SOOKE HISTORY: Claude Cook family – 1929

Velma Cook Jessiman with her mother and father in 1929. (Sooke Region Museum photo)

Elida Peers | Contributed

What a cute little baby Velma Cook Jessiman was sitting on her dad’s lap in 1929, and she’s still a nice looking woman today.

Velma grew up with a group of relatives centred around a section of property near Kemp Lake Road which belonged to her grandpa, Joseph Poirier Jr.

Joseph Poirier Jr. was born at Milne’s Landing to parents connected to the fur trade and the Hudson’s Bay Company.

His father Joseph Poirier Sr., while originally from Quebec, was at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River when the Oregon Treaty, signed in 1846, set the boundary between the U.S. and Canada at the 49th parallel.

The boundary decision meant that the Poiriers and Brules were among a group of voyageurs who set out to travel north by wagon train, wishing to stay in the realm of the Crown, rather than live in the republic. They came to Sooke.

While Poirier Sr. settled at the mouth of the Sooke River, long before the arrival of the Edward Milne family in the 1880s, his eldest son Joseph elected to become a sealer, and in 1901 took up Otter Point property reaching from the Kemp Lake area to the waterfront.

Married to Mary White, and retired from sealing, he farmed the land and raised sons Joseph III, Phillip and Wesley and four daughters. The four girls were Lizzie, who married George Goudie, Lily, who married Claude Cook (above), Mabel, who married Walter Cook, and Phyllis, who married Walter (Red) Jessiman.

Velma, an only child, attended Otter Point School, and went into the floral business, in addition to picking ferns for the nursery business in Victoria. When she married Frank Jessiman, it simply expanded the family connections of Poirier, Cook and Jessiman. Velma’s dad Claude was employed as a truck driver by Elder Logging, and drovetrucks from the forested hillsides down to dump into Muir Creek.

Lily Cook and her sister Mabel became great sources of historical information for us at the Sooke Region Museum, as we began piecing together the history of the area and developing our incredible photo collection.

The cute little toddler in the photo, all grownup, a family raised, and sadly widowed today, continues an active life in the community as a generous volunteer, but her chief joy is her family, sons Bill and Alec, the grandchildren, and one little great-granddaughter, Riley Rose.

•••

Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.

Just Posted

Designs for Johnson Street Bridge waterfront areas hit delays

Upgrades to the Songhees Park, surrounding area being presented Thursday

Saanich’s 20-year-old acting mayor encourages other young people get involved in politics

There is a ‘hunger for young voices’ in politics right now

Personal health scare inspires Sidney’s newest gym

Arne Jackson said the scare was a ‘wake-up call’

Victoria’s Belfry Theatre hosts its first ‘relaxed performance’ for a diverse audience

Performance of Every Brilliant Thing is first to pilot the option

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

12 Sooke events to get you into the holiday spirit

From a Santa parade to classicial music, Sooke has it all

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Most Read