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The History of Tuwanek, BC

Thanks for visiting the Tuwanek History Page. Here we will feature old archives and pictures of Tuwanek and the area from the late 1950's to 2007.
If you have a picture or information you would like to share email it to usas we are going to start building the archives and will be adding information monthly.



Back in the early 1930's and through to the 50's the Sunshine Coast was a holiday ground for many business and professional people from Vancouver. Steamships cruised up and down the coast taking many visitors to small getaway locations up and down the coast and inside the many inlet waterways. One of the most famous of these destinations was Camp Malibu which stood at the entrance to the famous Princess Louisa Inlet and Chatterbox Falls seen here in the pictures below. You can read about the history at www.princesslouisa.bc.ca/mac.html or you can order the book of history on Princess Louisa by Charles William Hitz here online by sending your email direct to Young Life at [email protected]

Located in the Sechelt Inlet between 9 mile point and Porpoise Bay in a small community which we know as Tuwanek was the old Irvine House which operated as a small Inn with cottages that wound their way down to the beach front. The only way into this little resort was by steam ship and in the summer months people would come and stay in the one and two bedroom sleeping cabins that were located along the waterfront. During the late 40's and early 50's polio outbreaks kept visitors from congregating together and many of these small resort style inns went out of business. When Dr. Irvine passed away the old house was left vacant until 1960. Lucy and Ken Sorensen bought the old house when the area was subdivided into recreational lots in 1960 but unfortunately it was in disrepair and had to be torn down in 1961.

In 1960 Tuwanek was subdivided into recreational lots and people came from Vancouver to see the new waterfront community that was advertised in the Vancouver papers. Two trees were fallen across Grey Creek to allow potential buyers to make their way down the old logging road and into the beach area. Waterfront lots ranged from $1250 and you could buy the Lamb islands in front of Tuwanek for $500 dollars each. How times have changed....

In the 60's and 70's Tuwanek would come to life May 24th as many families would spend the summer at their cottages by the water. The owners got together and maintained the water system for Tuwanek which consisted of an old reservoir and a catch system that was located on the creek. The children would spend lazy summer days floating on air mattresses and pushing each other off the dock.

The Tuwanek Spit and beach area as we now know it was made by the local residents who wanted to put in a beach area and dock to moor their boats. Sadly, the new dock only lasted a year as it could not withstand the winter storms.

Kelsey's old lot 21 at the corner near the beach was the focal point of many summer evenings in Tuwanek as community pig roasts and gatherings. The fire-pit and stage were the scene of many a lively evening as kids performed skits on the stage and the adults sang songs around the fire.

Today, those same kids bring their children back to Tuwanek for summer holidays and some have even moved back to live and retire in the area.

We will be adding pictures and info monthly to this area so check back often...and don't forget if you have a photo you would like to add or some comments drop us a line as we would love to include it.