The Last Spike Stone Cairn
The Last Spike Stone Cairn is a six foot tall stone cairn embossed with two plaques. It is located on the old Cliffside
Station site of the E&N Railway, at the top of Cliffside Road, Shawnigan Lake, BC. The historic site includes the stone
cairn, the railroad section where the last spike was driven, and the land the site is located on. The site
is also associated with important historical figures that helped develop the community of Shawnigan Lake. The stone
cairn is also a representation of important ideas to the Shawnigan Lake people, such as the idea of providing a lasting
transportation link between the central and south island communities.
The Last Spike Stone Cairn has significant heritage value from its association with the first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir
John A. MacDonald. The plaque adorning the stone cairn states “August 13th 1886, Last Spike On E. & N. Railway, Driven
Here By Sir John A. MacDonald”. It is reported that this was the only visit Sir John A. MacDonald paid to British Columbia,
marking the Last Spike Stone Cairn as a hugely important historic site. This historic site was also visited by Robert
Dunsmuir, who played a significant role in the development of British Columbia, especially the Cowichan Valley. These
two individuals greatly contributed to the development of Shawnigan Lake with their influence on the E&N Railway.