In 1896 the parlour of the Otter Point home of Ted and Kitty Gordon looked like this. Touches Kitty had brought with her from England on her marriage to Ted in 1889 kept memories of home within her reach. In the foreground is the bassinette of the Gordon’s only daughter Kathleen (nicknamed Joey) who grew up to marry Austin Kirby and live at Jordan River.
Son of a Dean of Lincoln Cathedral, Ted Gordon had emigrated to Canada, living first at East Sooke and then taking up the seafront property facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca that had been farmed since the 1860s by Thomas Tugwell. West Coast Road as we know it did not exist, and Otter Point Road, further inland, reached the rear of the Gordon Farm as one journeyed from Sooke.
A road of any sort was a boon to the family. When Ted had gone back to London in 1889 to wed Kitty Jalland, the young daughter of a London physician, there was only a trail to bring her back to the pioneer farmhouse. The enterprising couple became an important part of the life of the sparsely settled community, with Kitty’s piano skills in particular livening the scene for many early social gatherings.
Ted Gordon became a linesman for the Government Telegraph that was established to connect Pachena Point with Victoria, and at the time of this photo, the Gordon home housed the Otter Point telegraph station besides the local post office. In 1912, after Ted’s passing, Kitty’s management of the farm included leasing foreshore rights to J H Todd & Sons for location of the salmon fishtrap that became known as the Gordon Trap. Besides Kathleen, the Gordons had a son, Eric, who studied engineering and followed a career in the US.
The Gordon home could still be seen mid-20th century and farming continued under a variety of owners for some time. More recently, however, subdivision of the property has meant that many fine homes now stand on the hillside that affords them a spectacular view facing out to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic peninsula.
Elida Peers, Historian
Sooke Region Museum