A rare opportunity and highly anticipated development site, we present one of the only assembled mid-rise opportunities within the UpTown/Douglas land-use policy. The sit...
Courtesy of Sutton Group West Coast Realty
A RARE OFFERING! Come and discover this wonderful ONE LEVEL END UNIT TOWNHOME located in central location just minutes to virtually everywhere. This well maintained hom...
Courtesy of RE/MAX Camosun
Freshly renovated home offering a host of modern amenities. Main floor is 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom with 1254 sq ft of living space. Gorgeous hardwood floors throughout a...
Courtesy of Coldwell Banker Oceanside Real Estate
Open House Saturday Dec 16th and Sunday Dec 17th. Stunning residence situated in the Maplewood private lane, featuring 6 bedrooms and 4 FULL bathrooms. The main level sho...
Courtesy of Pemberton Holmes - Cloverdale
Welcome to Richmond Gate. This top floor one bedroom unit has plenty to offer! Enter through the generous foyer to your open kitchen and living areas, with newer engineer...
Courtesy of RE/MAX Camosun
WELCOME TO YOUR NEW HOME ! All of the attractions of a single family home in a fabulous townhouse with single car garage.Easy access to UVic, Camosun, downtown, ferries a...
Courtesy of Newport Realty Ltd.
PRIVACY AWAITS FROM THIS CORDOVA BAY RANCHER-STYLE DESIGNED TOWNHOME BY THE SEA! One level living from this outstanding location, across the street from renowned beaches,...
Courtesy of RE/MAX Camosun
Family townhome! This spacious 3 level townhome offers the ideal layout with all 3 bedrooms on the same floor. Lower level would make a great media/rec room or 4th bedroo...
Courtesy of Pemberton Holmes - Cloverdale
757 Wesley Court- Tucked away on a peaceful cul-de-sac in the coveted Cordova Bay neighbourhood. Charming 5 bdrm/4 bath fully CUSTOM one-owner home, an absolute MUST-SEE,...
Courtesy of Royal LePage Coast Capital - Chatterton
Welcome to this beautiful 4-bed home, which includes a soon to be vacant 2-bed inlaw suite. This Bright mid-40s Bungalow has retained the original character of the vintag...
Courtesy of Royal LePage Coast Capital - Chatterton
PANORAMIC MOUNTAIN VIEWS LOCATED IN ROYAL OAK — SAANICH. 2 Bedroom/2 Bath Spacious TOP FLOOR CORNER CONDO with lovely exposure from the southwest & panoramic mountain vis...
Courtesy of RE/MAX Camosun
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Saanich, being the indian word for "good soil" once comprised of the entire Saanich Penninsula but was later split into four seperate districts. Always nice to learn the history of an area as part of investigating what is available for sale, and prior to investing in Real Estate or buying a property whether that be a condo, townhouse, acreage, farm, or single family property. Much within Saanich has been named after the many pioneers into the area. Below is a brief description of some of them.
JAMES HAGAN was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1833. In 1854 he emigrated to New York, U.S.A., and worked at various jobs in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. With the civil war in the States in the offing, he moved west to California, working in that State for a time until the lure of gold tempted him also, in 1861, to come north and try his luck on the Fraser River. Until the spring of 1862 he worked at road making around Saanich then set out for the Cariboo. Like many others he endured all the hardships and bad luck of the miners, but eventually in partnership with five others, purchased a claim at Lightning Creek and went heavily in debt and almost gave up in despair when they struck gold and a very rich strike at that. Three of his partners also returned to these parts to live. Donald McDonald in North Saanich and Peter and Adam Clendenning at Cedar Hill.
