”Lady of the Lake 1997 and her princesses: left to right is Lady of the Lake Paula Sohye, with her royalty first princess Leela Hamilton and second princess, Kristy Stroulger.” (Lake News, June 18, 1997)

”Lady of the Lake 1997 and her princesses: left to right is Lady of the Lake Paula Sohye, with her royalty first princess Leela Hamilton and second princess, Kristy Stroulger.” (Lake News, June 18, 1997)

Flashback: Real estate, Lake Days, population, and more

A look back at the history of the Cowichan Lake area

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

“Local cooperation for lake and river stewardship” was the page 3 headline in the June 13, 2012 Lake Cowichan Gazette and the story went on to talk about a partnership aimed at protecting the region’s waterways.

“A few weeks ago, the Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhancement Society (CLSES), along with the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship (CLRS) met with Erica Blake, community advisor for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Cowichan (DFO), and Erin Hamilton, operations manager for the Lake Cowichan First Nations. This was an initial meeting to discuss cooperation between these parties when it comes to lake and river stewardship and enhancement. Hamilton says the band wants to take a more active role with enhancement. ‘We want to be part of the process, not on the outside looking in’.”

Also on page 3, just to make us wish for the good ol’ days of real estate… there were two ads for homes for sale in Lake Cowichan. One, close to the river on Greendale Road,, featured four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a “good-sized attached garage/shop area”. Guess the price. I bet you didn’t get $215,000.

The other home sat on .58 an acre and “provides several options including building a duplex or renovating the existing home.” It could also be rezoned to commercial, possibly. All that for $239,000. Those were the days…

25 years ago

And we thought home prices were cheap 10 years ago. How about 25? The Lake News of June 18, 1997 featured an ad for an “extensively updated 5 bedroom home on a large, level, sunny lot with mountain views. New oak kitchen, new carpets, lino tiled entry. Double windows, huge sundeck, and bonus two-bedroom suite.” Any guesses?

All that for $184,900. Wow.

There wasn’t much to write about apparently this time two and a half decades ago, as the photographs I have of the Lake News for this week were all Lady of the Lake related. Here’s what the main story read like:

“Paula Sohye — Miss Village Market is the 1997 Lady of the Lake, and her princesses, announced Saturday are: Leela Hamilton — Miss Aldon Plumbing, first princess; and Kristy Stroulger — Miss Royal Canadian Legion and Auxiliary, second princess.

Sohye was also named Miss Congeniality — an award judged by the Lady of the Lake contestants and announced the Friday evening before the crowning of the Lady of the Lake. Tracey Edgar — Miss Lake Cowichan Co-op received the title of Miss Blossom. It was a good crowd at Centannial Field where the celebrations took place. And, to officially open Lake Days 1997, just prior to the Lady of the Lake crowning, Reed Elley, newly elected Reform MP was on hand as was Bill Routley; president of IWA local 1-80. Mayor Jean Brown welcomed everyone to the first Lake Days as a town and Pat Weaver, president of the Lake Days Society also welcomed the crowd.

“Perhaps the best news for the majority of those who took in Lake Days this year was the fact it didn’t rain.”

40 years ago

The date: June 16, 1982. The paper: The Lake News. The story: “Lake Cowichan population up by only .9% since 1976.”

“The population of the Village of Lake Cowichan has only increased marginally since 1976 despite an apparent boom in real estate in the area in 1981. Statistics Canada’s recently released results of the 1981 census show that Lake Cowichan’s population has increased to 2,391 from 2,369 in 1976 — up .9 per cent. The Statscan figures also show that there are 770 dwellings for the 2,365 ‘usual residents’ living here, making an average of 3.07 residents per dwelling. The population of the entire Cowichan Valley has increased by 11.9 per cent, slightly more than the provincial average of 11.3 per cent.”

Same paper, same date: “Profits down: Lake Days draws record crows again”.

“Cowichan Lake Days 1982 attracted more people than last year but overall earnings are expected to be less, chairman Gerry Soroka said Tuesday. He said that reduced net income can be attributed to a decision not to increase prices this year.

“‘We’re always happy to be able to make more than enough to cover costs. However, even if Lake Days breaks even, it will be worth it because it never was intended to be a profit making operation. If we make a profit fine. But it was felt that with paycheques scarcer this year, prices would be kept the same so people could still have fun without feeling they were being gouged.’”

If only the prices would stay the same at the supermarkets and gas pumps these days! No doubt we’d all be a lot happier!



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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”Jim Eddy, Lake Days Logger Sports co-ordinator, and Len Davis, demonstrate how how one of the older saws chewed its way through lumber. With theme of Lake Days this year being old time logging, demonstration was in keeping with tenor of the three-day festivities.” (Lake News, June 16, 1982)

”Jim Eddy, Lake Days Logger Sports co-ordinator, and Len Davis, demonstrate how how one of the older saws chewed its way through lumber. With theme of Lake Days this year being old time logging, demonstration was in keeping with tenor of the three-day festivities.” (Lake News, June 16, 1982)

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