Visitors to the hydroelectric enterprise at Jordan River in 1923.

Jordan River drew attention in 1923

From the Sooke Region Museum archives

The town of Sooke appears today to be enjoying an unprecedented waterfront development, and long ago surpassed the population figures for Jordan River.

As this photo illustrates, though, Jordan River’s economic development once attracted a great deal of attention.

Visits to the hydro-electric enterprise at the river mouth, and up in the Jordan valley were regular occurrences, with the Vancouver Island Power Company running its own guest house to accommodate special visitors. This 1923 photo shows one such visit.

The gentleman with the beard, with a lady’s arm draped over his shoulder, is B.C.’s Premier Oliver, and the group is posed near Diversion Dam. At left is the government chauffeur; the lady with the draped arm is Mary Nicholson, wife the distinguished historian George Nicholson, who was managing Sooke’s Belvedere Hotel at that time.

On the right of Nicholson is Jack Elliott, a superintendent at the hydro operation, and on far right in photo is Pete Graignic, superintendent at the Sooke Harbour Fishing and Packing (fishtraps) operation standing with his wife.

While the group would have motored out on a dusty gravel road, Jordan River was famous for the hospitality shown its many distinguished guests.

 

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum