Hey guys welcome back to another weekly formative post. This week my class has been helping out the local heritage society with collecting audio clips for their records. If you don’t know, I live in a small area called Deep Cove, so my class and I began contacting and interviewing longtime residents of the area. It was through these interviews that I learned about the history of Deep Cove. Something I am going to share with you the history of Deep Cove, and the slow expansion of a small town into a pretty big tourist spot.
The story of Deep Cove really started in the 1890s. What originally was a First Nations fishing area, was quickly “colonized” by British and Spanish explorers. By the late 1800s, the are had turned into a vacation getaway. The scenic area was a nice spot for visitors from Vancouver to vacation. Surrounded by trees, water, and mountains, the little village was hardly scarce on activities to do. A campground just up the Indian Arm, Granite Falls, was quickly becoming a popular place for tourists to camp and spend the night. Many other cabins in the main part of Deep Cove were being constructed, and quarries and lumber were the main producers of jobs and money for residents. Many quarries near Granite Falls would last well into the mid 1900s.
In the 1920s, the Wigwam Inn opened under the Harbour Navigation Company. the Wigwam Inn would operate from 1915-1919 before closing. After the ownership changed, the inn would open once more, and would operate under the Harbour Navigation Company until 1965. Throughout the 60s, many new quarries would open, and the a new
workshop would open in Granite Falls. After the quarries close in 1965, the Harbour Navigation Company would swoop in and being construction of the Granite Falls Resort. This would only increase the amount of tourists already entering the Indian Arm and Deep Cove area.
Meanwhile, on the Deep Cove village was constructing attractions of their own. A new yacht club was built in 1936, and still stand today as the Deep Cove Yacht Club. The DCYC has been a massive part of Deep Coves identity. In WWII it served as a school for children, while also holding first aid meetings. After being renovated and repaired in 1984, the Yacht Club would soon receive a new dock system.
In the 70s, the main village of Deep Cove would undergo massive changes. Many old buildings and businesses would be closed and paved to make way for new apartment complexes. This decision was highly controversial among residents at the time, as many long time buildings such as a horse paddock in the middle of town was bulldozed. The apartment buildings are still a prominent part of the Main Street running through Deep Cove. The completion of a second bridge across the Fraser River would allow even more traffic through the town.
In 1994, Granite Falls Resort would be forced to close after the Premier at the time (Mike Harcourt) declared Granite Falls part of a new provincial park. The Indian Arm Provincial Park would be 20 times the size of Stanley Park in downtown Vancouver.
Deep Cove still remains a major tourist destination. Whether it’s camping at Granite Falls, hiking up Quarry Rock, or skiing on Mount Seymour, Deep Cove offers every outdoor activity right on your doorstep. I’ve lived here for most of my life, and yet I’m only now learning about the rich history of this area. If you want to learn more, go visit the Deep Cove Heritage Society’s website and see all of the cool resources they have collected over the years.