Three halls among nine new CVRD heritage sites

Nine new sites have been added to the Cowichan Valley Regional District's Community Heritage Register.

Nine new sites have been added to the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Community Heritage Register.

The Register was created in 2009 and is the official record of sites within the CVRD’s borders deemed important to the region’s heritage. The new additions join eight others to bring the Register to 17 sites in total.

“I feel that the Heritage Register is important for our communities,” said CVRD board vice chair Lori Iannidinardo, the director for Area D (Cowichan Bay). “It shows where we have come, what we have done and celebrates our region. Additionally, it shows all the contributions that have been made.”

A trio of west Cowichan halls has made the cut: The Honeymoon Bay, Mesachie Lake and Youbou Community halls have been recognized for their long-term social and recreational contributions to their respective communities. So too have Old Mill Park and Memorial Park, both CVRD community parks.

Old Mill Park (on Recreation Road in Shawnigan Lake), was the mill site of Shawnigan Lake Lumber Company from 1881 to 1945. Three mills were eventually built there as fire claimed the first two.

Memorial Park (in the Cobble Hill village) is the site of the Cobble Hill cenotaph, first unveiled in February of 1920 by Premier John Oliver to commemorate those lost in World War I.

“Growing up in this Valley I would hear all the stories. I remember the people and places of the past,” Iannidinardo said. “One that comes to mind is the Shearing family tree. The connection is to my

Grade 7 teacher Helen Gosnell in the old Mill Bay School. Our son also registered the tree with a picture of nine of us linking our arms around it.”

The Shearing Tree, a thousands-of-years-old Douglas Fir that was left standing by William Shearing when he cleared his Cobble Hill farmland in the early 1860, is now on the Register.

The Sahtlam Fire Hall has been placed on the Community Heritage Register for its cultural and social contributions to the community of Sahtlam.

The Kingzett Lake Lime Kiln and Ceramic Well, formally protected by Heritage Designation Bylaw in 1977, have also been added to the Community Heritage Register.

The Carlton Stone House, a private residence, was nominated by its owner and placed on the Register for its architectural and historic values. Built in 1915, the Miller Road home was originally constructed for Carlton Stone, who arrived on the Island from England in 1910. He went on to become a major player in the logging industry and sold the home in 1926.

“We have so much to recognize and our local government has a done a wonderful job recording this,” Iannidinardo said.

The Register is far from complete. Community and Regional Planning staff plan to continue identifying and documenting the Cowichan Valley’s significant heritage sites as a long-term project.

Visit www.cvrd.bc.ca/heritage to view the full list, to nominate a site, or to learn about the Cowichan Valley’s heritage.