Jenny McMillan and her friend Madeleine Soule at the gas pumps along Otter Point and Eustace Roads in the 1940s.

How times have changed in Sooke

A bit of Sooke history

At the corner of Otter Point and Eustace Road today, a walker might be heading towards a morning coffee. In the late 1940s when this photo was taken, there was no coffee, and it was two gas pumps that dominated the scene in front of the McMillan General Store.

If the camera lens had been aimed a bit to the right, the view would have taken in Otter Point Road, up the hill. The little cottage seen here at the northwest corner of Eustace and Otter Point was at that time the home of Bill and Ruth Lindley. Right after World War II, Bill Lindley had established the first machine shop to serve the community, further along Otter Point Road. (Today the building he erected would be recognized as “The Tin Grotto” or as “Sooke Trading.”)

In this photo, proprietor Jenny McMillan is posed with her friend Madeleine Soule. For a decade, Ken and Jenny McMillan operated this corner retail shop and raised their two daughters, Phyllis and Mary.  In the 1950s they sold their business to the Frank and Marge Bowles family, who added a coffee bar, catering to the young crowd.

In the late 1960s, Dick Davidge and Don Roberts purchased the machine shop after Bill Lindley’s passing. The Sooke Legion Housing was later established on the site of the Lindley cottage, on the corner behind the white picket fence.

Madeleine Soule, a Sooke artist and wife of pioneer Rupert Soule, passed away a few years after this photo. The Soule house stood on West Coast Road, at the site of today’s Ed Macgregor Park. Rupert Soule and his second wife, Gladys Graignic enjoyed many years at their waterview property, tending the beautiful gardens that later became part of the civic park.

 

 

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum