SOOKE HISTORY: Malahat Farm and the Ohio connection

Elida Peers | Contributed

Two Wednesdays ago my column was about the W. H. and Azuba Anderson family of Malahat Farm, near Muir Creek, and was especially focused on the family of the eldest Anderson daughter, Margaret (also called Marjorie), who married Percy Clark and raised a large family. Two of the Clark daughters were photographed with David and Frances Stocks.

So three days later the office phone rang – a call from Ohio. The caller was Marta Aker, who is a great-granddaughter of W. H. and Azuba Anderson. This lovely lady wanted us to know that her mother Audrey Humphries, in a care facility in Sebring, Ohio at age 94, had been sent a copy of the News Mirror story by a Vancouver connection, and wanted to be remembered to us.

The earlier column had mentioned Herbert Anderson, the only son of the pioneer couple, who spent his entire life at Malahat Farm. When in 1919 Herbert married an American teacher, Margaret McLaughlin, who taught school in California, he built the smaller Malahat Cottage as their home. When W. H. Anderson died in 1935, Herbert and his wife Margaret moved into the beautifully crafted Malahat Farmhouse.

The young couple raised two daughters, Marion and Audrey, and it was Audrey’s daughter Marta who called us from Ohio.

The photo she sent us shows Marta standing behind her mother Audrey Anderson Humphries, and Marta’s daughter Leslie Garrity (also a teacher), along with Marta’s grandchildren Kenley and Abel. Marta and her husband Greg also have a son Shawn.

Audrey Anderson had become a registered nurse, married an American, Bruce Humphries, and spent much of her life at Marion, Ohio. Her older sister Marion Anderson had married a Californian, Donald Waldman and spent much of her life in Mendocino, California; they raised three children. Both of the Anderson daughters would come up to Sooke to visit every few years and became life members of the Sooke Region Historical Society.

Marta Aker, who also looks after her brother Bruce, told us that she had offered to bring her mom up to Sooke for a last visit to Malahat Farm but that Audrey felt, after several strokes, it would be too much. Marta, a retired teacher, would no doubt have liked to meet her second cousin, also a teacher, Laurie Szadkowski, who is now principal of Journey Middle School.

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Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.

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