SBI (Saltspring Bureau of Investigation)

Hello: In about 1950 and 1951, My parents took my brother and I to Saturna Island for a summer holiday. We stayed with Mr and Mrs Tom Cowan at there expanded home called “Random Acres”. Each family had a small suite of bedrooms and sitting room and kitchen, bathroom, I suppose as I don’t remember going outside to a privy . I remember the old stone church especially after a float plane came in to take onboard a fellow who had broken his leg. We had picnics up on the hill, walked a path in the other direction toward what was called the gap. Our host’s son, Tommy was able to take the motor boat through without any problem. I remember feeding the chickens, going over the style in the fence and just messing about on the beach, the bon fires, and sitting beneath the branches of a weeping willow tree that became my private play area.

Do you have any record of this family? Mr Cowan was a World War 1 vet and was what they called burned out, mustard gas in the trenches. Oh, we came from Vancouver via CPR boat and from the dock on ? Island we came to Saturna with an outboard motor boat. I want to re visit sometime.
Margaret Lysack nee Manley
Payne House

Do you know of a Gulf Island with a stone church near the water?

A search of our archives (just starting) did not yield any references to 'Cowan'

I had a quick search of the SSI Archive and Tom Cowan appears in a couple of newspaper articles in the early 1960's. He did, indeed, live on Saturna Island and he was a poet who published a book of children's poetry entitled 'Tommy One, Tommy Two' which seems a likely reference to his son. You can go to http://saltspringarchives.com and search for Cowan. The PDF copies of the newspapers take a long time to load, but once they do, they are searchable (choose Edit->Find from the menu) ... then again, reading the whole paper is pretty interesting too. Note: all but a couple of these search results refer to OTHER Cowan's but Tom Cowan is cited in at least a couple that I looked at. I suspect that 'the gap' might have been 'Boat Pass' in Winter Cove. Any chance the hill that you picniced upon had a pond/marsh near the top? There is such a hill near Winter Cove. The dock that you transferred boats at was likely on Mayne island.

David

 

Hi David
You are most likely right with Winter Cove. Margaret was most likely staying in the Payne house in Winter Cove. She might have mistaken the little church as a stone building.
The only stone church on the islands is St. Paul Roman Catholic church in Fulford Harbour, but even that church was wood in the 50’s, and got a stone facing in 1966.
I seem to remember hearing the name Tommy Cowan several times on Saturna Island, but I cannot remember in what connection.

The CPR boat did stop on Saturna Island, attached is the schedule from 1928, although in the 50’s it might have been the "MV Lady Rose”. It stopped at Lyall Harbour.
I would think John Money or John Gaines would remember the details.

Well, it was stone; possible faced, Fullford Bay, yup? How long have you lived there/ Mrs. Cowan told us it was a church, but, people do live in churches that are empty. Nope random acres, the tom Cowan’s My parents and other adults spent the evenings in their huge kitchen drinking tea. My Dad called the table King Arthurs Square table, it was huge.
Any idea who the doctor was, it was south by east or west, a good boat ride away. Cured me of what ever it was. Margaret
Tommy Cowan, the son, was a master builder, don’t remember seeing him. Perhaps he was away, building a spiral staircase. Margaret
 

butter churchIt is a long shot, but there is the “butter church” in Cowichan Bay

 

Church in Winter CoveDo you think this is the little church Margaret was thinking of? As you know, it's very close to Winter Cove.

 

Photo Charles Kahn

 

 

No, that is Sewell’s 101 Church Bay and Cowan built his house.. it was considered big for that time frame…….Yes, that one and Breezy Bay Farm house were the largest ones at that time.
Susanne

On Sep 2, 2014, at 10:37 AM, Frank Neumann <frankn42@shaw.ca> wrote:

The address 120 Winter Cove points to the Payne House, what was one of the largest houses on the Island at the time
Frank

From: Susanne Middleditch <susanne@saturnacan.net>
Subject: Re: Stone church

Yes, there was a Tom Cowan that live on the island — 120 Winter Cove—
He was a builder that is all I remember.

I wonder if she is mixing 2 events together. It seems like she is referring to boat pass but I can’t see the Cowans had a house that big to accommodate what she is talking about??? Would it be Saturna Beach when the cabins were there? Also, Since we do not have a stone church, that stone house at Taylor Point? I wonder if she went there? but I can’t see a float plane coming in at Taylor Beach. With the dock at Saturna beach yes, but not Taylor?

 

From: Susanne Middleditch <susanne@saturnacan.net>
Subject: Re: Stone church

Yes, there was a Tom Cowan that live on the island — 120 Winter Cove—
He was a builder that is all I remember. I wonder if she is mixing 2 events together. It seems like she is referring to boat pass but I can’t see the Cowans had a house that big to accommodate what she is talking about??? Would it be Saturna Beach when the cabins were there? Also, Since we do not have a stone church, that stone house at Taylor Point? I wonder if she went there? but I can’t see a float plane coming in at Taylor Beach. With the dock at Saturna beach yes, but not Taylor?

 

 

 

The address 120 Winter Cove points to the Payne House, what was one of the largest houses on the Island at the time
Frank

No, that is Sewell’s 101 Church Bay and Cowan built his house.. it was considered big for that time frame…….Yes, that one and Breezy Bay Farm house were the largest ones at that time.
Susanne

 

I remember a Tom Cowan when I was at SSI Consolidated School. Go to SSI Archives and look for the group photo of SSI School - 1948 Grades 8 & 9. He is in the front row.

http://saltspringarchives.com/roots/schools/consolidated5/pages/1948-8-9.htm

The only stone church I know of is at Cowichan Bay, but it is not really by a beach.

Barb Lyngard

 

Christopher Arnett wrote:

Also. ... There is a stone ruin of some building on the south shore if Saturna. Maybe that's what they are thinking about?

Not even a ruined church?

Frank Neumann wrote:

Hi Chris
The stone ruins at Taylor Point came to my mind as well, but at least in the early 70’s, when I saw them they did not resemble anything like a church. I think that was just dwelling for the quarry workers. Or does anybody know what they were use for
Frank


The ruins are Taylor's house. Parks Canada has a whole kiosk dedicated to the Taylor history. And you're right, Frank, they don't look anything like a church.

Charles Kahn


 

 

 


 


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