camp as late as 1929 meant going by taxi boat to the Foot of the lake. After 1929 it was necessary to cross the Lake to Youbou. Movies were shown in camp for a number of years on a regular schedule.

For many years people clamored for a road to be built from Caycuse to Honeymoon Bay. Students going to high school at Lake Cowichan had to go by taxi boat and speeder but this ended when the road was built. It finally was completed in 1955. Now students went to high school in a heated school bus. In 1956 the road was continued to Nitinat (Camp 3). Actually, the road ended the link between Caycuse and Youbou, except for organization and business. The logging office headquarters was moved from Youbou to Caycuse. Camp 3 was later abandoned by B.C.F.P.

A new town site was laid out in the fifties. Larger and better houses were built and living conditions improved. The old unsightly buildings on floats disappeared. At one point in time, there were over 400 people living in Caycuse, in old bunkhouses. There were 3 big shops, the main one was where they repaired and held the trains for overnight. In the front of this main shop, there was a turn table where the trains could turn around.

In 1987 B.C.F.P. sold its holdings to Fletcher Challenge. Almost all of the residents of Caycuse have left, 65 people still reside there today, 13 of them who are only there in the summer.

Kaatza Station Museum

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.

DisplaysThe 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
Medical History

museumThe 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 and volunteers are always on hand to answer questions or ring up sales in the small gift shop. For group and school tours, phone 749-6142.

You can also check out the Kaatza Historical Society page for more information

Kaatza Historical Society

About Us
Established in 1975 we are a registered society which operates at the “Kaatza Station Museum”. Regular meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in the Lake Cowichan Bell Tower School, and the Annual General Meeting is in May.
The committee collects, catalogues, researches, preserves, displays and interprets the history of the Cowichan Lake area

To preserve the history of the Cowichan Lake district.

General Information
We are an award winning museum which attracts visitors from around the world.  One of our highlights is a 1927 Shay Locomotive.  We also participate in many local events and celebrations such as “Heritage Days” and “Lake Days” to name a few.
Admission to the Museum is $2.00
Members and students are free!

Summer Hours:9:00am to 4:00pm 7 days /wk.
Winter Hours: 9:00am to 4:00pm Monday-Friday

Contact Info
Where to Find Us:
Kaatza Historical Society
125 South Shore Rd. Box 135,
Lake Cowichan, BC
V0R 2G0
Phone: (250) 749-6142

Barbara Simkins – Curator    &      Barb Veitch – President

St Christophers Church

St Christophers ChurchSt. Christophers is probably the only church to be constructed by a logging company. It was designed by the Stone family (of Mesachie Lake). Although there was nothing unconventional in the general design, there is originality in the use of materials which were all local. The poles of the roof trusses were cut on the site, the corner posts are round Douglas fir logs with the bark left on. Yellow cedar was used for the siding. Hillcrest’s carpenters did the construction work as paid employees, but there was one company employee who took a more personal interest. As a volunteer job Dick Harsfall split the 7000 cedar shakes which roof the church.

Inside the little 24×48 foot church imagination really went to work. The fronts of the choir stalls are composed of red cedar panels framed with yellow cedar: the reading desk and font are make of maple burls and the cross on the altar is based on a maple burl. Hemlock is used largely for the interior lining.

The jug on the font was fashioned by a woman parishioner, the vases and candlesticks on the altar were turned on a home workshop lathe by an employee and the illminated scroll, which tells the legend of St. Christopher, was the work of Robin Maunsell. The company blacksmith, Bob Biskuupovich, make the iron work for the lamps and door hinges. Only one item was made out of the district, the glass dogwood, which is the centrepiece of the east window, was fashioned in Victoria.

The corner stone was laid in November, 1948 by Mrs. Carlton Stone and the church was ready for use the following summer. Along with his dream of a British Columbia woods church, Carlton Stone, although an Anglican, envisaged a church which would know no denominational barriers. However, some organized religious group had to be found to take responsibility. Also, the church was sitting in the middle of Hillcrest property and it was practically impossible to give title to it. A solution was eventually found and on August 12, 1951 two Anglican bishops stood outside the closed door of St. Christopher­s and knocked three times for admittance. The door was then opened to them by the warden, who requested, in the ancient form prescribed, that their church be dedicated.

In 1952 the need for a Sunday School was met by the addition of a 20×30 foot hall, which was built in the style of the church. Due to declining attendance and increasing vandalism it was decided to move the church to Lake Cowichan. In June of 1980 the building was partially disassembled, transported, rebuilt and attached to St. Aidans Anglican Chruch. St. Christophers serves as the church and St. Aidans as the hall. The church was re-dedicated on October 19, 1980.

Cowichan Lake Forest Research Station

Entrance SignEstablished in 1929 by the BC Forest Service, the Cowichan Lake Experimental Station has become renown for its work in forest genetics and tree physiology. The site was chosen for its close proximity to Bald Mountain lookout tower and the presence of a considerable acreage of 20 year old ìfine, thrifty Douglas fir.î One of its first projects in 1931, shortly after the depression, was Douglas fir thinning plots. In 1935 a ìYoung Menís Forestry Training Planî for the unemployed, hired sixty young men who built roads and trails, a cookhouse, bunk houses and a station residence, including a telephone service and a water system. These men were paid $1.00 a day and morale was high. There was organized recreation as well as job training activities. At the end of 1935, 10% of these men found jobs in the logging camps and sawmills. Since road access did not exist the station maintained a couple of clinker built boats equipped with outboard motors. In 1936 a road was constructed linking the Research Station and the public road.

In 1939 the personnel at CLES included 21 men in the Forest Development Project, 34 in the National Forestry Program and 15 in the Youth Forestry Training Program.

In 1941 the Station became a camp for reforestation and federal researchers. That same year a work camp was established to house conscientious objectors to war. These people developed a reputation for careful tree planting and also as fire look-outs for feared Japanese incendiary bomb devices.

In 1945 the Dominion of Canada established a field laboratory for insect and disease research and eight years later the first forest genetic experiments were begun by Dr. Alan Ewing with Douglas fir plantations.

During these early years, the Station served as a centre from which studies were conducted during the summer months. The objective of this research was to learn how best to manage forests for future use. The studies involved growth and yield, thinning, stem pruning and direct seeding. The experimental forest provided good opportunities for this and study plots were established, primarily in Douglas fir and alder stands. As well, a number of studies were done in soil mapping, site type classification and cone and seed production. Until the mid sixties and with the completion of the Ministryís planting program in the area, a definite camp atmosphere dominated the Station. All workers, from the foresters to the labourers, stayed in camp and used it as a base for their work.

In the 1950’s the Civil Defense Organization of the provincial government decided that the Cowichan Lake station was sufficiently remote to promote safe refuge for the Cabinet in case of a serious atomic bomb attack. The Reforestation Division was tagged with the responsibility of maintaining a large stack of canned goods at all times. It also stipulated that the stock be inventoried and replentished monthly. This inventory usually required the better part of a day for two people. Finally, in 1972, the practice was quietly eliminated and no one in Victoria ever noticed that it had come to an end.

In 1963 the nursery was established to produce stock for provenance tests and tree breeding programs. A major expansion was undertaken in 1979 and up to 25,000 grafts and 350,000 rooted cutting are grown annually. The camp and cookhouse operate on a full time basis and house training courses, Ministry work crews and visiting groups. With the closure of many logging company cookhouses, the station cookhouse is the only one of its kind in the area. In 1983 it was designated as a Forest Service Heritage Building.

Research Station