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2932 Malaspina Promenade

savaryheritage

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May 25

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Arbutus Cottage was built by Colonel Laurence Herchmer in 1911/1912 for his wife Ethel (nee Ashworth), and daughter Laurencia. They had first heard about Savary from Ethel’s brother George Ashworth and his wife Kate and Ethel’s sister and brother-in-law, Alice and C.R. (Bob)Townley. They travelled from Vancouver by Union Steamship to Lund, staying in the Lund Hotel where they were greeted by the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Thulin. A launch delivered them to the beach at Savary where they picnicked and met Louis Anderson, his wife and children, and fell in love with all Savary offered.



That winter, after the properties had been surveyed, they purchased lots close to where the wharf was to be built, at the bottom of the logging chute. Their home was constructed by a builder from Vancouver, likely John Elliot, and extensive gardens were laid out, in part, by Ashton Spilsbury. The rockery work was completed using stones that had been brought to the island during the earlier logging operation.

 

The photo below shows the Herchmer cottage with the original Savary Island Inn on the left. This photo of the first wharf has the float located on the left side with a ramp at the dock head to enable easier transport of goods from the steamships.


 



After Laurence Herchmer died the property transferred to his widow Ethel Jane Herchmer who lived on the island for several years with her young daughter Laurencia, keeping chickens, a cow and maintaining beautiful flower and vegetable gardens complete with asparagus, raspberries, and fruit trees which are still enjoyed today. She was not alone as during the war years many families lived on the island including her brother and sister and their families. Travel back and forth to Vancouver was made easy with the Union Steamship Line calling regularly.


In 1968, with the death of Ethel, the property ownership changed to Laurencia Rickard.

When Hugh and Laurencia Rickard retired, their second home, a Panabode designed by Hugh, was built in 1972, and the original cottage demolished. This home was planned to be a year-round home and was designed and built by Hugh, with many helping hands along the way. Woody Treadwell had just arrived on the island with his young family and was happy to help, as were Russell Mace and Drew Rose to name but a few. Hugh and Laurencia worked hard to bring back the original Savary garden back to life. The Panabode proved to be a very comfortable choice for year- round Savary living.  Their daughter Dulcie, husband Bruce Macdonald and grandchildren Alex and Erin were lucky to spend many happy summers at Savary.


Arbutus cottage has seen very few changes other than the addition of a sleeping cottage, and remains much the same. The Macdonald family, including daughters Alex and Erin, with their husbands and children, now 5th generation, return as often as they can.

 

 

savaryheritage

2 min read

May 25

38

2

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