Today it is an unmarked and empty gravel area against a chain-link fence and a heavy yellow gate. Beyond, trees and undergrowth are reclaiming the land. Every day hundreds of people drive by, unaware that here for almost a hundred years had been a thriving and busy gateway of a pioneering riverside community, now totally erased.

In 1874 when the second bridge was built, and he was 46 years old, James Stove bought the 55 acres of Richardson’s claim along the south-east bank of the Nanaimo river and started what would evolve into Stovely. He brought his family by wagon six kilometers from the town, down the dirt track through the forest from Chase River, and over the bridge to begin their lives in Cedar. Their property was a long strip of land along the river near the east end of the bridge. Using timber from the property he built a house and outbuildings on some high ground. 


We acknowledge that we meet on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw people from whom Nanaimo takes its name.