Perhaps the last physical reminders of long-ago residents Stanley and Elizabeth Gordon, are the two roads named after them and an elementary school named after Stanley Gordon, which was closed several decades ago, and now lies in ruin on Oak Lane.
The corner of Stanley and Gordon Roads, is one of the only reminders of a couple who, for many years, held lofty positions in a community mostly populated with hard working loggers and mill workers.
While Stanley Gordon is occasionally mentioned in the annals of local history, (and in this column) the same can’t be said of his wife Elizabeth.
A southern belle born and raised in Staunton, Virginia, she had a charming southern drawl that endeared her to the locals.
Elizabeth, and her Savannah, Georgia born husband brought a bit of the south to the Lake. With her southern manners and lady-like ways she held a position of some esteem in the long ago village of Lake Cowichan.
She came to Lake Cowichan as a new bride in 1914. The couple’s first home was a small float house anchored on the lakeshore close to the present day downtown home of John and Georgie Clark.
For many years she served as honourary regent of the (now defunct) Stanley Gordon Chapter of the I. O. D. E. (Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire).
Stanley Gordon, who had traveled the world extensively then worked in the logging industry, founded the legendary Gordon’s Store (present day site of the Lake Shore Auto Parts ) on South Shore Road in 1925.
After many years of community involvement in political, commercial and social activities, the Gordon’s were well established and well liked.
After the death of her husband in 1945, Elizabeth Gordon continued to live in the couple’s lovely home on Park Road (presently the home of the Denningers).
As age took its toll, she later sold her house and moved into a small cottage on the river, where the couple’s original float house had been. The transplanted southern belle had come full circle.
As the couple had no children, she spent her latter days among friends, sipping tea, attending card parties, and socializing the genteel way.
In 1969 at the age of 84, Elizabeth Surber Gordon died in a private nursing home in Victoria, B.C. She was buried beside her husband in the B.C. Masonic Cemetery in Burnaby, Her only survivors were two nephews, both living in the U.S.