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Under a low afternoon sun, the old Stone Butter Church glows warm on an otherwise chilly November day.


In the mid 1800’s the Cowichan Indian tribes were one of the largest Indian tribes in British Columbia. The Roman Catholic missionaries were intent on establishing and gaining a following amongst the local Cowichan Indian communities. In June of 1858 Father Peter Rondeault from Quebec( 33 yrs old at the time), set out to the Cowichan area via canoe that he paddled from Brentwood Bay. Upon construction of a small log church, Rondeault built himself a small one room dirt floor log cabin with hand split planks for the interior walls which were donated from the Cowichans.
In 1870 Father Rondeault built a stone church on Comiaken Hill, with the help of the natives. The church got its name " Butter Church" from the moneys he used to pay his helpers, from the sale of butter from his dairy herd on the mission’s farm.

The Old Stone Butter Church was only used for ten years, as Bishop Demers ordered a new church to be built on land with a clear title. The verbal agreement authorizing the construction of the church on Indian Land was not sufficient for the bishop. The Stone Church was abandoned and repeatedly vandalized. It developed the reputation as the haunted church among the natives. Repairs were attempted in 1922 and again in 1958 and 1980 when it was rebuilt as a cultural centre but the church rapidly reverted to the ghostly vandalized structure prominently located on Comiaken Hill.


Taken on Nov 21/10 at 2:47pm, along the Cowichan River on Cowichan Band land, ( south east Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada).
Camera; Canon 40D
Lens; Canon E 100-400 IS USM L lens.
Tripod; Manfrotto, including 498RC2 ball head.
Taken at; 1/800’s at f/10, 100 mm, man wht bal, iso 800.
One shot processed in PhotoMatrix Pro. No sharpening added, no cropping.


churches, winter, snow, b c, landscapes, seasons


  • John44
    John44almost 4 years ago

    Wow.. a real Sandy S

    Dear Sandy ..superb, and awesome in the real sense of the word!


  • Awe,…..you are so kind dear John and I thank you sooo,…much!!! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Gary Lengyel
    Gary Lengyelalmost 4 years ago

    This is beautiful Sandy. And the swans are an added treat :) Great write-up too!

  • So happy you enjoyed reading the history on this old landmark church, as well as enjoyed the photo of it! There were Seagulls flying around too, but somehow missed them in this shot. lol Many kind thanks dear Gary! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • George Lenz
    George Lenzalmost 4 years ago

    lovely scenery

  • Thank you so much George! We had been at this same spot earlier on in the day and decided to come back when we noticed the sun was shining. We were happy we came back! lol : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Lynn Bawden
    Lynn Bawdenalmost 4 years ago

    So serene and beautiful! Nice capture, Sandy~Lynn

  • Awe,…thank you for your kind words dear Lynn! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • RickGeorge
    RickGeorgealmost 4 years ago

    The swans are a nice finishing touch to this relaxing image…

  • Thank you for your kind words Richard! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Sally Haldane
    Sally Haldanealmost 4 years ago

    Truly beautiful – the swans really finish it well.

  • Thank you so kindly Sally! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Béla Török
    Béla Törökalmost 4 years ago

    Splendid image, dear Sandy!

  • Thank you so kindly dear Bela! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Barry Norton
    Barry Nortonalmost 4 years ago

    Beautiful image Sandy, great write up

  • Happy you enjoyed the History write up on the old church and the view of it! Many kind thanks dear Barry! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • 1Nino
    1Ninoalmost 4 years ago

    Superb all around Sandy!….Tony

  • Awe,….thank you so much dear Tony! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Curtiss Simpson
    Curtiss Simpsonalmost 4 years ago

    Nice shot Sandy you placed the church perfectly in the frame and love that little dusting of snow, perfect !!

  • Thank you so kindly dear Curtiss! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

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