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

Salmon fishing closures won’t save the whales, say critics

Federal government accused of going after salmon fishery as ‘low hanging fruit’

Unrelated occupancy limits creating divisions in Saanich

Gordon Head Residents’ Association wants to see conditions to hold landlords accountable

Oak Bay cyclist runner-up in Spanish stage race

Adam de Vos on podium amongst World Tour best in Spain

Greater Victoria has Canada’s sixth-highest ‘moving penalty’

Disparity between vacant/occupied units incentivizes renovictions and reduces mobility, researcher says

Teams finalized in last push before Pan Am Cross Country Championships

The competition is taking place at Bear Mountain Resort in Langford on Feb. 29

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Wolverines face elimination game at Island finals

Sooke squad lost to Nanaimo’s John Barsby last night

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read