The Hot Springs Cove Story: The Beginnings of Maquinna Marine Provincial Park

The Hot Springs Cove Story: The Beginnings of Maquinna Marine Provincial Park

by Michael Kaehn


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Up until the1930s, Refuge Cove was one of the most remote places on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Tucked into Clayoquot Sound, it sheltered boats from Pacific storms and its hot springs provided welcome relief for anyone waiting for bad weather to pass. In spite of its natural wonders, the cove was undeveloped and transiently populated. But everything changed in1933, when supply boat operator Ivan Clarke saw a business opportunity.

At the age of thirty, Clarke pre-empted land in Refuge Cove and started a general store/trading post out of a large canvas tent. In only its first morning of business, the store sold almost half its merchandise—250dollars’ worth—to weather-bound fishermen and to a small group of Hesquiaht First Nation families. Clarke was quickly able to expand his operation and started a fish-buying camp, a marine fuel business and a post office. When enough of his eight children became school age, he repurposed a former floating bunkhouse into a one-room schoolhouse. By1950, over sixty people lived in Refuge Cove, by then renamed Hot Springs Cove, and it was a popular destination fortourists.

Clarke originally had plans to develop the hot springs into a health resort, but in the end decided to donate part of his land to the people of British Columbia. Thirty-one acres of land beside the hot springs became Maquinna Provincial Park in1955. Today, the park and the hot springs draw tens of thousands of people each year, making them one of the top tourist attractions out ofTofino.

Meticulously researched and complete with historical photos and ephemera,The Hot Springs Cove Storyis the story of Ivan Clarke and his family’s lives, the story of a community and the story of a geographicalwonder.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781550178609
Publisher: Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Publication date: 08/10/2019
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 789,292
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Michael Kaehn is the grandson of Ivan Clarke and has been researching his family history for over forty years. He lives in Victoria, BC.

Table of Contents

West Coast of Vancouver Island (Map) viii

Preface xi

1 First Nations, Sailors, Investors: Discovering the Hot Springs 1

2 The Iconic Ivan Clarke: Early Years 5

3 Uncharted Waters: Business and Marriage 17

4 Marriage Aboard Maquinna: New Start at the Cove 39

5 Sydney Inlet School: Meeting a Big Family's Needs 55

6 Wartime: Shelling, Boat Seizures, Death 69

7 New Name, New Faces: Hot Springs Cove Draws Marine Tourists 81

8 Earlier Business Attempts: Land, Water Rights Claimed 101

9 Parkland Donation: Ivan and Mabel's Gift 109

10 Getting There: Access Improves 121

11 Tidal Wave: Hot Springs Cove Hit Hard 133

12 Family Business: Ivan's Children Learn the Ropes 141

13 "True Grit" Pioneer Passes: Ivan Remembered 157

14 Park Expands Slowly: Hot Springs an Issue 165

15 Maquinna Marine Park Today: Springs a Big Attraction 171

Acknowledgements 179

Selected References 181

Index 183

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