Bowen Heritage Archival Photos

Welcome to Bowen Island Heritage Preservation Association's Photo Archive

The photographs appearing on these pages may be ordered from the BIHPA Archives at a resolution of _____ for a cost of $____ plus postage and handling.  Please contact bowenheritage at to order.  When using these photographs, please credit Bowen Island Heritage Preservation Association Archives and the photographer, where identified.

The Early Days:  1874-1910

Original Davies home in Snug Cove
During this period, Crown land was made available to settlers by a system called pre-emption.  Early Bowen settlers chose lands, planted and built on them and, once they had established that the land was productive, the Crown granted title for $1.
By 1887, William Davies had successfully pre-empted 33 acres at the head of Snug Cove on Bowen Island, where the gentle slopes were perfect for an orchard.  By the turn of the century, Davies was supplying apples, cherries, pears, plums and peaches to Bowen's thriving tourist trade and selling the surplus in Vancouver.  He established a general store, where he sold his fruit, local venison and grouse as well as soft drinks and cigars.  more

1910-1950:  Tourism

The 'Step and Walk' Bridge over Bridal Falls
Initially quite rustic, over the years Bowen's attractions were developed dramatically.  Pictured here is a famous bridge of the time, over Bridal Falls.

Click here for access to the Tourism photo archive.

The Steamship Era:  1890-1950

S.S. Rothsay at Deep Bay, 1899
Steamships were the backbone of the west coast transportation system from the late 19th century.  Bowen Island's Snug Cove was a regular port of call for the early cargo steamers that served communities and logging camps.  Captain John Cates and his Terminal Steamship Company were the first to promote "The Happy Isle" as "Vancouver's Playground", bringing visitors on the luxurious S.S. Britannia as early as 1902.  Cates developed the land around Deep Bay, putting in a farm, picnic and campgrounds, cottages and trails. Click here for access to The Steamship Era photo archive.