Wood is plentiful and often used here on Vancouver Island, it makes for terrific building materials as well as creates great details that express all that is best on the island.  Today we head back to one of our favorite places to visit and photograph, Fairbridge Chapel.  This post is part of our running photoblog series “The Children of Fairbridge” that features this lovely little heritage community tucked away in the Cowichan Valley.

Fairbridge Chapel - Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Fairbridge Chapel – Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Fairbridge Chapel - Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Fairbridge Chapel – Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

I know that last time we visited the community at Fairbridge we had promised to take you upstairs to see the detailed workings of the wonderful clock that greets you at the front of the church.  Since that time we bought our new camera, a Canon 6D, which has wonderful low-light capabilities and as such we are planning to return soon to reshoot the clock with our new gear to really show off the incredible and intricate details that make it tick.  So today we thought we’d revisit the chapel and take a look at some of the details we showcased in our previous posts, this time using our new camera.  On the day we visited and captured these photographs the tower was locked, but our friend has promised to let us up there on our next visit.  Life is always more fun when you have something to look forward to, isn’t it?

Fairbridge Chapel - Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Fairbridge Chapel – Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

This is the one room schoolhouse on the property, moved from it’s original spot to here in 1978.  The Cowichan Public School is the oldest frame construction building north of the Malahat here on Vancouver Island and serves as a strong connection to the past by showing what life was really like all those years ago.  Built in 1886, the school is a true testament to the strength of our buildings from this era, and is in just lovely condition.  No visit to the community is complete without stopping by to see for yourself.

And now that we’ve revisited the outside of the chapel and the little school house, let’s head inside to check out the incredible wood beams and other fabulous details inside the chapel itself.

Fairbridge Chapel - Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Fairbridge Chapel – Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Fairbridge Chapel - Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Fairbridge Chapel – Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Fairbridge Chapel - Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Fairbridge Chapel – Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Our last visit found the inside of the chapel decorated for a wedding party that was to arrive later in the day.  On our more recent visit, we found the chapel undecorated and in pristine shape.  Mrs. Toad and I were given complete access to the building, and as we worked our way around taking these photographs, the spirit and character of this special storied place made itself quite apparent to us.  No detail was left undone as we find the ceiling and beams inside all constructed using some of the most beautiful wood we’ve ever seen.  The lights in the chapel twinkled invitingly, casting a lovely warm glow over the entire inside adding a great feel to our experience.  As you stand there, the love and care that went into the design and construction is really discernible, only to be outdone in how the building is so perfectly maintained, almost as if it lives in a wrinkle in time.  The feeling of visiting a time now long past is very strong, the experience is just so complete.

Fairbridge Chapel - Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Fairbridge Chapel – Cowichan Station, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

As we were wrapping up this visit and already planning for and looking forward to our next one, we couldn’t help but stop to take in the beauty of this stained glass window.  Framed by gorgeous wood paneling and beams, the colors and details in the glass literally spring to life for everyone to enjoy.  On this particular day it was hot out, the sky was the bluest of blues, and all the tones worked in perfect harmony to create a very special feel.  One that is truly indelible and authentic, we might add.

We feel so very lucky to have such a great friend as we do in the curator of the chapel and we hope to make arrangements to revisit soon to capture that incredible clock in the tower.  The clock itself has such a great story behind it, and all the bits and pieces that allow it to keep working even after all these years are a true delight to see and learn about.  It just never ceases to amaze us to find all these great treasures in our own backyard, if only you spend some time to take notice.

Thank you so much for visiting us today.  We always love to hear your stories and thoughts so please do feel free to leave them behind for everyone to enjoy.  Until next time, my friends!




  1. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Wonderful feel to the images Toad! The wood in the chapel really glows with warmth!
    I’m loving my 6D too! :))

  2. avatar Averil says:

    You have done Fairbridge Chapel proud! So inviting and warm! I love the wood interior

    • Thank you so very much Averil, that really means a lot to us! We really enjoyed doing the shoot, seeing these images come out of the digital darkroom was a real joy. Many thanks for your visit!

  3. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    I just love these old chapels with the wooden pews and structures. They just give a rustic and warm feel. Your images covey that warmth wonderfully Toad.

  4. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Beautiful church! Such unique architecture that you don’t see anymore. The 6D has an awesome sensor and it looks like you took advantage of it. I love my 5D MkIII. The low light capability is amazing!

  5. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Wonderful images Toad. I paricularly love the interior shots.

  6. Great work, I love the details of the interior, well done. Congrats on the new Camera!

  7. avatar Jeanette says:

    You’ve captured this peectfrly. Thanks for taking the time!