Thought by many to be the most historically valuable source of information on this area is John Saywells’ Kaatza – The Chronicles of Cowichan Lake.
Its origins go back to 1957, when a Cowichan Lake Centennial History Committee was formed with the intention of compiling a history of the area.
Although the book wasn’t completed and released until 1967, due to finances and other difficulties that arose, most of the early chapters were written in 1957.
Covering from pre settlement until the 1960s, any individual or serious researcher interested in the past history of the area will likely own a copy or, at the very least, borrowed one from a library. Although no longer available in retail outlets (although occasionally one can be found in a used book store), a second printing is said to be in the works.
For an easy and interesting read, try Memories, Honeymoon Bay 50 Years by Marion Bates.
The book chapters are defined by decades, beginning with the 1940s on up to 1995, and covers events, families, clubs and organizations, businesses, schooling, memories, pictures and The Mill and its operations.
As it is set in chronological order, it is easy to reference.
The community’s past comes alive through its residents’ recollections of life in the scenic community of Honeymoon Bay.
Another book, Memories Never Lost, tells the stories of many pioneer women of the Cowichan Valley between 1850-1920.
The women featured were mainly residents of North Cowichan, Duncan and the surrounding areas, although several with ties to Cowichan Lake were included.
Those included were short biographies of Louisa Green (grandmother of local resident Tony Green of Greendale); one time Lake Cowichan school teachers Jessibel Johnson and Susan Herd (of the Duncan Herd Road family); Annie Forrest (great grandmother of local mayor, Ross Forrest) whose husband Edward was instrumental is developing the first “trail” (aka road) from Duncan to Cowichan Lake.
Also featured are Cowichan Lake area residents Susan Stoker, Edith March, Eliza Castley and the Ashburnham women.
Rick Rajala’s The Legacy & The Challenge, published by the Lake Cowichan Heritage Advisory Committee in 1993, is an account of the growth of logging in Lake Cowichan.
A scholar’s masterpiece, the book is a valuable resource.
Combined with the books mentioned in last week’s column, these are but a few of the works that have been published over many years.