Today one of Sooke’s busiest intersections, who’d believe that the corner of Highway 14 and Phillips Road looked like this in the late 1960s and early 1970s? We’d love to hear from anyone who can identify the camper and truck parked at the corner, and the loaded logging truck coming down Phillips Road.
We were told by photographer Ray Price that the logging truck was barreling out to join the All Sooke Day parade, which in those days did a short run on Sooke Road before heading to the Sooke Flats to display its payload of logs as part of the annual festivities.
While we’re not sure of the date, this image had to be prior to 1976, as that was the year that the Sooke Lions club began building the Sooke Region Museum on the western corner of Phillips Road, on land contributed by Sooke Community Association.
The museum opening took place in 1977, an event shared by many hundreds, and Moss cottage, moved to the site just left of the loaded truck, opened in 1980. Triangle Island Lighthouse which has stood proudly at the western corner since 2005, would be just outside of this view.
Industrially, logging and sawmilling were still the mainstay of the area’s economy at that time, as the commercial fishtraps operations had closed in 1958, and independent fishboat owners were just getting into full swing.
Forest industry entrepreneurs were key supporters of the annual All Sooke Days, and there were always loaded trucks onsite being admired by our many logger folk.
One of Sooke’s very first street lights was installed here at the museum entrance when Charlie Perkins was regional director in the late 1970s. As a great deal of traffic developed on Phillips Road, due to the construction of the SEAPARC arena in 1974, and then more recently the development of the Sun River subdivision, this corner became home to Sooke’s third traffic light in 2003 (thanks, Linda Gabriel).
Nowadays we frequently see Sooke groups using the right foreground frontage as a collection depot for their bottle drives, as well as other fundraising activities.
Elida Peers is a historian with Sooke Region Museum