According to the Shawnigan Lake museum, the Shawnigan Lake Lumber Company had a large sawmill on the North-East side of Shawnigan Lake between 1890 and 1945 (when it burned down and was not rebuilt). The property is now a park and you have to look hard to see any remains of the mill in the forest that grew up over it. After an interesting dive (to me anyway) around the old mill in Youbou (Cowichan Lake), I was curious to see what remained underwater at Shawnigan. I also read in a Shawnigan Lake Museum newsletter about 4 small steamers that used to tow logs and ferry passengers on the lake. The Underwater Archaeological Society of B.C. had searched underwater for one without any luck, but ended up finding another one sunk off the Old Mill Park. The newsletter said that they found 36' of the starboard side sticking out of the mud along with parts of the steam boiler. That was enough to make me drive up for a dive on June 10, 2012. There is a maze of trails winding through the park and some of them run along the water, but the shoreline is so overgrown that forcing my way through, wearing all my dive gear, would be difficult. I found a tiny open beach near the North end of the park, just past a foot bridge that crosses a swampy area. A local out walking his dog said that this swamp used to be deeper and more open and it was where the steamers used to tie up. I swam South along the shoreline. First I swam out to see how the bottom dropped off. There was a very gentle slope that I followed down to 40 feet deep. Visibility in the shallows was about 15-20 feet. There was a thermocline 25 feet deep where the water became much colder and the visibility dropped to about 10 feet. There were crisscrossing trails covering the muddy bottom down here. I figured they must have been from crayfish, although I only saw one on the dive. I swam back up closer to shore. Up here there were more "mill remains" to see. There were piles of metal bits, areas covered with broken bricks, 2 small old rowboats and rusting pieces of metal machinery. I saw a few scattered logs, but not piles of them like at Cowichan Lake. Beer cans and relatively modern bottles were everywhere (Most B.C. lakes have bylaws stating that you can't go out on a power boat on a lake unless you bring beer). There were fields of plants that looked like miniature kelp forests around the old pilings. I was surprised by the variety of fish. I saw schools of tiny perch-like fish (sunfish?), more schools of larger (6-8"-long)fish with vertical stripes, several much-larger fish that looked like large rockfish (bass?), a few smallish trout and swarms of tiny black pin-head-sized fry. The bass (over 1 foot long) seemed to have territories and they would follow me around when I swam near them. When I swam near the small bay (near the swampy area), the bottom was completely covered with piles of wooden planks. I still can't figure out why they would be here. It seemed like a bunch of perfectly good sawn lumber was just dumped in the lake. I swam into the swampy area (still covered with those planks), but it became too shallow to swim so I turned around and found the remains of the bottom of a larger boat hull near the entrance to the small bay. It was only about 3 feet deep here. The remains of the hull seemed about 20 feet long. The jagged ends looked like they had portions broken off. The hull planking looked like plywood (I don't know if steamers back then would be made of plywood) and there was some kind of bed in the middle (it seemed to be made of cement) where I assumed an engine would sit. This wreck didn't fit the description of the wreck found by the UASBC (this was the bottom of the hull, not the starboard side, it wasn't buried in the mud and there was no boiler or machinery visible). I want to imagine that it is one of the other missing steamers that was beached and stripped down above the waterline, but it might just be another unrelated boat that was abandoned more recently.