By W.H. Olsen, illustrated by R. L. Ryan
First edition – November 1963
Second Edition – March 1981
This 169-page, hard cover, historically-based book begins with comprehensive descriptions from when the First Nations people lived off the land and sea in the Cowichan Valley to the origin of the towns of Chemainus and Crofton in the 1850s and 1860s. Olsen devotes much of this book to the fascinating and important Native history of the area – the ingredients of a fascinating yarn – the danger and mystery of a wilderness land, the dignity, struggle and sometimes ferocity of Native life, the toil and heartbreak of early European pioneers, a generous sprinkling of humour and a unique, century old partnership between a community and an industry. In the beginning lumber was the key to success and prosperity for local families. Olsen describes the rise and fall of the economy in the area as the communities developed. There is a myriad of detailed facts, maps and images included in the anecdotes create a desire for the reader to be totally absorbed in the pursuit of this historical knowledge. More than 75 black and white photographs from BC Archives add authenticity to the book and were the initial inspiration for the original development of about 15 murals in Chemainus in the 1980s and 90s.
Shipping dimensions 30.5 cm x 23 cm x 2.5 cm (9” x 12″ x 1″)