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

Sooke’s Lifelong Learning group keeps minds active

Seniors engage in “Einstein for Beginners” and more

Sooke students rally to stock food bank shelves

“For me, it makes the Christmas spirit come alive.”

Algae bloom at Elk Lake prompts CRD advisory notice

Reappearance of blue-green algae lethal to dogs a constant concern for water quality

B.C. historian helped Viola Desmond make it on the $10 bill

Merna Forster of Oak Bay petitioned for years for a Canadian woman to be honoured on currency

Third rink needed immediately at Pearkes, say users

Only four ice pads for Saanich, Victoria groups

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Most Read