Historic Site- Fairbridge Timeline & Designation

Fairbridge has a fascinating history dating from 1862 when the land was first settled by James Mearns and he began cutting down the huge forest, and expanding his farm, little by little, year by year, on the bench lands above the Koksilah River and Kelvin Creek. Over the years it became one of the premier farms of the Cowichan Valley on southern Vancouver Island.

In approximately 1910 Frederick B. Pemberton, a Victoria businessman and land developer acquired the property, bought adjacent farm land and by 1934 Pemberlea Farm, as it was now called, totaled 1028 acres.

On January 1st, 1935 the Child Emigration Society of London England purchased the farm, and established the first Fairbridge Farm School in Canada.

Today the farm is called Meadow Green Farms, a fairly large dairy operation that surrounds the Fairbridge Village consisting of 39 homes and a few more along Koksilah Road. Within the village one will find the Fairbridge Chapel historic site.

The following Time Line provides additional information on the development of the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School including changes that have occurred after the school closed to the present day.

Time line

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Time Line

Historic Designation

After receiving ownership, the Cowichan Valley Regional District passed bylaw number 599 on May 27th 1981 designating and registering the Fairbridge Chapel Heritage Site with the Province of British Columbia as a significant historical area of the Cowichan Valley. In the fall of 1988 the Fairbridge Chapel Heritage Society assumed responsibility for the management of the heritage site.