King Edward Bay

F. Malkin, his wife, and a small child behind their house at King Edward Bay.  J.F. Malkin is sitting on the stump. ca. 1900’s

F. Malkin, his wife, and a small child behind their house at King Edward Bay. J.F. Malkin is sitting on the stump. ca. 1900’s

The King Edward Bay property was pre-empted in 1892 by R.G. Gordon who, in 1910, sold it to Fred Malkin, one of the three pioneer Malkin brothers; William Harold, Philip Davey and James Frederic. The three were part of a Staffordshire family that owned the earthenware manufacturing firm of Edge and Malkin, Fred, the most daring of the threesome, had emigrated to Canada and done well so he urged his brothers to join him. They did and established a successful wholesale grocery business in Vancouver.

Fred’s piece of property was on Bowen’s west coast. Being somewhat of an imperialist, he named his 218 acre acquisition after King Edward VII who had died that year. In 1912, on an impulse, he sold the land to a real estate syndicate which planned to divide the land into hundreds of 30-foot lots. By 1914, the syndicate’s grandiose plans hadn’t worked out and the land reverted to Fred. In 1918 he decided to use it for himself and build a cottage. He and a friend often came to Bowen for a couple of weeks which they spent blasting stumps and playing chess. He was a familiar figure in business and church circles in Vancouver and on Bowen Island. The other Malkins settled in at Point Cowan. Fred used to walk over to visit the rest of the family.

Yamada children at the Bowen Island School. ca.1940

Yamada children at the Bowen Island School. ca.1940

Around 1924 the Yamadas, a Japanese family, became year-round tenants and caretakers who looked after the family’s Bowen home. Fred Malkin two sons and a daughter spent their childhood holidays on Bowen and played with the Yamada children. The children did the usual things that children did by the seaside but the Malkin children had an additional advantage – the narrow gauge railroad. When the powder works moved away from Bowen, they left installations running from Tunstall Bay to Malkins but the tracks were not removed. In addition, there was a “speeder”( a small rail cart used to transport workers). The watchman, Bob Davidson, put a seat on the speeder. He also owned a cow so the Malkin children went on the speeder to get fresh milk every day. They started their adventurous ride from a large concrete structure (which was on Slim Chambers property) and had a downhill ride to Tunstall Bay. However, it was tough job pushing uphill back to the starting point.

Remains of Powder Works Chimney at Tunstall Bay. ca 1940’s

Remains of Powder Works Chimney at Tunstall Bay. ca 1940’s

The Malkins were devastated when, after twenty years together, the war resulted in the Yamada family being interned and sent to New Denver. More than half of the original 218 acres stayed in the Malkin family until Robert Malkin convinced his friend Alan Jessup to buy 100 acres and a half-mile of waterfront. Not only did the two friends become Bowen neighbours but also Jessup convinced fourteen friends to share this beautiful property. Thus, Arbutus Point Estates was born.

Neighbourhoods

Arbutus Point
Artisan Square
Bluewater
Bowen Bay
Cates Hill
Collins Road and Seven Hills
Cowan Point
Deep Bay
Eaglecliff
Fairweather
Hood Point
Hood Point West
Josephine Lake
King Edward Bay
Miller's Landing
Mount Gardner
Ocean view
Queen Charlotte Heights
Scarborough
Sealeigh Park
Seymour Bay/Alder Cove
Snug Cove
Sunset Park Estates
Timber Grove
Tunstall Bay
Valhalla
The Valley