Cowichan Lake

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Bowen, Lynne
Audio recording and transcript of Lynne Bowen's November 1996 presentation to the Nanaimo Historical Society about her 1995 book, "Those Lake People: Stories of Cowichan Lake." Bowen reads several excerpts from her book to illustrate some of the stories which highlight the social history of the Cowichan Lake region. Excerpts include: details about the area's first settlers, such as Angus Fraser who moved to the area in 1889 and attempted the first log drive down the Cowichan River; the arrival of the very proper Ashburnham family in 1913; a background history of "boss logger" Mathias Hemmingsen, about whom many legends are often told; the history of Lot 29, including background details and anecdotes about three of the families which lived there: the Stokers, the Simpsons, and the Clarkes. Bowen also talks about American author Negley Farson's time in the area, and how the local residents became thinly veiled characters featured in both his autobiography, "The Way of a Transgresser," and in one of his novels, "The Story of a Lake." Bowen concludes her talk with an excerpt that features Lillian Godfrey, Edna Brown, and Eva Wilson, three Cowichan Lake women who were active in the development of the loggers' union through their membership and work in the supporting ladies auxiliary.