Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
[Cowichan Station Area Association]
Location: Latitude: 49°08'00" Longitude: 123°55'00"
Native Bands: Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group > Cowichan, Chemainus, Koksilah, Penelakut, Lyackson, Halalt and Lake Cowichan
Name Place and History:
• Name: When the people of McPherson's petitioned for a post office, the government balked at the name McPherson as there was already a McPherson in the Maritime's. An alternative name was found. Cowichan Station was selected presumably as being more localized than South Cowichan, as noted the McPherson Hall was named South Cowichan. The old name of McPherson's was still in use at the turn of the century. The old road to Koksilah village crossed the river at Cowichan Station and the name Koksilah Road causes confusion today as Koksilah village is on the Trans Canada Highway just before Duncan coming from Victoria way.
•On the 30th of September 1886 the railway opened for passenger traffic. People could board the train at McPherson's and get to Victoria or Nanaimo quickly. The station was half way between the two cities. A village sprouted up at Cowichan Station immediately. Its future looked good. It boasted a store, hotel, two ports halls, two butchers shops, a shoemaker, a blacksmith and several boarding houses.
• Cowichan Station School
A notable event in April 1914, was the opening of Cowichan Station School. Originally a one room school. Soon became two and four grades in each. There were many changes in the schools locations over the years. There was the Pemberiea Farm school, and the school on the Norie property, and a small school near the present Bench Elementary School on Cowichan Bay Road, which was reached by the extension of Telegraph Road, then known as Schoolhouse Road.
In Cowichan Station they had two laundries by the river. They delivered their laundry on foot carrying them on a yoke.
• A road from Dougans Lake to McPherson's was built in 1888. Also the telegraph wires were moved from Telegraph Road to follow the railway track. Clock, which had been set locally by the sun, were synchronized to a standard time in 1884. News from the telegraph could be got at the railway station and the railway clock was accurate. Daylight saving time was first introduced as a war measure in 1918.
•The South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club was founded in 1888. Badminton was to be played at the two Cowichan Station halls, the south Cowichan (1877) and the later Cowichan Amateur Athletic Club (1914).
•Giovanni Baptiste Ordano from Cowichan Bay set up his son with a house and store at McPherson's and when that son died, his daughter Marie Antoinette inherited. Her husband, another Italian, Pasquale Frumcato, expanded the business to include the very successful Central Hotel, known locally as Frumentos. Frumento had the first telephone in the area in 1909.
•Alexander Reid a retired Chief Engineer in the Royal Navy, had taken up some of the McPherson land above the church and was responsible for having the village surveyed and mapped out in 1912. By this time Cowichan Station had a real estate office, doctors offices, insurance, and soon to come gas pumps. The Shaws were the blacksmiths at the time.
•1939 Cowichan Station as a village was in decline. The present Trans-Canada Highway bypassed Cowichan Station. Despite the strong Railway link businesses continued to move to Duncan. The mines on Riverside Road had closed and Frumentos Hotel had burnt down back in 1926. In 1938 serious flooding took out two bent's on the Koksilah Bridge. It had been condemned for some time. The present bridge was put in 1939.
• Kinsol Trestle http://www.kinsoltrestle.ca/
• There is a small park just past the rock train tunnel before the bridge across from the Church.
Cowichan Station is a small train station that still is being caretaked by the locals in the area. There are some small hobby farms in the area that sell home made bread, home grown meat, and wine orchards. (br)
• Bright Angel Provincial Park
From Trans-Canada Highway turn on Bench Road. Follow to Cowichan Station and then turn right at the stop sign. Follow the road under the railway tracks and then over the bridge and look for the sign on the right.
Communities near Cowichan Station:
• Duncan, BC
• Cowichan Lake, BC
• Cowichan Bay, BC
• Chemainus, BC
• Crofton, BC
• Cobble Hill, BC
• Mill Bay, BC
• Koksilah, BC