I think it was mid 1990s when I started to upload old photos. Years later when Photobucket first strutted its stuff I courageously put everything on line and later moved to Flickr and finally Picasa (I am a Picasa guy). The photos were taken with an M4P and later also with FM2 and F3 camera bodies all touting topnotch lenses. During one or more of my uploadings, in my ignorance, I lost all the info and resolution these photos had in them and they turned into 200 kb files give or take. At the time I did not even realize it. Then in a major upheaval I lost most of the old photo collection. Right now because I don’t like the quality of these images they are in a private Picasa file. However just for fun I am showing some photos of long gone structures.
The first photo is the Youbou saw mill on Cowichan Lake. The deep lake must still have well preserved logs that have sunk to the bottom. The mill was dismantled around 1990 or 1991 and this photo was taken 1980 or thereabouts.
All the original hotels in Duncan are gone. The final two to go were the Commercial Hotel, which rebirthed as the Phoenix Station Motor Inn after it burned down, and the Tzouhalem Hotel which was demolished in 1990. The Commercial was not a pretty building but I could rent a bathroom there in the early seventies. The tub was large enough for an army and every week once or twice my girlfriend and I would rent a bathroom for a dollar and were provided with two large towels. Great deal. Also the lounge on the second floor looked out over the railroad track and, especially during summer, was a very pleasant place to take a load off (especially after a bath there). I have no photos of that building. The Tzouhalem had an okay lounge and, like the Commercial, a humongous beer parlor one could not look out of or look into. The beer parlor opened at nine o’clock making it the earliest one in town. Pretty well up to its final days that beer parlor had a men’ side and women’s side to it. A man could only sit with the women if he had a woman accompanying him. Often the men’s side was a lot wilder but definitely not always. Here are two photos of the building. I wish I had some different angles, but this’ll have to do.
For the final photo I selected a tea house which was still open (sometimes) when first I visited here in 1965, but that time marked its final days. Situated on the Cowichan Bay Rd just off today’s highway it serviced the past century travellers on their way down island or up island. Once the new highway was built its high times were over even though tennis players from the Cowichan Bay grass courts must have still frequented the place. I have never been able to find any information about it on the internet. Today its location is overgrown and there are no signs that a tea house once was there.
As an after thought I’m adding another photo. It is related to the Cowichan Valley Forest Museum. Gerry Wellburn, who was logging the Shawnigan area before selling to McMillan ( if I remember my history right McMillan Bloedel became what it was with the acquirement of the Wellburn operation), started the museum in his backyard on Waters Rd in Glenora. The estate was beautifully landscaped with a gorgeous garden maintained for his wife. I think that was his way, at the time, of keeping her happy in the middle of nowhere. When the museum there became too much of an invasion of privacy it relocated to its present location. His daughter and son in law, Jack and Lois Philips (the best people one could possibly meet) managed the property in the eighties and hired me as a live in caretaker. Those were five excellent years that allowed me to develop some business in photography (studio and location portraits and weddings). At any rate getting back to the point of the story, when everything museumwise was being moved to the new property, there was also quite a bit of stuff left behind. Some vehicles in sheds and other memorabalia elsewhere on that land. The following photograph shows me some thirty years ago handling a snow plow.