Now, with money in his pocket, he returned to the Eastern States, where an Irish lass, also from Tyrone, must have been there awaiting him. After their marriage they returned to the Cariboo. The company worked the mine for another year then sold out and returned to Victoria. In 1872 he went out to Saanich and bought the old McPhail homestead. In 1881 his first wife died, leaving him with four children, Lawrence, Rose, Susan (became a nun, Sister M. Lucretia), Margaret (also a nun, Sister M. Theda) of the Sisterhood of St. Ann. He remarried in 1883 Miss Virginia Rey. There were four daughters by this marriage, Virginia (Mrs. A. C. Lovick), Helen, Isabelle, Caroline (Mrs. J. McClive). James Hagan took an active interest in community life. He was a valued member of the Agricultural Society and a school trustee for many years. For twenty-one years he acted as postmaster of the Hagan Post Office. He died in 1913 and Lawrence, his son, carried on the farm with his two sisters, Rose and Helen. Larry, as he was usually known, was a councilor for Ward Six of the Saanich Municipality for many years.
JOHN NEWBIGGING farmed the Coulter place north of Wain's Cross Road. He married Miss Agnes Wain. He did not stay there long but went to Victoria and worked in a dairy, then back to North Saanich to work for Brackman in the mill. When the milling firm moved to Victoria he went back with them. The Newbiggings had four children, James, Arnott, Leonard and Gladys (died single) . JOSEPH DUPUIS was the first man buried in the Catholic Cemetery of the Church of the Assumption, Saanich. He was hand-logging on the beach and died of a heart attack. He came out in the early days to work for the H.B.C. He does not appear to have owned any land and does not appear on any voters' list. He owned a team of oxen and went job ploughing for farmers.
WILLIAM HUTCHINGS, commonly known as "Brandy Bill," was a sailor who came out to North Saanich in the early days. He lived in a log cabin near the old Institute Hall, Wain's Cross Road. He also lived for a time on the Bradley Dyne Farm. He is on the 1875 voters' list and later, classified as laborer. JOHN HEMMING came out on the same ship that brought the framework of the Old Iron Church (St. John's) that stood where the H.B.C. store was later erected. He could have been an architect, as he had the plans in his possession for the fitting together of the church. At all events he was a highly educated man but alas fond of liquor. It is said that he refused to give up the plans at first and that Bishop Hills was forced to give him one hundred pounds before he would surrender them. He married an Indian girl and worked around Saanich and other parts of the Island. The family of two sons both died of pneumonia. The name of the ship that brought out the iron church was "Athelstan," which arrived at Victoria in February, 1860.
HOWARD ESTES was one of the colored settlers. He owned a farm that Thomas Michell bought, and his son the same lots East, that later became the Dawson Farm. They 43 came the same time as the Alexanders. They were either freed or escaped slaves. They travelled across the continent in covered wagons and brought with them cattle and fruit trees. Mrs. Estes' father, Cooneys or Coones, was once coachman for the Governor of Kentucky, or so it was reported. Howard Estes' name appears on the 1874 voters' list but it must have been for the land that Jackson held, as the latter did not appear on the list at any time. Howard Estes is supposed to have gone to live on Salt Spring Island, but his son returned to the States.
LOREN LEWIS was another ex-slave who came out to Saanich in the early days and bought land from a man named Niss. There were two Niss' s on the 18 61 assessment roll as owners of 458 acres of land situated along Telegraph Road and south. The farm changed hands many times. Rey had part of it in later years and a man named Davis. Lewis was on the Voters' list up to 1877 as a farmer in South Saanich. "Evergreen" was the name of the farm. There is some doubt, though, as to whether he still was living on the place at that time, as a man named Jackson was on the voters' list of 18 7 4 for a part, at least, of the same farm, although Jackson is on the list for that year only.
JESSE McMILLAN appears on the voters' list from 1875 to 1882, but not later. He also came from the Southern States. He had fifty acres that was later the Jock Patterson place and again it might previously have belonged to Cawthen. McMillan married a Davis girl. They had no family but adopted a son, Abner Thomas. Jesse McMillan grew his own tobacco from seed he brought with him from the South. The growing of tobacco in Saanich did not, however, reach any large proportions, but it might be a thought for the future. McMillan is buried in St. Stephen's Cemetery. GEORGE EDGAR DENNES was an English solicitor, the first to be admitted to practice that profession on Vancouver Island. He was a Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Salt Spring District from 1863 to l 866, when he left the country and went to New South Wales. He died in 1871.
