A series of short articles from the past of the Cobble Hill area.

Glimpses of the Past

These vignettes are a series of short articles from the past of the Cobble Hill area. Some include people and places that are not included within its present boundaries because historically Cobble Hill was a hub for what are now parts of Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake and Cowichan Bay. The railroad station in Cobble Hill Village was the major transportation terminal for people and freight arriving from outside South Cowichan and for the export of lumber, agricultural products and passengers from a much larger area than is encompassed by the Cobble Hill of today. The village was a vibrant centre where household shopping took place, business was done, children attended school and meetings and social events brought rural people together. These are a few of the glimpses of that past.

Cobble Hill Village

Settlers began to live in the Cobble Hill area around 1850 and in 1862 passengers from the survey ship HMS Hecate augmented their numbers.

HMS Hecate

HMS Hecate was a 4-gun paddle sloop launched on 30 March 1839 from the Chatham Dockyard in England.

Jack (John) Verdier (1865-1952)

In 2012, Rosemary Allen collected the following family story from Bob Vey of Cowichan Bay.

Norma Violet Vera Scales

Dolly Scales, well known as a kind and gentle person, was a member of the family that owned and operated the Cobble Hill Bakery.

William Shearing

In 1862 William J. Shearing, aged 18, arrived in Harrisville (now Cowichan Bay). He journeyed here from Victoria aboard the HMS Hecate.

The Shearing Tree

Visible from Telegraph Road, the Shearing Tree is a huge Douglas Fir that stands as a sentinel over the fields of the pioneer Shearing family farm.

Cobble Hill Market

In 1911 Tom Walton erected this familiar landmark in Cobble Hill Village, originally known as Walton Hall.

Alister Forbes

Mr. Forbes was originally from Plymouth, England and came to Vancouver Island by way of India where he had done very well in the stock market.

Cobble Hill Post Office

The Porter family established the first post office in Cobble Hill on October 1st 1887 when Mr. James Townley Porter became the first postmaster.

The Life Story of T.P. Barry

In 2012 when Rosemary Allen was researching the Barry family service station, she and Ken Barry came across a hand written autobiography of the late Pat Barry.

Tom and Hope Wilkinson

Tom Wilkinson was born in 1871 in South Shields Northern England, the youngest of William, a shipwright and his wife Margaret’s five children.


Shortly after the 1918 Armistice brought an end to the First World War, communities all across Canada began raising funds to build memorials.

The Cobble Hill Halls

The first Cobble Hill Fall Fair was held in 1909 at the Good Templars Hall located near the Cobble Hill/Hutchinson Road intersection.

HMS Satellite

There have been many geographical sites in British Columbia named for the vessels that plied our waters in the 18th and 19th centuries. One of these ships that was of local interest was the HMS Satellite.


The Cobble Hill Historical Society meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm in the Youth Hall at 3565 Watson Ave, Cobble Hill.  All are welcome!

Our Address

Cobble Hill Historical Society
c/o Brenda Krug
785 Red Oak Drive
Cobble Hill, BC V0R 1L4

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