Preserving our History
in the Cowichan Valley

As rich in history as it is in beauty, the picturesque Cowichan Valley is located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.   Its commercial centre, Duncan, has its roots in the 1886 rural settlement of Duncan’s Crossing, also known as Alderlea.  Come and enjoy the fascinating history of the Cowichan Valley at the Museum.

Train Station

The Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives

The Cowichan Historical Society owns and operates the Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives and is mandated to collect, preserve and interpret the history and heritage of the Cowichan Valley.  We operate a full-service community museum offering school and public programming, permanent and temporary exhibits, special events, and archival services.

tthu hwsteli hwulmuhw |Coast Salish Canoe Paddlers

In collaboration with Hul’q’umi’num’ Language and Culture Collective, the Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives presents a new summer exhibit called tthu hwsteli hwulmuhw |Coast Salish Canoe Paddlers. Featuring words, sound, and videos in Hul’q’umi’num’ from the Elders and language teachers, the exhibit explores the importance of canoes to the language and culture. It is being held to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the Cowichan canoe races. This exhibits, which aims to raise awareness about the Hul’q’umi’num’ language, opens June 10, 2015 and will be on view until November 14, 2015.

Programming featuring storytelling with Elders and youth will take place on Wednesday afternoons from 4 – 5 p.m., July 8, 15, 22 and 29 at the Summer Festival main stage in Charles Hoey Park.

Coast Salish Paddlers

tthu hwsteli hwulmuhw |Coast Salish Canoe Paddlers
Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives
2003.08.2.7 May, 1968, Cowichan Bay, J. Powley Photographer

Free Guided Totem Tour

Duncan is home to one of the most unique outdoor display of Totem Poles. Free guided walking tours of Duncan’s Totem Poles are offered 7 days a week from June 15th to September 20th.  One hour tours are given every hour on the hour starting at 10:00 a.m. with the last tour of the day at 3:00 p.m.  Please meet at the Cowichan Valley Museum in the Train Station, located at 130 Canada Avenue.

Abandoned, Then Embraced:
The Kinsol Trestle 

Designed for the Virtual Museum of Canada

BC Legacy Fund     Heritage Legacy Fund

Heritage Canada

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the
Province of British Columbia through BC150, a Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts initiative and the
Heritage Legacy Fund of British Columbia.