SOOKE HISTORY: Pioneer farmers operated Sooke Way Dairy for over 20 years

John and Ada Doran supplied milk and butter to travellers

Pioneer dairy farmers John and Ada Doran with daughter Dorothy, centre. The Dorans operated their farm from the 1920s to the 1940s. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

Pioneer dairy farmers John and Ada Doran with daughter Dorothy, centre. The Dorans operated their farm from the 1920s to the 1940s. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

Elida Peers | Contributed

When you drive from Sooke towards Victoria today, you are perhaps shocked at the enormous changes to the landscape along Highway 14 between Glinz Lake and Connie roads. In this area, on the Sooke Basin side of the road, the Doran dairy farm, Sooke Way Dairy, was located.

While there was a lot of subsistence farming throughout our rural area, there was undoubtedly a market for a local milk supply.

With the Doran household and farm located just east of Glinz Lake Road’s turnoff, almost directly across from the Olof Frederickson log house you can still see today, it was convenient for travellers to stop off to buy milk and butter in the 1920s, 1930s and early 1940s.

For Ada Veitch Doran, who grew up on her parents’ farm called Burnt Timbers Hunting Ground, right at the border of Sooke and Metchosin, this pastoral scene was pretty much close to home.

She had been given part of the land her father, James Veitch, son of a Hudson’s Bay Co. employee and born at Craigflower Farm, had taken up in 1892.

Ada Veitch married John Doran, employed in constructing the concrete water flowline built from 1911 to 1914, to carry water from Sooke Lake to supply Victoria.

John and Ada Doran’s union produced two daughters, Dorothy, who married George Seaton, and Violet, who married Olof Frederickson.

While some of the Doran cattle were fenced in for milking, others roamed free to forage for pasture, and because there were no pound laws at the time, their pasture could range anywhere from the Sooke Hills to the Sooke River Bridge. When they needed to be rounded up, Ada Doran and one of her daughters would ride on horseback to look for them.

No doubt, the 17 Mile House proprietors could take advantage of this milk and butter supply to feed their clientele in their early days.

The new route for Highway 14 will run back of the 17 Mile House, so there will be a distinct change in commuters’ driving experience in the future.


Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.

ALSO READ: Dairy farmers say milk cup is half full in new Canada Food Guide

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

Following a cease work order from the District of Highlands in October, the BC Supreme Court ruled Jan. 20. that bylaws won’t apply to O.K. Industries’ work until its quarrying activity is complete. (Courtesy of District of Highlands)
BC Supreme Court rules Highlands quarry work can continue

District bylaws won’t apply until quarrying activities are complete

A worker covers up racist graffiti along the West Shore Parkway. (Courtesy of Anna Young)
RCMP investigating racist graffiti spotted off West Shore Parkway

Hateful vandalism is rare, says Langford bylaw enforcement

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. ( photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. ( photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Most Read