Woodside Farm’s historic Swiss bell. The bell became famous as an instrument to announce the opening of the Sooke Fall Fair. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

Woodside Farm’s historic Swiss bell. The bell became famous as an instrument to announce the opening of the Sooke Fall Fair. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

SOOKE HISTORY: The Swiss cowbell at Woodside Farm

Historic farm once well-known for dairy production

Elida Peers | Contributed

It looks pretty hefty, this leather strap holding a cowbell brought here many years ago from Switzerland by the Glinz family.

When Arnold and Rosa Glinz bought Woodside Farm from the Muirs in 1920, they began a dairying enterprise that saw milk and cream shipments to Victoria and the production of cheese.

ALSO READ: Woodside Farm honoured for 100 years of agriculture in B.C.

Readers may have noted that Woodside Farm was honoured by B.C.’s Ministery of Agriculture recently when it was presented with the province’s Century Farm Award. For a half-century, we have noted Pete Wilford going about his farming chores on the historic acreage, but related members of his family, the Swiss Glinzes, had begun farming there in an earlier time, with a different focus.

This cowbell was generally strung about the neck of a Jersey cow, part of the herd which produced milk rich in butterfat. The manufacture of the popular Sooke Brick Cheese brought visitors out from Victoria for samplings in the 1930s.

These early photographs, which came to us from the Glinz collection, carried a note that told us that the Swiss Cowbell became famous as it was the instrument used to announce the annual Sooke Fall Fair opening.

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Elida Peers is the historian of Sooke Region Museum. Email historian@sookeregionmuseum.com.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

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When Arnold and Rosa Glinz purchased Woodside Farm from the Muirs in 1920, they began a dairying enterprise that saw not only milk and cream shipments to Victoria, but the production of cheese as well. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

When Arnold and Rosa Glinz purchased Woodside Farm from the Muirs in 1920, they began a dairying enterprise that saw not only milk and cream shipments to Victoria, but the production of cheese as well. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)