Downtown Sooke in 1947.

A look at downtown Sooke in the winter of 1937

Elida Peers writes about the history of the Sooke region.

If you stood at the Sullivan house, just west of Atherley Close today and looked towards the telephone pole in this photo, you would still be able to see the rooftop of the Sooke Community Hall. Your view would be somewhat blocked, though, by the later building that now houses Sooke Glass and Sooke Fine Art Gallery, and the three-storey Sam Fedosenko building, erected in 2007 by his grandson Shane Fedosenko.

Immediately beyond the photo to the left, where the old Blight house stood, today you would find the Sooke Post Office. At the left edge of photo stands the newly-built McBride house, built by Joe Collins, Fishtraps manager, for his mother-in-law. Readers today will recognize that this is now a dental office.

Peeking just beyond that building to your right at the rear is the old Legion Hall, which held not only Royal Canadian Legion functions but also housed Girl Guide meetings. Today the new Legion structure stands to the right of this little building, which was once a WWII army hut.

Next in the photo is a dark building with white trimmed windows. This structure was demolished and was replaced by the block housing the Evergreen Physio and Little Vienna Bakery. At the right of the community hall one can see on Sooke Road the cottage built by Eddie Godtel, which came down when Cedar Grove Shopping Centre was built by Len and Stan Jones in 1974.

Square in front of the camera stands the one and one-half storey Curtis Muir house, built in 1912 by a grandson of the original Sooke pioneers, John and Ann Muir. This house had a history all its own. In 1941/42 it was used as a temporary schoolhouse for Grades 3 and 4 of Sooke Superior School. One of my memories of trudging 2 ½ miles through the snow to get there is that the house had a bathroom with a flush toilet. The girls could use it, while the boys were relegated to the outhouse by the backyard woodshed.

In 1944, this spacious house was bought by the Fred and Della Pickerl family. Their granddaughter Diane Zelenko tells how they created a suite that was rented out to a succession of residents, including the Locks, Lowes, Brailsfords and Lewises. In 1950 John and Audrey Wilson lived there when their first son Glen was a baby. Standing between the camera and this house site, today you will find a building now housing a realtor and a legal firm, built originally as a religious meeting place, Kingdom Hall.

Probably by now, readers will have figured out that the Curtis Muir/Pickerl house, demolished in 1994, became the site of the automotive shop operated by Bob Sykes for nearly two decades. This property appears to be headed for more changes today.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

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