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 takes a step toward Lot A plan

Final proposal anticipated for the end of February

Greater Victoria rugby players named to national Hall of Fame

Former Canada captains, Oak Bay’s Mark Wyatt and Victoria’s Hans De Goede to inducted this spring

What to know before you tow: Langford bylaw weighs in

Officials don’t recommend personal towing, like viral video viewed 42,000 times and counting

Victoria boxer gets second chance after provincials

Fighter looks to win ‘box-offs,’ take spot at nationals

Push for a new libary in Victoria would also benefit Saanich

Victoria Needs a Hillside Library could also check in with Saanich during their push

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

UPDATE: Trees affecting travel at YQQ have been trimmed

Some flights have been rerouted or cancelled due to some trees impacting the safety margins

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Most Read