To many islanders, this area is just ‘The Valley‘, a place that has its own distinct weather patterns. It’s been called “Trout Lake Valley” as well as “Delight Valley” It’s not the result of a planned development but rather the home of many colorful settlers. One early farmer was Albert Carter. He and his bride arrived in the early 1900s and lived in a newly constructed chicken house until their permanent home was built. Farmer Carter had an orchard of prune plums which he sold to a mainland jam factory. Later, he had 1500 to 2000 leghorns. Older islanders long remembered the way that Mrs. Carter served tea every afternoon, summer or winter and always with her silver service and her best china. In this way, visitors were always welcomed. Whenever she went visiting on the island, she carried a straw basket filled with fresh eggs and fruit, flowers or vegetables from their garden. Mrs. Carter’s artist brother, J.W. Beatty, a friend of several Group of Seven artists, did a painting called “Winter, Bowen Island.”
Later, there was John Lister. He’d been a dairyman for the Union Steamship Company’s prize Ayrshire herd before he established his Sunnyside Farm where he had a herd of Guernsey cows. When his health failed, the herd was sold and his wife Sarah bought 500 chickens and went into the egg business. She was an excellent shot and took no nonsense from the marauding grouse and hawks who pursued her chickens. The Grafton family came early to Bowen too. Their major holdings were near Trout Lake, which was later named after them.The Hornes and Greens lived where Camp Bow-Isle is now. Other Valley families included the Gilberts, Coles, Bunns, Compsons, Egglesons, Connellys, Matthews, Smith sand Mascelenes. Additional information about these families or others would be welcomed by Bowen’s Community Archives.