The Polemaker’s Shack (top) and the Maclure Shack (below). Both are on the grounds at Sooke Region Museum.

The Polemaker’s Shack (top) and the Maclure Shack (below). Both are on the grounds at Sooke Region Museum.

CURATOR’S CORNER: SHACKS AT THE MUSEUM

Polemaker’s Shack and the Maclure Shack make their homes on the Sooke Region Museum grounds

By Brianna Shambrook

On the Sooke Region Museum grounds there are two shacks located across from each other called the Polemaker’s Shack and the Maclure Shack. Both of these shacks have exhibits inside and are open during the summer months. In the off season, we are able to accomplish repairs, maintenance and artifact inventory tasks.

The Polemaker’s Shack was donated by the Ken Collins family and moved to the museum by the Sooke Lions Club in 1988. It sits on top of logs and inside there are two adjoining rooms: the stables and the polemaker’s accommodation. A teamster doing polecutting work would have shared this shack with a horse or two. Once a road was put through the forest, polecutters were the first on the scene felling the tall slender poles before the actual logging got underway.

The Polemaker’s Shack was first used during the 1930s at the Deerholme CNR railway stop. Then it was hauled over the Malahat to G.E. Bernard’s operation at Point No Point. While this portable shack was at Point No Point it housed a 2,200-pound coal-black Percheron horse named Roy. Before the structure was moved to the museum, it was stored near Saseenos School on the Collins’ property.

There are more than 260 artifacts in this shack and several Sooke Region Historical Society photographs. All of the artifacts on display represent the daily life of a polemaker or an outdoorsman prior to the Second World War. For example inside the shack are tin and aluminum kitchen ware, horse brushes, fishing rods, lanterns, tobacco tins, boots and Stanfield sweaters. Also present are lots of tools and equipment such as saws, axes, tree plates and horse harnesses.

Opposite of the Polemaker’s Shack is the Maclure Shack, which was donated by the Robinson family of East Sooke in the early 1990s.  In the late 1920s British-born Capt. James Edward Radcliffe and his wife purchased a large tract of forest land and commissioned the famous Victoria architect Samuel Maclure to design their main house. Although this utility building was not designed by Samuel Maclure, it housed the estate’s Chinese cook. Due to this connection, it has been identified as the Maclure Shack since its move to the museum.

When the Maclure Shack was moved from East Sooke to the museum it needed a lot of restoration. The structural underpinnings needed to be strengthened and a beetle infestation needed to be addressed. Inside the shack are three separate rooms. Two of the rooms are unused and one room houses an exhibit detailing the history of East Sooke.

One of our exhibit maintenance goals in 2016 is to update all photographs and signs for the two shacks. We also hope to update the existing exhibit in the Maclure Shack and add more displays to the additional rooms.

•••

Brianna Shambrook is the collections and exhibits manager at Sooke Region Museum.

 

 

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

Just Posted

A Sooke woman is speaking up after she was almost tricked by a lottery scam, claiming she had won $950,000 with Set for Life Lottery. (File Photo)
‘I wanted it to be true so badly’: Sooke woman almost falls for lottery scam

88-year-old received letter stating she had won $950,000

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

Royal Bay Secondary School (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke School District alerts community to coronavirus positive case at Royal Bay secondary

Contact tracing underway after potential COVID-19 exposure Jan. 15

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Most Read