The Margison House has been in Sooke for 100 years.

Margison House: 100 years old

The historical Margison House celebrates centennial

1912 – 2012 –

MARGISON HOUSE

Elegant and substantial when it was built as a family home 100 years ago, Margison House remains both elegant and substantial today.

Could businessman John Yeats Margison have possibly envisioned 100 years ago that the home he meant for his family’s enjoyment in the centre of the quiet village of Sooke would remain central to Sooke’s core development a century later?

The 1912 photo shows the house under construction by the Richardson brothers, recently arrived from England. Screened from Highway 14 by large Douglas firs, the house has an atmosphere of quiet seclusion, almost an oasis, a feature that has been appreciated by its residents over the years.

Its tradition of occupancy by successful business families was begun by realtor Margison, who raised his five children there before relocating to San Diego, California in 1918. Purchased by the Milligans who operated a logging enterprise further west, for a few years the house was rented out, tenants including businessman James Wilham who operated the Red & White Store at the north-east corner of Sooke and Church Roads (the stucco building still stands).

For the next two decades another local business entrepreneur, Fred Thornber and his wife Elsie owned the house. Subsequent owners were pole contractor Eric Bernard and his wife Marjorie, followed by Frank Ellis who ran a tearoom there.

After the Second World War, more expansion took place in Sooke, with businessman Bob Gibson from the prairies acquiring the historic store at the north-west corner of Sooke and Otter Point Roads, turning it into Gibsons Shopping Centre. Bob and his wife Julie made their home in the Margison House, selling in 1968 to Alan “Bud” Smith and his wife Clare. Bud was superintendent at the busy Sooke Forest Products Sawmill on Goodridge peninsula. As the Smiths had a large family, they particularly enjoyed the spacious gardens and tennis courts.

Current owners of the house are Marvin and Sylvia Hallgren, who have not only raised their family in the spacious home but for a time used it for business purposes as well, with Sylvia hosting the elegant Margison Teahouse, and Marvin conducting his law practice across the hallway. Nowadays Sylvia is able to devote herself more to her two passions, her grandchildren and her art, while Marv’s law office has moved down the street.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Woman comes home to ‘entirely different’ Victoria after cruise ship, military base quarantine

Melanie Sibbitt booked herself a last-minute vacation on a cruise ship hit by COVID-19

Victoria street nurse thanks public for outpouring of donations

Businesses and individuals donated gloves, masks, sanitizers and more to frontline workers

COVID-19: Victoria moves homeless into 35 hotel rooms across the city

Mayor pleads with residents to stay inside during pandemic

Wheelchair user asks people to leave space on sidewalks to socially distance

Wendy Cox says many people are not stepping off the sidewalk to allow her space

Victoria brewery uses 3D-printer to make face shields for health care workers

Phillips Brewing is teaming up with engineers to create single-use medical equipment

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Most Read