HUGH McKENZIE was born in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, 1811, a son of Scotch Highland emigrants to that province. At the age of fifty he set out for California and started sheep farming in the Sacramento Valley. A flood wiped 44 out his flock. He returned to Nova Scotia. The wanderlust again seized him, so once more at the age of sixty-six he started out for new lands, this time via Union Pacific and San Francisco to Victoria. This was in the year 1877. He settled on land in the Prospect Lake District. Heals Rifle Range of today is located on part of the farm. On the death of his wife in 1885 he again went back to Nova Scotia, but could not settle down there. He returned to Saanich in 18 8 9. He was then seventy-eight years of age. He died in 1889. Both Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie were buried in St. Stephen's.
ALEXANDER McKENZIE first came out to Saanich in 1873, but he did not stay then. He was the second son of Hugh McKenzie. In 1874 he joined the gold rush to Cassiar. After this he worked on survey parties, seeking a route through the Rockies for the C.P.R. Prior to that he had worked for some months at the coal mines on Newcastle Island. On one of his return trips to Saanich he met and married Helen Thomson of Bannockburn. They were married Christmas Day, 1880. He had previously bought land in Saanich, but he did not do much in the way of agriculture, but engaged in construction, logging and survey work all over the province. He got to know the province from one boundary to another. He retired from active work in 1924 and settled down on his farm. They had a family of eight children- Hugh W. D., Lilian Edith (Mrs. R. E. Nimmo), Margaret Helen (Mrs. A. D. J. Pitts), Mildred M. M. (Mrs. Ibbetson), Jessie Theresa (Mrs. H. E. Kennedy), Hazel Grace (died young), Doris May (Mrs. Allen Dorman) , Roderick Murray. Many of the family are resident in the district and joining and helping to further all community projects. The youngest son has returned to the old homestead. The McKenzies are buried in St. Stephen's Cemetery.
PETER IMRIE was born at Granville, Ontario. He came to the Coast in 1862. For a few years he went mining in the Cariboo, Cassiar and Leech River districts. He started farming in North Saanich in 1867. The farm was located alongside the Mcllmoyles, in fact Imrie and Mcllmoyle were sort of partners at the beginning, or until they both got married. Peter Imrie took an active part in the public affairs of the district. He was one of the promoters of the Agricultural Society and a director on the Saanich Fair Board, sponsored by that 45 Society. He was also a school trustee for many years and a road foreman during the De Cosmos administration. He married a native girl and they had a family of five children-(Mrs. William Lannon), (Mrs. Louis Herber), William John, (Mrs. Bernard Weeks), and (Mrs. Henry Muench). JAMES WILSON THOMSON was not exactly an old pioneer of Saanich, although he did come out to Saanich in the seventies, but for a different reason. It was to court a daughter of pioneer Sluggett, Miss Annie Sluggett, whom he married. He was a school teacher by profession. He taught Sumas and Chilliwack schools on the mainland then returned to Victoria and taught at Royal Oak and Boys' Central School in Victoria. Later he taught at Cedar Hill. The late Premier Tolmie and many of the descendants of the North Saanich pioneers were his pupils.
While teaching at North Saanich he rented the Menagh farm and put it under the management of Louis Verdier. He went back to the mainland, went into business, then to school teaching again, opening up the first school at Revelstoke. He then took a turn at mining and helped in the locating of Thomson's Landing, afterward known as Beaton. M. Beaton was for many years his partner. He sold out and moved back to Saanich in 1907. At one time he owned land at Keating, later the Tanner and Stewart property extending to the East Road. Before retiring he taught for two years at Salt Spring. The Thomson's children were Henrietta G. (died young), Mabel E. (Mrs. Evans), Frederick Lorne, Florence Pearl (Mrs. Claude Butler), Ruby May (died young) , Roy W. Laura Dell (died young), Ozella (Mrs. Petch). Among other public duties, James Thomson was postmaster and Justice of the Peace and Notary Public in West Kootenay from 1891 to 1906. His son, F . Lorne Thomson, lives on the old Sluggett homestead and was one of the promoters of Central Saanich Municipality and a member of its first council. Many other descendants are residing in the district.
