"Black Smoke and Timber - A History of Cowichan Lake Logging Railways" was written to commemorate the arrival of the first rail passenger train in Lake Cowichan on June 18, 1913.  The event signaled the beginning of a huge boom in logging activity which continues to this day.  Communities and logging camps developed along the many logging railway lines built to exploit the vast timber wealth of the timber around Cowichan Lake.  This book attempts to capture the time when steam power was the force that powered massive 100 ton logging locomotives to haul old growth timber to log dumps around Cowichan Lake.  The logs would either be directed to the various sawmills around Cowichan Lake or raw logs would be shipped further by mainline steam locomotive to Osborn Bay and Cowichan Bay for ocean shipment to remote sawmills.  Mainline steam locomotives would also haul the finished lumber from Cowichan Lake mills to Osborn Bay and Cowichan Bay for shipment to local and international destinations.  Although the railways are long gone, the memories of logging by rail still capture the imagination of today's loggers.

Harry Wright, the last of the local steam locomotive engineers, was an avid collector of railway books and railway memorabilia.  After his untimely passing in April 2009, his estate left a lasting legacy to the community when his entire collection of over 600 books, over 100 videos/DVDs and some 300 photographs were donated to the Kaatza Station Museum.

Black Smoke and Timber by Bill Gibson