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Sooke History: Wadams Way paved the way for new street in Sooke

Small farm on Church Road became lifelong home of Peter and Olive Wadams

Elida Peers | Contributed

The District of Sooke named Wadams Way a new street in 2014, and we remember hearing occasional comments like “street leading nowhere.”

Eight years later, there is hardly a thoroughfare with more activity, with a new library on one side and massive construction equipment moving soil on the other, the site of the former Wadams farm.

Today’s photograph shows Peter and Olive Wadams with their daughter Norah in 1940. This image was taken at Moss Cottage, the historic building that once stood on West Coast Road, where the Sooke Baptist Church is located today. Ernie Welsh gave this cottage to the Sooke Region Museum in 1977 and eventually restored it, opening it for public tours in 1984.

When Peter and Olive Wadams emigrated from Britain in 1929, they first found work on a dairy farm near Sidney, and by 1940 had moved to Sooke and rented Moss Cottage for a couple of years before they could afford to buy the small farm on Church Road that became their lifelong home. A son Hugh was born to join sister Norah.

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While the small acreage provided comfort for the farm couple, who were skilled at drawing top production from the fertile soil, their one-storey frame cottage provided accommodation for four persons. What a contrast to the housing development planned on that original farm site today, where it is likely the population there may eventually be well into the hundreds on the same acreage.

Olive Wadams, a widow, lived in her farmhouse well into her 90s. We don’t believe she saw elk there, but as elk herds have returned to Sooke in recent years, we frequently hear reports that elk have been sighted in the woods near these developments. It is hoped that elk will continue to thrive in local habitats.


Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum. Email

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