It’s hard to imagine what this 1920 road crew would think of the modern equipment at today’s roundabout project.

Sooke History: 1920 crew takes road photo break

Local historian Elida Peers once again takes us back to Sooke's humble roots.

We’ve all been experiencing a road crew project nowadays in the centre of Sooke as the roundabout nears completion.

My personal experience as the traffic moves slowly through Sooke is that the crews and the flaggers have done a good job, with disruption as minimal as possible.

Looking at this photo of a road crew back around 1920, working on the road leading from Muir Creek towards Jordan River, I am drawn to wonder what this group of settlers would think of the fine modern equipment that is carrying out the road improvements in Sooke today.  What an incredible difference from their picks, mattocks, crowbars and shovels to the excavators, backhoes, rollers and curb-laying machines of today.  These men never heard of flaggers – what for, there was no traffic to flag!

The road through Otter Point had reached as far as Jordan River by 1912, so this group of pioneers was working at improvements to the rough grade, we believe located in the Kirby Creek area.  Sometimes settlers had the opportunity of being hired on contract for specific improvement projects, and sometimes they were working to pay off that year’s property taxes.

Among the settlers in this photo are Joe Poirier (grandpa of Velma Jessiman) George Goudie (grandpa of Norm Goudie) Harry Kirby (one of the three sons of Ma and Pa Kirby of Kirby creek) and Ted Harris.  The Harris house on Otter Point road was home to Ted Harris when he wasn’t away working in the oilfields of the Caribbean.  Today the Harris farm is the ALM organic farm owned by Mary Alice Johnson.

We can imagine that these men wielding their muscle-challenging hand tools would be most impressed if they could have had a look into the future of road building.

•••

Elida Peers is the historian of Sooke Region Museum.

 

Just Posted

Emerging Sooke filmmaker takes spotlight with special award

Mary Galloway creates her own opportunities

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Police make arrest in Sooke home invasion

Gregory Brotherston, 38, facing numerous charges

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read