Where did one shop, and what was available in Lake Cowichan in the 1940s? Well, the Fix it Shop, which operated out of a building on South Shore Road, fixed almost anything. They took on plumbing, electrical and roofing jobs, fixed appliances and did almost any type of repair asked of them. The business began when owner Lars Furnseth (who could be reached at telephone number 163), built the storefront with attached residence out back. Today the building is owned by Ed and Tyra Hauck.
(Dave) Aitkin’s Auto Renew shop did auto body repairs and paint jobs. There are still a few local folks who remember Dave and his shop, which was located on Darnell Road.
Island Delivery Freight Service advertised reliable, fast service. All types of baggage and freight deliveries were shipped between here and Duncan. They could be reached at telephone number 130.
The Dog House, which stayed opened until midnight three nights a week, advertised “evening snacks” (including hot dogs) from their small shop located at Grant’s Taxi Stand. The taxi stand, which was across the road from present day Home Hardware, was later known as 44 Taxi (44 being its telephone number).
James Bakery offered hot loaves of bread most days of the week along with mouth watering glazed donuts, tarts and other delectables. The bakery shop was situated on South Shore Road across from the present day Dollar Store. Mrs. James, a character of sorts greeted everyone with a laugh and big smile which revealed a few missing front teeth. (Although that was not important it sure was noticeable and memorable!)
With two bakeries in town, the locals had lots of choice. Burnett’s Bakery advertised meat pies at ten cents each and sausage rolls, a bargain at three for twenty cents.
Colin Cameron’s 24 Hour Auto Wrecking Service carried used car parts, engines, trailers axels, used tires, drive shafts and springs as well as town truck service. “If we haven’t got it we’ll get it for you” was their motto. The operation was situated adjacent (uphill) to the local Catholic Church. Phone 125 for 24 hour towing service.
The Style Shop carried women’s clothing such as “ballerina skirts, jersey and gabardine dresses.” It was built by Buzz Miles in 1945 and operated by his wife Alice who sold the building to Thoms Men’s Wear in 1952. The building, later known as Bourne’s Men’s Wear, was torn down many years ago. It was situated uptown near the location of Jake’s at the Lake restaurant.
Another interesting store was Fox’s Dry Goods Ltd. Located at the Smith Block (today the Shaker Mill and Home Hardware can be found in the same building). The shop carried cotton bedspreads, towels and pillowcases as well as other dry goods. Their phone number was 31.
Another Smith Block business was Adrian’s Fountain Lunch. The small café served “light lunches, coffee, magazines and cigarettes.” Its motto, coined by owner Adrian Pecknold, was “It’s the coziest corner in town.” Years later the Shaker Mill Restaurant, which is about four times larger, opened in the same location.
Those wanting a hair appointment at the Riverside Beauty Salon, phoned 63. Located at the Riverside Inn, the salon specialized in hair permanents (semi permanent curling of the hair, popular back then).
A second-hand store operating under the name Cowichan Enterprises was located on South Shore Road “at the speeder crossing” (where today’s coin laundry is located).
Among the many used items carried at the store were building supplies, sand, gravel, coal and building supplies. They also bought empty bottles, sold firewood and sawdust and had a cement mixer for rent. Hours were 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
These are just a few of the many businesses that operated in our community over the years.
In the Oct.10 of the Gazette, Rolli’s artcle titled: “After 88 years of Service United Church closes with worship”
The first manse (residence for minister) purchased by the Lake Cowichan United Church congregation was located at the far end of Darnell Road. The second one was located across from the Lake Cowichan Anglican Church.