It is not known when the Chinese immigrated to Lake Cowichan however, early records show their arrival as early as 1909. The Chinese were contributors to building the railway, hotel and logging industry. The Cowichan Lake Hotel is an example of Chinese contributions to the Cowichan Valley community.On display at the Kaatza Station Museum there is a picture of “Chow”. “Chow” was one of the first staff members hired in the 1920s. As well there is a pay stub from Chung Wing.
Hotels are an interesting point at examining cultural interactions. What did the Chinese workers do? What kind of interactions would they have with visitors?
One of the way the ACVI team plans to look at early Asian encounters is through things like the Cowichan Lake Hotel. As I continue my research, I hope I can learn more about the visitors who stayed at the hotel and if there are any interesting stories.
Cowichan Lake Hotel burnt down November 1940.
Kaatza Station Museum Archives