Walk west from the Steamer Wharf (1) to the cenotaph (2). Across the road is the Old General Store, which is now our library. Based on 1937 map.
The Union Steamship Company Store
Across the street from the cenotaph is the former Union Steamship Company Store.
The Union Steamship Company built its general store in 1924. Designed in the English Tudor style, it stocked much-needed provisions and also housed the post office. Island residents and visitors depended on the general store for their supplies, mail and newspapers.
By the 1980’s the general store was neglected and threatened with demolition. Thanks to the dedicated and persistent efforts of concerned island citizens, the store was restored and moved from the road to its present position. Today it is the Bowen Island Library – and the large addition will give space for art exhibits and more.
Continue along the sidewalk to the cenotaph and take in the view of Snug Cove.
The cenotaph was built in 1937 by members of the community assisted by the Royal Canadian Legion No. 150 to commemorate friends and neighbours who had given their lives in World War 1.
“When they built the base, they used old single cot, metal bed springs for reinforcement. As they poured the concrete, we kids threw pennies in the cement.”
– Carl Frost
Snug Cove with its mud flats stretched behind the cenotaph to the south. Once a gentle estuary formed by the depositing of fine silt from Davie Creek, abundant in reeds and grasses, it provided shelter for the local waterfowl and teemed with marine life typical of such an environment. This distinctive marine habitat, with its unique sounds and pungent smells, lives on in the memories of all who once wandered the mud flats.
The Davies Store
Halfway between the wharf and the cenotaph was the site of the first store in Snug Cove, now demolished.
In 1907, William Davies built a general store 0n Government Road where he sold groceries, fresh milk and fruit from the orchard. Before Snug Cove was dredged and infilled where the marina parking lot is today, the shoreline extended almost to the road.
“The Davies store was the first forever. It had one leg over the brink into the sea. It was so close to the bank and nearly down on the dock.”
– May Lister Davies