Milne's Landing in 1915.

Milne’s Landing in 1915

Elida Peers, Sooke's resident historian writes about the region's history.

If you were standing on the hillside above the Sooke River Hotel (the Castle) looking northward in 1915, you would be viewing Milne’s Landing as an important centre of commerce and communication.

Besides the farm providing a livelihood to the large Milne family, this junction of Sooke Road and Sooke River Road offered a general store and post office. While the Milne family had arrived from Scotland in the 1880s, it was in 1895 that Edward Milne opened his commercial business in the two-storey building seen close to the far right. The building also housed a telegraph outlet for the tree-to-tree telegraph line connecting Cape Beale to Victoria.

The “Landing” part of the name had come about because supplies for the Milne enterprise came in at first by ship. Vessels would offload their cargo at wharves on the river’s edge; wharf remnants may be seen on the shoreline downstream of the bridge. The first bridge across the river had been constructed in 1872, and overland travel from Victoria to Sooke was by horseback, horse and wagon, or even on foot.

At the time of this photo, the road had progressed to the point of being graveled and motor vehicles had overtaken horses as the usual means of transportation.

Centre right of the photo one sees the home of Edward and Janet Milne and their children Ella, Edward, William, Janet, Fred and Agnes. Since 1913 the Milne family home also accommodated the first telephone switchboard to serve the community.

While the pioneer home still stands today, trees and foliage at the northeastern end of the bridge protect it from view. Gone now is the cottage called “Moss End” seen peeking out from above the Milne house, built for Edward’s brother Hugh Milne prior to his move to Australia.It was located at the far end of the oatfield that today has become Fred Milne Park, and now hosts hundreds of youngsters playing soccer on weekends.

A succession of commercial structures and a series of owners have continued to operate at this corner, long gone are the flocks of showy peacocks and peahens which strutted about the terrain, lending their brilliant colours and raucous cries to contribute to the unique character of Milne’s Landing.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

Just Posted

High speed internet coming to remote CRD areas

Ottawa to invest $34 million to build 3.5 million metres of subsea fibre optic cable in B.C.

Affordable housing organization seeks to build in Sooke

Habitat for Humanity hopes to build cluster of townhouses at 2008 Murray Road

Council re-tenders Murray Road staircase project

Project could be delayed months

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

Whooping cough detected in Claremont student

15 Greater Victoria schools have been informed of a student with pertussis since September

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Most Read