Coming across this photo took me back to 1948 when the shot was taken on Sooke Road, west of Sooke Elementary School. In this view, Kai Jensen, who farmed in Saseenos, is seen chatting with Mary-Ann Throup Peters, a granddaughter of Jonas Throup, one of Sooke’s earliest immigrant settlers.
Mary-Ann, daughter of Jonas’ son Emmanuel Throup, drives her pony cart with her little boy Brian beside her. The house in the background is on the 40-acre property running from the harbour uplands to Throup Road, settled by Jonas Throup and his wife Rebecca Norton after coming to Sooke in 1868.
Jonas Throup, a stonemason from Yorkshire, England, worked on the Victoria post office before his arrival here, where he farmed with oxen and established an apple orchard.
Among the Throup’s nine children, Mary Ann’s uncle, George Throup became well-known as a farmer and stage driver. I recall hearing that my father, on his arrival from Norway in 1922, rode from Victoria to Saseenos on the Throup motor stage.
Another of the Throup siblings who became well-known was Eliza, who grew up to marry John Stephen Muir, and became the mother to Bertha (who married Bill Auchinachie and moved to Duncan) and to Florence, who grew up to marry Robert Acreman and live out her life in Sooke where her many historical writings have become an essential part of the Sooke Region Museum records.
While I was at Milne’s Landing High in 1948, I enjoyed many visits with Mary-Ann. Her home was on the property near where The Sandpiper stands today; she was a horse lover, and we’d find her out feeding and tending her horses near the school, always willing to visit with us, young kids.
The large Throup barn that had housed oxen still stood on the property pictured, and when it was owned by George Duncan, he was kind enough to donate the Throup oxen yoke, which you can see displayed in the farm exhibit at the museum today. The barn would have been a bit east of where Mariners Village is located now.
I’ve always thought of Mary-Ann as a genuine representative of the early Sooke pioneer families and was sorry when she passed away before her time.
Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.