In every way the Scott’s and Anderson’s were the quintessential citizens. They came to the small community of Cowichan Lake — the Anderson’s in the 1920s and the Scott’s in the1930s — when times were very tough. As so many others have done, they came for one reason: to make a better life for themselves and their families.
These early residents, for the most part, worked their hands to the bone to keep a roof over their heads and to provide food for their families. Hard work, little play, and lots of determination was required and given. Most gave much more than they realized. These people helped to establish a strong community base that continues on today. It is often assumed that the real pioneers are those who came centuries before, but that is hardly the case. Each individual, each family, played an important part in building and maintaining the community in which they and their descendants live today. The Scott’s and the Anderson’s were just two of those families.
Roy Scott arrived in Lake Cowichan in 1936 and moved into Rundquists Boarding House, located at bottom of the hill below the present day Catholic Church. He found employment just a few steps away at the Rounds and Hunter Logging Company which was situated on land that is now a part of the Point Ideal residential area. His wife Eugenie and three young sons, Fred, Jim, and Bob followed a year later. When the village was incorporated in 1944 Scott was one of the three local men elected to the town’s first council.
The Scott’s first home was the old Keast place on what is now Greendale Road. Later they moved to the Oliver log house situated behind the present day RCMP station. Like many other early residents, the family raised cows, chickens, vegetables, and fruit. It was the job of the Scott’s sons Fred, Jim and Bob — who still reside in town — to deliver the eggs and sell the milk for ten cents a quart.
One of Bob’s early memories is of his calf and cart. The little calf was trained to pull the cart, which was then used to haul wood and other items. The calf and cart (manned by Bob) was a regular sight around town. The calf was a lot more useful than the family horse recalls Bob.
A decade before Scott came to the lake, a tough Swede named Andy Anderson arrived. Anderson found work as a faller at many local logging camps and lived at Rundquists Boarding House when not in camp. It was at the boardinghouse that he met Gerda Teir who soon after became his wife. A Swedish-Finnish girl, she had arrived at the lake with friend Elna Goranson, the two having recently immigrated to Canada. After they married, the Anderson’s moved into a float house at Camp 6 then later to a float house on Mesachie Lake. During those years, Anderson augmented the family income by hunting and fishing. They raised their seven children (several descendants live in the area) in the family home they built on King George Street situated between the present day United Church and Island Savings Credit Union. (There is an Anderson Family memorial bench placed along the sidewalk just steps from the old Anderson home.)
The two couples spent most of their married lives here at the lake with many of their descendants remaining in the area. Two of their children, Bob Scott and June Anderson, married for many years now, remain in Lake Cowichan, as do some of their children and grandchildren. Bob is still remembered by many old timers as the little boy who owned the little calf and cart and later as a long time employee of the Department of Highways. Both Bob and June agree, “Lake Cowichan was and still is, a wonderful place to raise a family”.