The Orchard Cottages (10) are a famous feature from the Union Steamships era, and Crippen Park today. Based on 1937 map.
The Orchard Cottages
In 1887, William Davies planted an extensive orchard of apple, cherry, peach, pear and plum trees. Later he set up wooden walled platforms covered by canvas tops among the trees to entice summer campers. Early island residents recall that “the orchard was jam full of trees and tents.”
In 1922, the Union Steamship Company bought the Davies Orchard and in 1928 they built 20 cottages to rent to vacationers. Summer cottage living a so pleasant that the same families returned every year to occupy these cottages from Easter to Thanksgiving. Now unfortunately only 12 remain, some requiring considerable restoration.
These are only a tiny fragment of the over 200 or so vacation cottages that once stood nearby on Bowen Island, and are the only accessible tract remaining.
As you walk through the orchard towards the boardwalk, look for the original fruit trees and their offspring. Can you find the chestnut and the giant cherry tree close to the modern boardwalk?
Cottages near Government Road
This view shows the cenotaph and some of the early cottages in Snug Cove.
A view across the mud flats showing the Old General Store – today’s library. Some of the cottages can be seen, in the days before the Union Steamships Marina was built.
See the inside of one of the old orchard cottages at the Bowen Island Heritage Cottage Museum in the middle of old Davies Orchard in Snug Cove, run by the Bowen Island Heritage Preservation Association.