CHARLES ALEXANDER was born in St. Louis in 1824. With his wife and two young children, in company with four friends and a guide, he crossed the plains in a covered wagon drawn by a four-yoke bullock team. They had a hazardous and difficult journey, including a brush with the Indians. Charles Alexander worked in the California gold mines for a time. Not meeting with much success he left California on 46 the ship Oregon, July 1858, bound for Victoria. In 1861 he tried his luck again gold mining along the Fraser River. He met with success and returned to Victoria and thence to South Saanich in the fall of the same year and bought a farm near Shady Creek. They farmed in this district for thirty-three years. They were a deeply religious family and Charles and his family were among the chief promoters and supporters of the old Shady Creek Methodist Church. He helped to build the first public schoolhouse in South Saanich and was a school trustee for some years. He also assisted in the formation of a Temperance Society and the Agricultural Society. In later years they moved to the Swan Lake District, where they celebrated their golden wedding in 1909. The Alexander family were Martha, Agnes, James, Thomas, Lucretia (Mrs. Mortimer) , Charles, William, Frederick, Henry, George and John. Charles Alexander and his wife lived to eighty-nine and seventy-eight respective.
JOHN GREIG owned the land in and around Tod Inlet. He was born in Burness, Orkney Islands, Scotland, and named his property at Tod Inlet Burness Farm. He was an employee of the H.B.C. in the central provinces and while in their employ walked the entire distance to the coast. He left the company and bought land at Parson's Bridge and went into business as a lime burner. In 1870 he came out to Saanich, probably carrying on the business of lime burner at Tod Inlet, which could possibly have been the forerunner of the Cement Company which sprang up there and paved the way for Butchart Gardens. He married a Miss Margaret Goudie, the daughter of a H.B.C. man who came to Fort Vancouver in 1829. Greig was a good fiddler and contributed to the social functions of the district and was of course in great demand at dances. The Greigs had a large family of eleven children, John, Robert, Margaret (Mrs. Wm. Lidgate), later (Mrs. Arthur Reynard), James, Mary (Mrs. Wm. Simpson), Tom (died young), William George (died young), Frank, Emily (Mrs. Hubert Steele), later (Mrs. Charles Johnston) , and Donald.
FRANK GRAVELLE owned a farm in the Michell Valley, near the Estes' property, in fact he sold fifty acres of it to Howard Estes. This later became part of the Michell property and it is where they built their original homestead. It still remains a Michell homestead but with a new and modern 47 home. Gravelle came to Fort Victoria and worked for the H.B.C. He was one of the French-Canadians hired by Douglas to do labour work around the fort. He married Mary McPhaiL a daughter of Angus McPhail. It is said that after his death his sons went to live on the Indian Reserve. They had probably married Indian girls. Gravelle does not appear on the 18 61 assessment roll, nor on the early voters' lists. The deed of the sale of land to Howard Estes was applied for in December, 1862, and registered January 9th, 1863. The price he received from Estes for the fifty acres was $250, and it had to be paid in United States Gold Coin.
HENRY YOUNG is shown on the 1874 voters' list for the Lake poll as having a farm named Beaver Lake. He operated a Post Office for many years on Keating Hill, some distance south of the present Keating Cross Road. He was a steam engineer and ran the threshing engine for Thos. Michell or anyone else who owned a steam outfit. He was a good fiddler. JAMES NOLAN is on the assessment roll for 1861 as owning the land on the south of Keating Cross Road. He did not appear to have resided there very long, if at all. The land was later sold to Thomas Graham, who farmed it for many years.
