Pioneer children pose for a picture at Moss Cottage. (Sooke Region Museum)

SOOKE HISTORY: Many pioneers called Moss Cottage home

Cottage, built in 1870, now an exhibit at museum

Elida Peers | Contributed

This 1906 photo showing four bonnie children posed in the parlour of Moss Cottage is a treasure to us at the Sooke Region Museum.

Moss Cottage, built on Muir land in 1870, approximately where Sooke’s Baptist Church stands today, has been moved to the Sooke Region Museum and restored.

While Moss Cottage was originally built for James Welsh and his Irish bride, at the time of this photo it was home to Matilda, daughter of Michael and Matilda Muir, of Burnside.

Left a young widow by the early passing of her husband Jack Gordon, Matilda raised her two children in this cottage. She also boarded other children which then enabled youngsters to attend Sooke School even if their pioneer home was isolated.

Seated in the chair is Alice Gordon, age 11, granddaughter of Michael and Matilda Muir, who grew up to become Mrs. Patterson and live in Victoria. Directly behind is her little brother Harry, at seven, who grew up to serve overseas in the Great War. While he died on the battlefield in France, there is a stone placed in his memory within the Muir cemetery on Maple Avenue.

Perched on the chair’s arms are Margaret and Daisy Ross, daughters of Adam Ross of Goldstream in his second marriage.

In 1885 Adam Ross married Marion, a daughter of Michael and Matilda Muir and the young couple lived at Goldstream where Adam Ross was employed at the waterworks.

Sadly, Marion died in 1890 leaving two youngsters, Tom and Violet. The two children lived with their Aunt Tilly in Moss Cottage to attend school, so it was natural for their half-siblings, the Ross sisters in the photo, to follow in their family footsteps.

When Moss Cottage was relocated to the museum grounds with the help of the Sooke Lions and a federal grant, we held a grand opening when its restoration was complete in 1980.

As special guests, we tried to reach everyone who had, over the years, lived in the cottage. What a thrill it was to greet Margaret Ross (Mrs. Payne) and Daisy Ross (Mrs. Harvey) and their sister Leila.

Other guests that day, who had been resident in this historic parlour, were Olive Wadams and Norah Cook; Gladys and Don Lowe and Laurence; Earl Goudie; Fred and Jean Newman, their youngsters Bill and Lynn Newman, Barbara Miller and Joyce Dumont; Jack Perestam, Nelleke Young, and Marie Jackson.


Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon fishing closures won’t save the whales, say critics

Federal government accused of going after salmon fishery as ‘low hanging fruit’

Greater Victoria has Canada’s sixth-highest ‘moving penalty’

Disparity between vacant/occupied units incentivizes renovictions and reduces mobility, researcher says

Teams finalized in last push before Pan Am Cross Country Championships

The competition is taking place at Bear Mountain Resort in Langford on Feb. 29

Saanich Police respond to petition for new police agency on Lindsay Buziak murder case

Petition asks Public Safety Minister to to help find justice for slain realtor

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Shopping cart collector at B.C. Costco awarded $583,000 after getting pinned by car

Kurtis Ryan Burdeniuk, 22, was retrieving carts when a driver backed into him in the parking lot

‘Usain Bolt he was not’: B.C. gang police seize drugs, cash after foot chase

‘The man took off running when he saw our officers approaching,’ CFSEU BC says

Canadians released from coronavirus-ridden cruise ship in Japan fly home

Those who were cleared to travel are to be screened again at Canadian Forces Base Trenton

Most Read