Right in the centre of Sooke, near the corner of Otter Point Road, where it meets Sooke Road (today’s Highway 14), this photo was taken in the late 1930s.
Many have heard of Aunt Carrie Throup, who ran the Throup Store where today the same structure houses a restaurant on the corner.
A beaming Aunt Carrie has the place of honour here, seated with her daughter Jenny McMillan at her side, her granddaughter Phyllis alongside, and baby Mary McMillan on her knee.
This spot is about where the Barking Dog Studio displays its wares today.
Ken McMillan, the husband to Jennie, ran an auto supply store and gas pumps right at the corner of Otter Point and Eustace roads. It was built in 1930, and in those days, gas was actually pumped, you didn’t just guide the nozzle, and the youngsters of that era vied with each other as to who would get to do the pumping when their dad stopped for gas.
While Jenny McMillan helped her husband in the store, she was busy raising her girls, who were always thrilled to visit with their grandma, Aunt Carrie Sanderson.
Carrie was married to George Throup, who built a home for her at the southwest corner of the Otter Point/Murray and Sooke Road intersection, a building which still stands today. A variety of businesses are in this renovated structure now, including a pet store.
In the Throup tenure, their front yard was graced with a beautiful rhododendron tree – and where do you suppose that tree is now? Moved to the entrance to Sooke’s W. J. Stephenson Firehall.
After the MacMillans’ time, in 1948, the automotive supply store was sold to the Frank Bowles family, and before long, converted to a coffee shop, which became a bit of a teenage hangout during the 1950s. After that time, the entire block running from Sooke Road was to become part of the Gibson’s Shopping Centre enterprise and was the closest thing we’ve had to a Sooke department store. Nowadays, a variety of shops, mainly featuring arts and crafts, are well situated on this block to provide visitor services.
This photo came into our collection from Audrey Sullivan Wilson; her grandma Anne Arden was a niece of Aunt Carrie.
Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.