The most recent book written about the Cowichan Lake area was authored by Bill Gibson, whose highly interesting and meticously researched book, Rails to Roads and the Million Dollar Camp – The Story of Gordon River, is now in its second printing. Released in February (see February Gazette article), it sold out soon after.
With Bill generously turning over copyright to the Kaatza Historical Society, a second printing is now available for purchase at the museum.
Gibson’s book is the latest in a long list of excellent local history-based books that have been produced by many authors and organizations over the years.
The 230-page book, Caycuse Memories, organized and edited by Glen MacDonald, was released November 2005.
The book is packed with pictures of camp life, individual family-authored stories and memories; community and logging history from the early days until well beyond the 1970s. It also features many great pictures.
The Youbou Historical Club released UBO Remembered, a 219-page book on the community of Youbou, in 2008.
It contains an interesting collection of individual families stories, early and later histories of the area, tales of past event’s and characters, community and industrial histories and lots of pictures that together make up a great read.
Two smaller books, though no less interesting, include Joan Mayo’s Paldi Remembered; 50 years in the life of a Vancouver Island logging town.
Released in 1997, the book tells the story of Mayo Singh, who founded Paldi and its lumber mill operations. A small “company town,” Paldi’s historically rich past is revealed through the eyes of his daughter-in-law, Joan.
The well-written account tells the story of hard work and dedication, by Mayo and his family, and by the hardworking people who made Paldi not only their home, but much more than a dot on the map. Although no longer the thriving place it once was, it lives on in memories and in written accounts of its past.
This nice little book covers events, families, clubs and organizations, businesses, schooling, memories, pictures, and the mill and its operations. Set in chronological order, the book is easy to reference.
The wins and losses, the ups and downs, the work and the fun of the residents, who over many years, have made the beautiful and scenic Honeymoon Bay their home.
Family Trees – The Growth of a Forest Community.
At 334 pages, this book covers a lot of ground and focuses on the community of Lake Cowichan from its incorporation in 1944 until its 50th anniversary in 1994.
Co-publishers / co-editors Barbara Olson and Rolli Gunderson, treasurer Lil Fern and pre-planner and advertiser Sonja Wilcox, along with dozens of 50th Anniversary Book Committee volunteers, worked on the book for nearly two years before it was released to coincide with the town’s 50th anniversary weekend events in 1994.
Over 400 individual families authored accounts of family life plus articles on early history in logging, industry, community affairs and events, plus the many pictures that make up this large and historically valuable book.
With a thousand copies printed, it sold out quickly. All proceeds, after expenses, were donated to the Kaatza Station Museum Archives.
There are several other interesting books on the Cowichan Lake area, including the ‘holy grail’ of them all, John Saywell’s Kaatza – The Chronicles of Cowichan Lake, which will be featured in a future column.
Research, Kaatza Station Museum