John Jr. and John Muir

Muirs’ sad New Year’s Day 1901

The Sooke region's history is written by Elida Peers

As we dash out on the  West Coast Road today, driving modern cars on a fine highway, it may be hard to imagine what the rugged trail route was like 114 years ago when John (26) and Andrew (24), the two elder sons of John Muir of Woodside took a wagon full of straw out to Muir Creek.

On the far side of Muir Creek, up the hill, the Muirs had a camp where they kept oxen for hauling logs. The two young Muir sons, perched on the seat of a wagon loaded with straw from their barn, had to cross the creek on a bridge of felled logs, reach the camp, unload and get back to Woodside before dark. They never made it.

Perhaps it was a cougar (panthers, they called them) that spooked the horses as they came down the hill on the trail, but something caused the accident.  Late that night, when the dad John Muir and his youngest son Douglas went out looking with lanterns, they found, to their horror, the two brothers in the creek, necks broken from their fall.

The Victoria Daily Colonist of Friday January 4th 1901, carried this account:  “Funeral Services.   New Year’s Day, the funeral of John and Andrew Muir, the unfortunate young men who were killed in a runaway accident, took place from the family residence, Woodside Farm, Sooke, at 1:00 pm.  At 3:00 o’clock, the family burying ground was reached and the bodies of both the young men were laid to rest in the same grave. The Reverend J Robertson of Grand Forks, B.C., formerly the missionary at Sooke, read the Church of England services.

A large number of beautiful floral offerings were given, and a great many friends from Victoria and Otter Point were present. The pallbearers for John Muir were: Joseph Poirier, Percy Clark, James Poirier, D A Fraser, Edward Clark and William Charters.  The pallbearers for Andrew Muir were: William Muir, Curtis Muir, Henry Helgesen, Alexander Helgesen, Adolphus Poirier and William Burnett.”

The photo shows young John Muir at age 15 with his dad; we don’t have a photo of Andrew in our collection. This 2015 New Years Day, we feel sure that Woodside, the oldest continuously-operated farm in British Columbia, currently owned by the Glinz/Wilford family, will have a much happier time.

 

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

Just Posted

Man arrested at gunpoint outside Vic High

Police were called after he allegedly threatened a teacher with a knife

Man struck and killed on the Pat Bay Highway

Pedestrian struck while crossing near Mount Newton X Rd in Central Saanich

Cancer DriveLine seeks volunteers in Sooke

Non-profit organization helps cancer patients in Greater Victoria get to medical appointments

WATCH: Officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

Joining the new wave of women in trades

Pair of Saanich residents among women joining trades

WATCH: Officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

VIDEO: B.C. ‘escapologist’ stuns judges on Britain’s Got Talent

Matt Johnson says televised water stunt was closest he’s come to death

B.C. hires 20 more conservation officers

The province announces 12 new locations for conservation officer services this year

Role models key to women’s success in science

While women represent the majority of university graduates, far fewer are in STEM fields

B.C. pharmacist pleads guilty to animal cruelty charge

Joelle Mbamy was handed $1k fine, on top of $5k fine already imposed, and 10-year animal prohibition

‘N’ driver in McLaren caught going 70 km/hr in playground zone

Vancouver police said the driver was fined $368 and the luxury car impounded for seven days

Dr. LipJob ordered to stop doing botox and other medical procedures

Rajdeep Kaur Khakh ordered to stop unlawful practice of medicine

B.C. to prevent for-profit blood, plasma collection

Voluntary Blood Donations Act would make it illegal to pay for blood, plasma donations

Bill Cosby guilty in sexual assault case

Comedian convicted of drugging and molesting a woman

Most Read