Sites added to Cowichan heritage register

The Cowichan Valley Regional District added five new sites to the Community Heritage Register after a unanimous vote by the board last week. This official record of important sites in Cowichan’s nine electoral areas will now include the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club, the Fairbridge Chapel and Schoolhouse, the Robert Service Memorial Park and the Last Spike Stone Cairn.

"Each of these sites preserves a unique and inspiring par t of our histor y , " said board chair Jon Lefebure. The South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club, located in Cowichan Bay, is the oldest lawn tennis club operating in Canada and one of the oldest in the world and just finished hosting their annual Grass Court Classic.

The Fairbridge Chapel and Schoolhouse reside on Cowichan Station’s first farmstead, while the 130 year old schoolhouse is reported to be one of the oldest timber frame buildings north of the Malahat, the CVRD said, while early settlers, pioneer women and famed poet, Robert Service, are recognized at Robert Service Memorial Park in Cowichan Bay.

The Last Spike Stone Cairn’s claim to fame is its commemoration of the completion of the Esquimalt Nanaimo Railway and site, at Cliffside Station in Shawnigan Lake, of the last spike driven by Sir John A. MacDonald in 1886. According to CVRD officials, these sites are only the beginning. They expect to bring forward a second list of potential listings later this summer, including a number of community halls.

To learn more about the regional district’s Heritage program or to nominate a historic place to the Community Heritage Register, visit www.cvrd.bc.ca/heritage

Cowichan Valley Citizen

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