Tuesday 22 January 2013

Village of Cumberland

Post #4- Village of Cumberland and Bevan, BC

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   A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley 

Village of Cumberland & Bevan, BC


In 1864 the community of Union was founded when coal was found in what is now the Cumberland area. Robert Dunsmuir, and his son James, who commissioned and built Craigdarroch and Hatley Castles in the Victoria area, bought all the coal rights in the area in the 1880's. 

The town of Cumberland was founded in 1889 and was incorporated nine years later. The Cumberland Museum has displays and artifacts from this colourful time or visit the businesses on the main street where the architecture reflects the past. In 1910 the Comox Logging and Railroad Co. was founded and for a time was the largest logging company in the British Empire. The rich heritage left behind by the logging is reflected by many of the street names found in the area.

 Cumberland, Things to Do
Forest Trails for Mountain Biking, walking, Wildlife Spotting

Self-Guided Walking Tour
Visitors can also walk Cumberland's history with the mapped and detailed Comox Valley Heritage Experience; information is available available free of charge at the Comox Valley Visitor Centre. Of four self-guided walking tours, the Main Street downtown tour lasts about one hour and readily adapts to pauses for cappuccino or a pint o' suds. Interpretive plaques provide detailed historic background info at every stop. 


   Cumberland Museum & Archives, Cumberland, BC

Cumberland Museum
 Photo from the Cumberland Museum & Archive web page

Cumberland Museum & Archives

The Cumberland Museum and Archives opened its doors in 1981 and is home to the extensive archives and artifacts of the community of Cumberland.
We are open year round and offer over 40 exhibits, a Company Store, research services, after school programs, heritage events, guided tours, films and a replica coal mine.
The Museum is located in the heart of the historic Village, steps from #6 Memorial Mine Park and downtown shopping and dining. We are wheelchair accessible, offer free wireless internet access and provide Visitor Services for travelers.

The Cumberland Museum tells the story of the people of Cumberland - the rich, the poor, the powerful, the rebellious, the righteous and the radical. We invite you to join us at the “People’s Museum” of  Cumberland and to add your questions, knowledge, stories and interests to the rich fabric of our organization

 Downtown seats made from Cold Mine trollies. 

Festivals & Events 
       There are many events and festivals in Cumberland, these are just a few.

Miners Memorial Day
Nowadays, Cumberland is resolutely forward-looking, but with powerful rear-view mirrors: Miners Memorial Day in late June commemorates the lives of nearly 300 miners who died in the mines. Ceremonies take place at the gravesite of labour and anti-war activist Ginger Goodwin, who was slain by a Mountie's bullet in 1918. Cumberland hasn't forgotten.

Cumberland Empire Days 
Every year, the Cumberland Empire Days Committee holds a week of events leading up to and including the long weekend in May. 
 It began in 1891, one of the oldest continuous festivals in BC. Scheduled highlights include the May Queen's public dinner and dance, pipe bands from the Pacific Northwest, street sales, pancake breakfasts, Highlands dancing, fashion shows and firefighting contests. Admission is free and everybody's welcome. 
For more information contact the Cumberland Chamber of Commerce & Tourist Bureau 
2680 Dunsmuir Abe, PO Box 250, Cumberland,BC. VOR 1S0
Cumberlands "Big Time Out"
Being the sort of place it is, Cumberland is a natural bastion of artists and musicians. Signalling the revival of Cumberland culture most ebulliently is the mid-Aug Big Time Out, a one-day music fest at Cumberland Park. Eclectic, award-winning talents from Canada, the US and abroad rock non-stop noon to midnight. Plus dancers, acrobats and circus performers.


  Downtown Cumberland

  Buildings on Dunsmuir Ave.,  in Cumberland, BC
These building represent the stores that existed during the coal mining days,  they have false fronts but there is a hall and other business' behind the walls. They are part of the Cumberland Museum complex.
Entry is from the back of the building.

 Buildings on Dunsmuir Ave., in Cumberland
 View of Dunsmuir Ave in downtown Cumberland

Mar's on Main

William Coates Rennison, 2744 Dunsmuir Ave., Cumberland, BC 

This house was built in 1896 for a prosperous Comox Valley farmer, William Coates Rennison. He was also a blacksmith and railway machine superintendent, and ran the first Comox Valley saw and grist mill, near Tsolum River.

