Dateline Cowichan 1949: Cowichan on both sides of the road

Duncan's 1888 Agricultural Hall sat on five acres beside the now-demolished Mound. The hall was rebuilt in 1914 and called The Armoury during the first and second world wars. It was demolished in 1969 after a Supreme Court ownership decision gave the landmark structure to the Cowichan Tribes.
— image credit: courtesy Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives

Grumbling about the condition of valley roads has long been a mainstay of coffee shop conversation.

Too narrow, too dark, too bumpy, an accident waiting to happen, sidewalks needed — we’ve heard them all. Two stories in a 1949 Leader demonstrate both sides of the ongoing valley road story.

At Mesachie Lake, Hillcrest Lumber was praising the provincial government for “the excellent road completed this year between Lake Cowichan and Duncan to connect with the good road running from the lake to Mesachie and Honeymoon Bay.”

Meanwhile, at Cowichan Station residents were up in arms about the poor condition of their secondary roads.

Hillcrest execs were so pleased they held a luncheon prepared in their cookhouse at the plant.

“The government is always interested in assisting industry in the province,” Minister of Finance and government co-leader Herbert Anscomb told the group.

The ratepayers of little Cowichan Station, frustrated by the lack of action about their roads, decided to take up the matter with the provincial department of works.

They circulated a petition they would take to Cowichan-Newcastle MLA-elect A. M. Whisker.

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