Ernie Trueman

Early logging partners of the lake

Back in the 1920s Ernie Trueman and Bill Grosskleg started a local logging partnership: North Arm of Cowichan Lake.

Back in the 1920s Ernie Trueman and Bill Grosskleg started a local logging partnership of their own with their first venture at the North Arm of Cowichan Lake.

For a short while their logging camp was tied up at the beach belonging to one of the Boyds, on Marble Bay Road. They also logged at Mesachie Lake near the site where Hillcrest Lumber Company mill was later built.

The road that now services the Ministry of Forests’ Cowichan Lake Research Station at Mesachie Lake was built so they could haul logs to the lake. The men logged the mountain just east of Mesachie Lake three times — with the road being extended each time — allowing them to reach the logs “at each new higher level” wrote John F.T Saywell in his book, Kaatza The Chronicles of Cowichan Lake (1967).

Grosskleg, and partner Trueman — who left the company only to return later — contracted for a couple of years for Lake Logging Company near Rounds before eventually severing the partnership for good.

Rounds, B.C. was a logging camp and small community near Cowichan Lake.

When Grosskleg died, the logging company was taken over by his wife Helen Grosskleg who ran it successfully for many more years.

Trueman, a long-time Lake Cowichan resident, lived in a small house that sat parallel to (the long since removed) railway track — which crossed the highway — near the site of today’s Lake Laundromat.  His neighbour, Colin Cameron, lived nearby on Fern Road adjacent to the local Catholic Church. Cameron was a man of many talents.

Cameron served as Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department’s fire chief from 1952 to 1953 and at one time partnered with Swan Neva (Cameron and Neva Contracting Ltd.)

Trueman died in Duncan about 1956. Some members of the Trueman family remain in the Duncan area and were instrumental in purchasing a memorial bench, which is located at Saywell Park, in memory of members of the Trueman family.

Cameron, his wife Effie (both deceased) and daughter Gail moved away many years ago.


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