Charles King house

Charles King house

Charles King house in Saseenos

Elida Peers writes about the history of the Sooke region

It’s hard to see clearly in this 1927 photo, but on the porch facing Sooke Road are three figures, each important in our history. When I drive by I notice the house still stands today, on the upland side of the road in Saseenos, and it seems like the current owners may have recently done further alterations.

On the porch are John Murray, Margaret King and her father Charles King. We’re not sure what year the house was built, but the acreage was purchased in the mid-1920s, by Charles King of Otter Point, soon after the 1,000 acre subdivision of Saseenos was developed for sale in 1920/21.

Charles King, an English gardener and orchardist, had arrived in Otter Point in about 1898 (think King Road). In 1903 his sweetheart by correspondence, Jane Camp, came out to join him in their Otter Point log cabin.  Middle-aged when she arrived, Mrs. King was in delicate health after giving birth to a daughter Fanny Margaret in 1907.  Jane King passed away when baby Margaret was three, and the little girl went to live with the Murrays (think Murray Road). Mrs. Murray had recently retired as matron of the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria and married Scottish immigrant John Murray, who served as a local Justice of the Peace.  Childless themselves, the couple was devoted to the little girl.

By the 1920s Charles King had left Otter Point and was trying out life in sunny Saseenos. His acreage was dissected by the gulley which carried Saseenos Creek, and he built a curved wooden bridge to join the two halves of the property (it backed onto Blythwood), planting fruit trees and rows of raspberrries for the Victoria market.

After the passing of Charles King, the cottage was home to his daughter Margaret and her new husband, Danish immigrant Kai Jensen, who had married in 1929. Before long the young couple had sold and moved to larger property to run a dairy farm a bit further east on Saseenos Creek.  Families that I recall living in this cottage in the following years included the Learys, the Jenners, and the Philip Paskins. By the 1980s the cottage was home to retired federal diplomat Murray Cook and his wife.

Almost 90 years since it was built by a carpenter neighbor, William Dempster Brown, this house has seen many additions including a basement, and it has surely seen almost a century of good healthy country living as well.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read