It was 1945 when one of the last remaining landmark buildings of the early days when Youbou, then called Cottonwood, underwent an extensive remodeling job. The building known as Youbou Apartments had started out in 1926 as Gordon’s (grocery and general) Store. Prior to the advent of the apartment building, the general store business was owned by Mr. Stanley Gordon of Lake Cowichan and had served the community of Youbou for several years before closing its doors.
The company (British Columbia Forest Products lumber mill) owned the apartment building which was located along the lake shore just across the small bay from the Youbou mill. The building was divided into six suites of different sizes on three different levels. The first tenants in the new apartments included Youbou’s lone policeman, three Yount schoolteachers and two Red & White grocery store staff.
Another new building was the fourteen bedroom “staff house for female employees,” which was completed and ready for occupancy in late 1946. The company owned building boasted wood walls in “strikingly pleasing pastel shades and was furnished with three piece bedroom suites,” a clothes closet, and steam radiator (heater). The building also featured a lounge area and “complete laundry facilities in the basement”. All this and just a few steps away from where the occupants were employed.
More than a decade ago the so-called new fire hall was built in Youbou, replacing the one that had served the community for fifty-odd years. While the newest one was located close to the now non-existent lumber mill, the old one was located a few blocks away on Youbou Road. Built in 1946, the (old) fire hall sat adjacent to the vehicle garage, which housed the community company owned ambulance.
Officially known as the B.C. Forest Products Cowichan Division Fire Brigade, the original brigade was organized in September 1946 with three companies of seven men each. Each company was headed by a captain with one company only “turning out” every week for fire drill. The department area covered the community of Youbou as well as the large BCFP company lumber mill.
In addition to the electric alarm at the fire hall, the fire alarm system included four alarm stations throughout the community: head office, Cedar Drive, Youbou Apartments and Yount School. Four additional fire alarm stations were later placed at Coon Creek Road, “Falens Place” and Frog Rock on Youbou Road.