Jacob’s Creek tragedy continues to haunt community

Accident on bridge in 1946 claimed lives of six teenagers

We have RCAF reconnaissance planes and a historic photo album held by the family of Colonel S. C. Clegg, Commanding Officer of the Dufferin & Haldimand Rifles Regiment at Otter Point army training camp in 1942 to thank, for a fascinating series of photos.

The view here shows a little cove that many of us may recognize as the same beautiful cove that can be seen at the Point No Point resort today. Identifying the trestles, though, would likely have represented a challenge for most readers.

Looking closely at the span in the center, you can see the bridge trusses of the old Jacob’s Creek bridge, the one that spelled death for six teenage Sooke students on December 7, 1946.

The span closest to the coastline carried rolling stock for Island Logging Company, a railway logging outfit that built an extensive railway system between Point No Point and Jordan River during the late 1920s and early 1930s. The upper span, built slightly to the west to accommodate a bend in Jacob’s Creek, was a part of Island Logging’s track system as well, and we understand there are still remnants of railway steel in the woods there. The company’s steam locomotives included a Vulcan and a Shay, equipment that later went to the San Juan Valley.

To the right of the photo, one can see a roadway and an open field; this appears to be part of an old orchard established by a pioneer called McQueen years earlier.

The tragedy at Jacob’s Creek continued to haunt the community for many years. Six boys, all students at the newly-opened Milne’s Landing High School, and aged 14 to 18, were on the return journey from a basketball game at Jordan River.

It was winter, the road was graveled, the night was dark, the bridge was curved. The crosswise planking of the bridge was overlaid with two narrow lengthwise strips of planking intended for the tires of vehicles to run on. Once the tires went off the top planks, a driver could find it difficult to avoid losing control and crashing through the wooden railing.

None of us who were in the community have ever forgotten December 7, 1946.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

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

Just Posted

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Victoria residents protest masks, COVID-19 restrictions

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon

Saskatoon resident liajah Pidskalny poses with his bike near the University of Victoria after putting on thousands of kilometres to raise awareness of the overdose and mental health crisis. (Courtesy Iliajah Pidskalny)
Saskatoon cyclist winds up mental health and overdose awareness ride in Victoria

Iliajah Pidskalny braves prairie winter conditions to get word out to communities

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read