The house was built in 1929 to replace a much older one that had been destroyed by fire in 1928. In those days, the lots were five acres in size and this area was quite the British enclave, with many ex-pats and remittance men living in relative luxury.
By this time, Duncan was a booming little town. It began in 1886 when the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railroad came through the area. The story goes that the local merchants stopped the train on which Prime Minister John A. Macdonald was traveling. He promised them a station, “You’ll have your station, boys!” he reportedly shouted as the train pulled away.
William Duncans was asked to provide a stop on his farmland which just happens to be downtown Duncan today.
In 1896 copper was discovered and for six years beginning in 1902 a mine was the main economic contributor. Since the closing of the mine, and the shut down of most forest related industries, agriculture, and tourism have been the economic forces.
While much has changed in the years since the original owners rode into town in their carriage and despite the fact that subdivisions have grown around us, the house has remained essentially the same… an island of old world peace in the bustling 21st century.
Learn more about the history of the Cowichan Valley.
Cowichan Valley’s Long History
As rich in history as it is in beauty, the picturesque Cowichan Valley is located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Its commercial centre, Duncan, has its roots in the 1886 rural settlement of Duncan’s Crossing, also known as Alderlea. Come and enjoy the fascinating history of the Cowichan Valley at the Cowichan Valley Museum.
The Cowichan Tribes have owned and occupied this territory for thousands of years. Archaeological evidence dates their existence as long ago as 4,500 years, but their historical memory says that they have been here since time immemorial. Learn more about the Cowichan Tribes.
The Historic Kinsol Trestle and the Cowichan Valley. The Kinsol heritage illustrates the powerful draw of resource extraction and the fierce competition to be the first to extract the most that consumed politicians and corporations of a growing Canada at the turn of the 20th century. Learn more about the Kinsol Trestle.
Cowichan Bay 1850 or so, until now. “A lot of the activity actually went back to the slave ships when Britain sent some of her best, most modern vessels in an effort to stem the trade. Slavery was not abolished until 1863, so the trade off our coast was in full gear. There a was a lot of concern about the growing influence of the American colonies. Barkley and other Americans were already surveying our island, so they were a tad concerned.”
Time Line of Cowichan Valley Events. 1840 to present.
Travel, tourism and Photography in the Cowichan Valley.