Bowen Heritage | Bowen Island

Bowen Heritage

Celebrate the birthplace of tourism on Bowen Island in Davies Heritage Orchard.

Davies Heritage Orchard began with the Homesteaders Act of 1872. British citizens were able to claim up to 160 acres for $10 if they built a permanent structure and got food to market within 3 years: a very attractive inducement to populate what would become the western provinces of Canada. In 1887, William Davies, with his wife Florence and 13 children claimed 33 acres surrounding Snug Cove. They built a house, planted an orchard and, to supplement their income, allowed camping along the beach and in the orchard. Snug Cove and another 100 acres was later developed by the Union Steamship Company into their very popular resort which operated from 1900 until just after World War II. Close to 200 visitor cottages were built, with only 12 (recent demolition has reduced that number to 8) remaining.

Celebrate the birthplace of tourism on Bowen Island in Davies Heritage Orchard. While enjoying one of our free museum tours, you can witness the rich history of the island, as well as the incredible restoration effort that volunteers from Bowen Heritage have worked on tirelessly.

Bowen Heritage is committed to preserving the cottages as well as a variety of heritage apples. Summer visitors are regaled with stories straight from the pages of Island history. Our museum cottage is furnished with artifacts from the steamship days of the 1920s. We also have a massive amount of information on the Union Steamship Company’s history on our six-sided sign located beside cottage #19, in addition to posters in our office cottage, #20.

Our tours are free of charge: it is important that we share the stories of Bowen with as many people as possible. But donations are gratefully accepted: they go a long way in aiding Bowen Heritage with the continued restoration and upkeep of this heritage site.

Please visit Davies Heritage Orchard and experience what life was like during the “Happy Isle” days on Bowen Island.

You will enjoy:

  • Free Tours
  • Information and images from Bowen Island’s history
  • Beautiful views of Snug Cove and the coastal mountains from the porch of our museum.

For more information, visit us at
Bowen Island Museum & Archives