The descendants of W. H. Anderson made a recent visit to Malahat Farm. (Sooke Region Museum)

The descendants of W. H. Anderson made a recent visit to Malahat Farm. (Sooke Region Museum)

SOOKE HISTORY: Malahat Farm revisited

Farmhouse was built in 1914

When Malahat Farmhouse was built in 1914 by a journeyman carpenter W. H. Anderson, who had emigrated to Canada from Yorkshire England, he could not have foreseen the enthusiastic delight that a group of his descendants showed recently as they toured the finely crafted two-storey farmhouse, along with the cottage built later by his son Herbert.

William H. and Azuba Anderson were an enterprising couple; when their first stop in Manitoba did not seem promising, they came to the coast and brought their skills and indomitable spirit with them. Their three children were Margaret, Herbert and Lavinia.

As Margaret was the eldest, she took on grown-up responsibilities as a child, recalling that she looked after her siblings from the age of seven, as her parents struggled to build their first log cabin that served as their pioneer home when they first arrived in Otter Point in 1895.

Son Herbert married Marjorie McLaughlin, and the couple lived in the cottage seen in this photo. Their two daughters, Marion and Audrey, moved to southern climes, where Marion married Carl Waldman and lived in California, while Audrey married Bruce Humphries, and that couple made their home in Ohio.

It was Marion’s son, Charles Waldman, a California physician who retired from his first career to become an artist, who set the ball rolling by coming to revisit the old-time scenes he remembered from coming up to Malahat Farm as a child.

Malahat Farm’s current owner, hospitable Sheila Stoner, welcomed the idea of a reunion, and the result is shown in this photo taken by Adele Lewis.

Margaret Anderson married Percy Clark, and lived at the top of Shirley Hill in a home Percy built with lumber milled by W. H. Anderson. When her husband died prematurely, she was left to raise seven children alone. In her senior years, Margaret married Ted Perron and continued to contribute her community spirit to the district. It is members of Margaret’s family that are pictured here at Malahat Farm.

Rear, from left: Brianne Crocker, Laurie Szadkowski, Kari Stauble, Cheryl Van Eyk, Sidney Van Eyk, Doni Eve, Rick Kasper, Elani Bruton, Danelle Lifton holding Henry Lifton, Darcy McClimon. Centre: Our California visitors Janet and Charles Waldman, Elinor McClimon, Leslie Eve, Karen Brooks. In front: Nathan Crocker, Hudson Crocker, Roland Stauble, and Mack Stauble.

We’re sure that William H. and Azuba Anderson would have been pleased!


Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.

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