Book offers historic walking tour of Duncan

The Cowichan Valley Museum Archives has published a guide to the City of Duncan’s heritage buildings and early businesses, and there will be a launch on Wednesday, July 15 from noon to 2 p.m. Historic Heart of the Cowichan

Valley: A Walking Tour of Downtown Duncan provides a brief description of each site on the route, archival images, and a map. The book, available in the museum’s gift shop for $9.95, is a fundraiser for the Cowichan Valley Museum Archives.

The book features stories about Duncan’s pioneer businesses such as the R. Ventress Chemist and Druggist, whose shop occupied the site that is now Station Street Park. In 1900, Ventress was the first druggist in Duncan and for many years was the only drugstore between Victoria and Nanaimo.

In addition to being a vital source for professional medical assistance and supplies, Ventress’s store also had the first telephone in the district. Medical emergencies at the nearby Mt. Sicker copper mines necessitated a long-distance telephone connection to the drugstore. Later, the Cecil Café, a popular diner, operated from this site.

Take a walk through Duncan’s past with Historic Heart of the Cowichan Valley: A Walking Tour of Downtown Duncan as your guide. It’s a great way to explore the city and learn about the historically significant buildings and sites of the City.