Elder's camp birthday party in 1942.

Elder logging camp birthday 1942

Elida Peers writes about the history of the Sooke region

This endearing photo reminds us of life in simpler times. The birthday party was held at Elder’s Camp around 1942. The little girls in their party dresses and shoes look so sweet, all dolled up, and the handful of boys in the group are all spruced up as well. The photo came to our collection from Mrs. Cawsey, who gave the party for her daughters Lorraine and Jeannie.

While readers with a history in the region will remember Elder’s Camp, many others won’t recognize the name.  Driving west from Sooke, just before you reach Muir Creek, there’s a road heading off to the right, Anderson Road. While it’s not heavily travelled today, this road led to Elder Logging Company’s headquarters from the mid-1930s through the 1960s.

Besides the logging office buildings, the sawmill, machine shops, filing shed, the cluster of Elder family homes, the bunkhouse, cookhouse and blacksmith shop, there were camp cottages that provided homes for the married loggers and their families. There were perhaps twenty such cottages, built in logging camp style, where the families created the social life of the logging community.

Ed Elder, the boss, even had a school built on site in order to keep the families happy. Called Muir Creek School, the 36’ x 40’ structure was open between 1941 and 1954, when buses carried students directly to Sooke elementary school.

In the photo are Lorraine (now Earp) and Jeannie Cawsey, Dorothy and Evelyn Arthurs, Glenda and Esther Gibson (now Pimlott and Herrling, respectively) and Jimmie Gibson, Faye, Connie and Sally Brown (now Bullen), Christina and Nana-Lisa Matson, Evelyn Dods, Peggy and Dorothy Hamilton, Howard and Jo Ann Elder and Larry Johnson.

Sally Brown, the youngest of logging contractor Alf Brown’s three daughters, went on to graduate in 1958 from Edward Milne High school and to marry Glenn Bullen, son of another early forestry family, who became one of Sooke’s hotshot softball pitchers.

Sally, who contributed many years on the executive of Sooke Region Historical Society and now lives in Comox, says “I have good memories of those years; altogether everyone in the camp made one big happy family.” Her sentiments are confirmed today by birthday girl Lorraine, who says “And it’s true – we were one big happy family.”

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

Just Posted

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

Stop work order at Sooke salmon hatchery devastates volunteers

CRD steps in as some volunteers give up their efforts

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

SOOKE HISTORY: Pemberton Pool namesake remains a mystery

Historian believes it was possibly named after surveyor Joseph Despard Pemberton

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Most Read