Cars arrived in Jordan River when the road was brought through from Sooke in 1912. This photo was taken in 1922.

Local dynasty began in Jordan River

Nowadays we may notice about town that trucks are closely identified with the men who drive them, but in 1922 it was this array of automobiles that caught the attention.

The lively community of Jordan River, its prosperity fueled by the BC Electric power plant and the logging industry, may have boasted more automobiles than the village of Sooke at that time. In 1912 a welcome extension of the gravel road had made vehicle traffic to Jordan River possible.

At the far right of the photo one sees the corner of the once-impressive powerhouse, while more company buildings are seen up close. At this scene now, on the east side of the river, a few hundred yards from West Coast Road, one would find the area overgrown with alder, brambles and scrub conifers, screening the derelict powerhouse.

The men have been identified as l to r: Albert Sjoberg (maintenance) Bob Cummins (operator, powerhouse), Alex Murphy (operator, powerhouse), George Atkins (oiler), Frank Rumsby (electrician), Fred Ames (caretaker at Camp 2), and at right, company superintendent DI Walker, with his son “Bunny” Walker.

In 1935 DI Walker built the Jordan River Hotel, a hub of the town until it burned down in the late1980s. For many years, members of the Walker family kept a connection to the company, later to become BC Hydro.

It fell to Frank Rumsby, however, to create a local dynasty. Frank is the man sporting the suspenders, third from right. He married a young teacher at the Jordan River School, Nettie Maloney, and the couple later settled on the waterfront in Saseenos. Frank’s two sons Larry and Bill also became electricians and community leaders.  Today the fourth generation of Rumsbys can be seen taking a role in the Sooke community.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Check out the bells and whistles added to Westhills Stadium

Rick Stiebel/News Staff Clusters of tradespeople buzzing around busy with last-minute preparations… Continue reading

Saanich approves new eight- and 11-storey residence buildings for UVic

Residents also supported the environmentally friendly residences

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Police find shoes, backpack of the man found dead in Saanich

Officers credit public’s help, continue to seek information

Ravens Crossing breaks ground on happy Hygge cohousing project

Speeches, music and a blessing as 80 people attend start of Danish-style development

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Most Read