‘Highway traffic rumbles across temporary bridge as vehicles to and from Youbou are forced to make a detour after main bridge had support swept away by flooding Meade Creek. Bridges and roads throughout Cowichan Lake area were under repair after Christmas when high water ran amok in region.’ (Lake News, Jan. 14, 1981.

‘Highway traffic rumbles across temporary bridge as vehicles to and from Youbou are forced to make a detour after main bridge had support swept away by flooding Meade Creek. Bridges and roads throughout Cowichan Lake area were under repair after Christmas when high water ran amok in region.’ (Lake News, Jan. 14, 1981.

Flashback: Lakefront property woes, mudslides, and one great big stink

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old newspapers with the assistance of the Kaatza Station Museum and Archives so we can jog your memory, give you that nostalgic feeling, or just a chuckle, as we take a look at what was making headlines this week around Cowichan Lake in years gone by.

This week around the Cowichan Lake area…

10 years ago

“Lakefront properties are being investigated” was the headline on the top of the Jan. 12, 2011 Lake Cowichan Gazette. What was it all about? Let’s have a look.

“Lakefront forestry-zoned land around Cowichan Lake is being turned into recreational property,” wrote then-editor Tyler Clarke in the story. “This is despite Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) bylaws that prohibit such use.

“This is pretty common,” CVRD manager of community and regional planning Mike Tippett said. “I don’t think the timber companies have many waterfront lots left over.”

“People have been purchasing large acreages of waterfront land, previously owned by forestry companies, and then turning it over to a group of shareholders, who each purchase a share of the land. This is a way of getting around a CVRD zoning bylaw that specifies the land cannot be subdivided into sections smaller than 80 hectares, which is roughly 200 acres. These pieces of land are CVRD Forest Resource 1 Zones (F-1), though Tippett said that none of the current land owners seem to want anything to do with forestry.”

25 years ago

The best story of the year two weeks into 1996 and I’m not sure if Lexi Bainas wrote this one for the Jan. 10, 1996 Lake News but I wouldn’t be surprised: “Something smelly at the EDC?”

“If you suspected there was something fishy about the Economic Development Office, give yourself a pat on the back. You were dead right.

“Sally McCutcheon, who works at the EDC, began complaining that every time anyone opened the toilet door — the one on the left, not the one on the right — a dreadful smell emerged. Economic Development Officer, Ron Smith, appealed to the Village Works department for help.”

You won’t believe what comes next.

“They removed the wall and found, of all things, a fish, a large bullhead, wedged between the studs. They figured it had been there about two weeks, long enough to make its presence apparent. The best guess is that some unknown animal caught the fish and took it up into the eaves to eat it, dropped it inside the wall and couldn’t recover it. But, as they say, you never know what will turn up at the EDC.”

While that was the best story, another big story was also on the front page of that same edition.

“We may become a town” was the headline atop a story written by Sheila Kenyon and Susan Lowe.

“The ‘Village’ of Lake Cowichan should be the ‘Town’ of Lake Cowichan in time for a celebration of the event during Heritage Days in May,” said the story. The move would give the Village the right to pass its own bylaws without having them approved in Victoria.

We all know how that turned out.

40 years ago

“Huge mudslide would bury Youbou, resident cautions following Xmas deluge, damage”. How’s that for a comprehensive headline on the front of the Jan. 14, 1981 Lake News?

It almost tells us all we need to know. It was bad.

“A mudslide from the hills above Youbou could cause a disaster similar to the one that buried Port Alice on northern Vancouver Island a few years ago, according to one worried homeowner. Jeff Abbott, one of the Youbou residents on the Pioneer water system whose houses are served by water from the Coon Creek watershed said Monday that ‘it could easily happen here, once that stuff got moving’.”

Logging in the Coon Creek watershed by Pacific Logging Company was blamed for a pile-up of silt in the water last fall. A work party cleaned up the damage “and residents on the water system were told that no more trouble would be expected this winter, when the Christmas deluge hit the Youbou area. ‘I pretty near fried when I went up there,’ Abbott said. There was silt in the big tank to a depth of three feet, and higher up the mud and gravel in the other tanks was about five feet deep,’ he said.” The residents were going to bill the logging company for the cleanup.

historyLake Cowichan

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wayne Allen's graduation photo from Chemainus Secondary School. (Photo submitted)
Brother charged with murder in Chemainus teenager’s Ontario death

Jesse James Allen stands accused in the death of Wayne Allen, a 2020 Chemainus Secondary grad

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Laketown Ranch to welcome campers this summer

Sunfest site will provide camping amenities between May and September

‘I chose my children’s breakfasts purely based on what dishes would fit best into the dishwasher.’ (Bobbi Venier photo)
Sarah Simpson Column: Delayed gratification and the benefits of efficiency

I was driving with just my daughter the other day and we… Continue reading

The frequent disruptions to water service in Chemainus are expected to be a lot less after North Cowichan replaces the Smiley Road water main. (File photo)
Smiley Road water main in Chemainus to be replaced

$890,000 project expected to be completed this spring

Cowichan Tribes open up vaccinations for members who are 40 and older. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes opens up vaccinations for members 18 and older

Vaccination sessions to be held over weekend

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read