Founded in 1913

Founded as a sawmill town in 1913, Youbou embraces a rich past that’s closely tied to the trees, mountains, and lake around it. 

Dive into our history in our interactive timeline below and discover what's happened here over the past 100 years!


Explore Youbou's history using our interactive timeline!


Empire Lumber Company starts up a saw mill. The photo shows the steam skidder that was brought up the lake in 1913 to Cottonwood (before it was named Youbou) and was used in logging the then future town site of Youbou and to supply logs for the new lumber mill.


The first Yount School opens (building is also used as a Community Hall and movie house). Here you see Miss Redhead's class of 1927 sat on the steps of the original school.


The town’s name changes from Cottonwood to Youbou (after CC YOUnt and W BOUton). CNR gas car service extends to Youbou. Youbou Post Office is established. Stanley Gordon opens the first store.


Construction begins on a new sawmill.


Industrial Timber Mills takes over the mill. The road to Youbou opens to traffic. Vancouver Island Coach Lines starts bus service to Youbou.


Youbou Road officially opens


Youbou residents own and operate 42 cars. Direct mail service starts. First sea plane lands at Youbou.


ITM Mill is used as a background for the first Canadian talkie movie, Crimson West.


Yount Elementary School opens on Hemlock Street.


The Community Hall is built.


The Community Church is built, housing Catholic, United, Anglican, Lutheran, and Seven Day Adventists. Plymouth Brethren (Sunday afternoon service) and Oxford Group are said to have worshipped in the church as well. A wooden dam is built on Youbou Creek and a second one is installed up the creek.


In the first week of World War II, 34 men leave the Youbou Sawmill to join the Armed Forces. A ship carrying lumber from Industrial Timber Mills is torpedoed and sunk enroute to England.


A branch of the Canadian Red Cross is formed at Youbou.


An East Indian cremation is performed at the mouth of Cottonwood Creek.


The fourth drive for Victory Bonds and War Savings Stamps totals nearly $47,000 in 10 days. The first Youbou Regatta is held. The Snack Bar is built, with the second story being added in November 1948.


The Woodland Theatre opens. A forest fire burns 7 miles of mountainside behind Youbou. The paving of Youbou highway is completed. The police station opens on May 15, housing an office and a jail cell.


The first kindergarten at Yount Elementary starts, with Mrs. Bruce as the teacher. The Youbou Dumbbells baseball team plays in Provincial Championships, missing the title mostly because of inexperience. They were Vancouver Island Champs in 1945, 1946 and 1947, playing in the finals in 1946, and receiving the provincial title by default in 1947.


British Columbia Forest Products purchases the mill. The first May Day Celebrations are held at Yount Elementary. The children vote for the May Queen and her royalty. Festivities include a May Pole that the children dance around with ribbons, singing a May Pole song. (The last May Queen was Judy Harvey in 1956.) The Open Burner, which burned for 20 years, is dismantled when a barker is installed. An earthquake in Port Alberni causes a tsunami effect on Cowichan Lake.


A Pro-Rec (Provincial Recreation) League plays in the Cowichan Lake area.


The Youbou Flying Club forms. A bunkhouse fire is started by arson and kills 2 men.


A flood at Cottonwood Creek takes out the bridge and the railway crossing at Yap Alley


A fire starts on the south side of lake, looking over (Billy) Goat Island.


Youbou Bowling Lanes and upper hall are built adjacent to the Community Hall.


A branch of the Royal Bank of Canada opens in Youbou. The police station closes in November.


Youbou receives automatic telephone service.


Youbou gets power from BC Power Commission for a cost of $85,000. Timberjack, which had its beginning at Youbou, is shown at the Woodland Theatre. On November 3, a torrential downpour demolishes the Hydro Station on Coon Creek.


The Youbou Mill whistle ends twenty-five (25) years of service. Youbou Television Ltd. brings TV to the community by Clarence Severson (the first in BC).


The last logs are dumped into Cowichan Lake from Nitinat. The camp is closed.


The last CNR steam train leaves Youbou.


On November 18th, the Frog Rock is blasted away in front of a home.


The longest craneway in the British Commonwealth (half mile) is dismantled.


The Snack Bar burns to the ground. The 50th Anniversary for Yount School is held.


The Youbou Post Office closes on February 24, but post boxes remain open until about 2000, when super boxes are installed throughout Youbou. The fire department uses the building. The last train leaves Youbou on March 27, with few cars because of the condition of the rails. The caboose from that train is at the Kaatza Station Museum in Lake Cowichan. The sawmill is purchased by Fletcher Challenge, then later by TimberWest.


A new firehall is built, funded by the Cowichan Valley Regional District.


The sawmill is closed and dismantled in 2001.


The 50th Anniversary is held for Youbou Lanes. Media includes an article in the National Post.


Yount Elementary School closes in June.


A water system is completed throughout Youbou in three sections (Creekside/Lakeside, Central from Price Road to Youbou Bar & Grill, and Townsite) with the ability to link them.