Born in Huntington, Yorkshire, England in 1839, William married Susannah Taylor in 1865. They came to North America before 1869. William rented the house until 1909. 

From then on it has been sold several times. 

 “Mars Restaurant” is now the present tenant.

(Information from a history written for/by the present owners of Mars Restaurant)

 I LO-ILO Building
Once a theatre, then an Auction house now being renavoted back to a theatre. 

 The Patch Big Store located in one of  the old buildings of Cumberland
Outdoor  Cafe on Dunsmuir Ave

Enjoying lunch at one of the outdoor seating area's on Dunsmuir Ave., in Cumberland
 Cumberland Winery on Dunsmuir Ave.

Wandering Moose Cafe window sign 

Wandering Moose Cafe on Dunsmuir Ave,  in old Post Office Building

 Fish & Chip Stand, Cumberland

Village Square on Dunsmuir St., downtown Cumberland

Information board at Village Square

Murals on fence at Village Square

 Village Bakery Sign
Visit the bakery while in Cumberland, best donut's in the area


The Abbey Art Studio, dance, craft and gift shop in the old St. John the Evangelist Church 
2687 Penrith Ave, Cumberland, BC

 Riding Fool Hostel, 2705 Dunsmuir Ave.
This is a picture of the side entrance

The Heritage of Cumberland

 Bridal Alley

This cabin probably dates from pre-WW1 when such cabins were a common feature along the alleys.  Newlyweds would live in the small houses on the alley while they built larger houses at the front of the lot, then rent out the cabins to miners to earn extra income. "Bundy" Franceschini lived here while he built the house on this property in 1935.  Later that year his family sailed from Italy to join him when the house was finished. 

 Plaque is in front of this building on 4th street in Cumberland, BC
(between Wintermere Ave & Mary Port)

 St. John the Evangelist Church, Cumberland, BC

St. John the Evangelist Church was built in Cumberland in 1895 to serve the mine workers. This had a significant addition in 1911. In 1913, four sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph of Toronto arrived to found a general hospital, providing health care and spiritual support. Picture from the following website - http://www.ctkparish.ca/CTK_Church_History.html

The church is now called "The Abbey" and is in use as a studio and craft centre.

Currant picture of the former St. John the Evangelist Church

  Cumberland Churches

 Sign at Cumberland Community Church

 Cumberland Community Church

Cumberland Community Church
2732 Penrith.
Cumberland, BC
V0R 1S0
p: 250.336.8801 


Sign at  Cumberland United Church

 Cumberland United Church
  Cumberland United Church
    2688 Penrith, Cumberland, BC


Bevan,  Comox Valley, BC

Ghost Towns & Mining Camps of Vancouver Island
 by T. W. Paterson & Garnet Basque
Four miles to the north of Cumberland, the satellite community of Bevan came into being as the result of No. 7 Mine, which entered operation in 1901.  In 1911, 50 houses, a large store, school and hotel (Bevan Lodge) were erected here.  Only 10 years later, Bevan was dying.  Most of its fine homes were moved to a section of Cumberland known as Townsite. The rest, including a fair-sized Chinatown, were razed; only the hotel survived.............
The above information is from the following web site

A couple of interesting comments by readers on the above website


When I go back to Comox someday I want to revisit Bevan Ghost Town not far from Comox, it is the Bevan Mines location. There used to be old remenants of saloon type buildings, it is kinda spooky. Satans Choice used to sacrifice animals in the mines unfortunately so be carefull if you venture into the mines. The whole area gives me a creepy feeling but I wanna go back there and see it again.
Edited by - AcesHigh on 12/30/2009 12:07 PM

The Bevan Ghost Town I know of is mostly gone, some concrete foundations left, a Youth Hostel on the site, a paint-ball battle range next to that, many Mtn.Bike trails, the other features destroyed by very recent logging.

Take your bike, enjoyable river access points nearby. [ Also two cougars still roaming about that were involved in 2009 confrontations with pets].

 Bevan as it looks to-day


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This page is copyrighted, please contact the author at rhodaross@telus.net  for permission to use.


  1. Hey this is great I am also working on a blog of comox valley and have a section on bevan if you never got a chance to go down the trails i have lots of pics of the old mine ruins.

  2. contact information - my new e-mail is rhodapross@shaw.ca