Percy Clark and Margaret Anderson wed in 1914

Shirley pioneers have long roots

Elida Peers writes about the history of the Sooke region

Driving west past Kirby Creek and up the hill, on the right, is where this attractive young couple lived their married life.  Though motor vehicles were just coming into use, horse and buggy, bicycles and walking were more common methods for a gentleman to call on his lady love.

Percy was the youngest son of Giles and Lydia Clark, British immigrants to Shirley. His elder brothers Henry Clark and Edwin Clark became well-known as pioneers of Otter Point and Shirley districts, respectively.

Percy had pre-empted 160 acres at the top of the hill in 1902, developing it into a subsistence farm. Ten years later he was ready to begin building a home for the bride he was courting, Margaret, elder daughter of William and Azuba Anderson of Malahat Farm.  (For those who don’t know where Malahat Farm is, it’s on Anderson Road, just east of Muir Creek.)  A good hand with the tools, Percy purchased the lumber from the Anderson’s sawmill and set about his carpentry; it took two years and then the house was ready for their 1914 wedding.

Percy and Margaret had seven children – Evelyn, Hazel, Irene, Gladys, Ken and twins Russell and Ronald, who all attended the little one-room Shirley school, right across the road. The family kept horses, cows, pigs, chickens and a produce garden, and all the youngsters learned to tackle chores early on, demonstrating these work ethics throughout their lives.

Sadly, Margaret was left a young widow and learned to tackle many jobs herself to support her family. Her skill with a hammer and nails led to her years of championships at the ladies’ nail driving competition at early All Sooke Days. For a while she ran a tea room at Sooke. Later, she became Mrs. Ted Perron, and some today will still remember her as an active community worker.

Percy and Margaret’s eldest daughter Evelyn became one of the noted contributors that helped provide a record of the area’s history, once the Sooke Region Museum was built. Many of us knew her as Mrs. Elmer “Smoky” Stolth, as that couple shared many years together living alongside the Sooke River.

Elida Peers, Historian

Sooke Region Museum

Just Posted

Premier John Horgan announces improvements to Highway 14

Construction on the $10 million project is set to begin immediately

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

LETTERS: Sooke preschool celebrates 30th anniversary

Kingfisher Preschool to hold anniversary event May 26

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

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

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

LETTER: The sewage spiral continues in Greater Victoria

My left brain has been trying to digest the news and comments… Continue reading

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Renowned Comox Valley sasquatch researcher passes away

A renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher who called the Comox… Continue reading

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Most Read