August 16, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Comox, Historic & Heritage Sites
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Driving through Comox, BC after dinner one night, we came across a quiet park in the middle of the neighborhood, just minutes away from downtown. It was only after we’d crossed the street and read the nearby bulletin board that we realized we’d had stumbled on an important piece of Comox’s heritage.
Filberg Heritage Lodge & Park was once the home of R.J. (Bob) Filberg, his wife Florence (nee McCormack) and their two children, Mary and Robert (Buddy) Jr. Originally intended to be a summer home when building of the Lodge started in 1929, the Filberg family liked it so much that they made the lodge their permanent residence six years later in 1935.
Family patriarch Bob Filberg was manager and superintendent of the Comox Logging and Railway Company, the largest logging concern on Coastal British Columbia. With 450 employees, six huge steam-powered logging machines, a dozen locomotives, hundreds of miles of track, and sole access to the great Douglas fir forests between Courtenay and Campbell River, Comox Logging boomed and towed billions of board feet of logs from Vancouver Island to Fraser Mills at New Westminster .
The Filberg family developed some very unique outbuildings and beautiful gardens including a rustic teahouse in the middle of grounds. It was closed when we walked by, as it was past dinner time, but it still looked cozy and inviting. The Cutting Garden sitting just below the tea house and adjacent to the Boat House was full of beautiful flowers that you could purchase for a fee. There was also an herb garden, brimming with green and healthy herbs that could be used in a variety of dishes.
The extensive gardens were amazing; nine landscaped acres with a stream running through a natural ravine and nearly every kind of tree and flower imaginable. With oak and pine trees, flower beds full of various annuals and perennials and heather, I thought it was a peaceful place to take an after dinner stroll or have a picnic.
Apparently, we weren’t the only ones that thought so. A doe and her faun walked among the flower beds, nibbling on heather, seemingly unafraid of us as I stopped to snap a few photos of them. Later, as we walked past some trees, another lone doe chewed on blades of grass, stopping momentarily when my camera flashed. It was the first time I’d seen deer up close and personal that were so comfortable around humans and it only added to the tranquility of the park for me.
If I lived locally, Filberg Heritage Lodge & Park would definitely be a summertime picnic spot. But, even as out-of-town visitors, I think we were lucky to have stumbled onto such an important part of Comox’s history.