Sign up now for the Museum's first Virtual Speaker event, on Thursday, June 25th.

Author Michael Kaehn will be talking about his fascinating book, The Hot Springs Cove Story (see the description below). Michael also has a Shawnigan connection that he will share.

The presentation starts at 7pm.

Admission is by minimum donation of $5.

Register by emailing [email protected]
with your name and location (Shawnigan, Vancouver etc.) and we will send the link to join this Zoom presentation.

Donation can be made by etransfer or send us your phone number and we can take your credit card payment over the phone.

The Zoom application can be downloaded for free. No need to worry about security as the Museum has a paid account.

Books are available for purchase at the Museum, through Harbour Publishing and at most book stores.

Michael will be happy to answer questions.

Book description, provided by Harbour House Publishing:
Up until the 1930s, Refuge Cove was one of the most remote places on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Tucked into Clayoquot Sound, it sheltered boats from Pacific storms and its hot springs provided welcome relief for anyone waiting for bad weather to pass.

In spite of its natural wonders, the cove was undeveloped and transiently populated. But everything changed in 1933, when supply boat operator Ivan Clarke saw a business opportunity.

At the age of thirty, Clarke pre-empted land in Refuge Cove and started a general store/trading post out of a large canvas tent. In only its first morning of business, the store sold almost half its merchandise—250 dollars’ worth—to weather-bound fishermen and to a small group of Hesquiaht First Nation families.

Clarke was quickly able to expand his operation and started a fish-buying camp, a marine fuel business and a post office. When enough of his eight children became school age, he repurposed a former floating bunkhouse into a one-room schoolhouse.

By 1950, over sixty people lived in Refuge Cove, by then renamed Hot Springs Cove, and it was a popular destination for tourists.

Clarke originally had plans to develop the hot springs into a health resort, but in the end decided to donate part of his land to the people of British Columbia.

Thirty-one acres of land beside the hot springs became Maquinna Provincial Park in 1955. Today, the park and the hot springs draw tens of thousands of people each year, making them one of the top tourist attractions out of Tofino.

Meticulously researched and complete with historical photos and ephemera, The Hot Springs Cove Story is the story of Ivan Clarke and his family’s lives, the story of a community and the story of a geographical wonder

What to Find at the Museum

Contact The Museum 
Provided by The Shawnigan Lake Historical Society

The Shawnigan Lake Museum
1775 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road , Shawnigan Lake, BC Canada V0R 2W0
Phone: 250-743-8675
Email: [email protected]