GEORGE ARCHIBALD Mc TAVISH came to the Pacific Coast in 1873 via San Francisco on the S.S. Prince Rupert. He purchased a farm of 640 acres from Sir Joseph Needham. This was later known as the Ardmore Estate. Part of it is now the Ardmore Golf Course. The McTavish's named it Invertavish. G. A. McTavish married a daughter of the Hon. J. S. Helmcken and in 1876 moved out to the farm. This was in all probability the first nursery to be operated in Saanich or on the Island. In 1890 McTavish moved to the city and opened up a nursery there. It was in the vicinity of, or rather bounded by Rupert, Humboldt, Vancouver Street and Heywood Avenue. The McTavish family were J . A. McTavish, D. D. McTavish, Rita C. (Mrs. D. C. Hughes), C. S. McTavish, and Dorothy C. (Mrs. E. Heddie). George McTavish's was the first farm in Saanich to install a telephone. This line ran from the Brackman Mill to the McTavish Farm and thence to town. McTavish had to keep the line in order from his place to the town of Victoria.
GEORGE STELLY was born in Switzerland, 1825. The news of the discovery of gold lured him to California. He first worked in or around St. Louis and then to California, in 1854. They journeyed overland by the usual mode of that day, having a fight with the Indians en-route. When the Fraser River excitement broke out he joined in the rush aboard the steamer "Oregon," which landed them in Esquimalt May, 1858. He did not enjoy much success on the Fraser but returned to Victoria dead broke. He worked around Victoria at various jobs then bought a mule and two wheels, on which he mounted a barrel. He then started selling water to the residents. He became known as "George the Waterman." Later he went into the dray business, then in 1869 he went out to Saanich and bought a farm on the westerly end of Stelly's Cross Road. He was instrumental in getting this road put through, thus it was named after him. The Stelly's had one son, George F., who went to Cowichan and died there in 1913. Stelly himself did not farm much, for he had set himself up in a dray and livery business in Victoria and did some contracting. Etienne Verdier ran his ranch for some years, after which Frank Verdier bought it.
J. D. BRYANT came out to South Saanich in the late sixties and bought a farm from Alex F. Main. It was situated along the northeast end of Stelly's Cross Road. He named it Rosedale. He was an excellent farmer, which is why perhaps he helped to instigate the Agricultural Society and the Saanich Fair. He was President at one time. They did not have a family, but a nephew of Mrs. Bryant, George Cawthen, had a farm on the north side of Stelly's Cross Road and probably worked with the Bryants. The Bryants came from Lincolnshire, England. Having no offspring the information about them is scant. The nephew was lost at sea on his way back from a trip to England. The oldtimers who remember the Bryant farm declare it was a show place.
ALPHONSE VERDIER and ETIENNE VERDIER came out to Saanich about 18 5 6 and lived on the farm of Angus McPhail. a part of which they purchased. As it has been seen, Alphonse Verdier married a daughter of McPhail named Anne. Some time later his brother Etienne joined him. These two brothers, together with other brothers who remained in the States, came to America from France in the late 1840's 49 and were among the 1849ers who trekked across the continent to the gold fields of California. Alphonse came to Victoria in 1852 and Etienne probably in 1853. When gold was discovered up the Fraser they joined the canoe parade. Like many others they did not find the pot of gold, but they were handy men and earned good money. They returned to Victoria and Alphonse went out to the farm, but Etienne worked around Victoria and became friendly with George Stelly.
Later, when the McPhail farm was sold to Hagen, Alphonse bought 'the Deeks' farm on what is now Stelly's Cross Road and Etienne came out and lived on the Stelly Ranch. In the meantime, Etienne had married Honora Kilroy, who was one of the girls who came out to Victoria on the bride ship "Tynemouth," 1862. Alphonse Verdier's family were Josephine (Mrs. Hefferman), then (Mrs. Barnes), Eliza (Mrs. Robinson), Lizzie (Mrs. Curran), Frances (Mrs. LeFortune), and John. Etienne Verdier's family were Ellen (Mrs. Tom Hance), Frances (Mrs. St. Louis), Stephen, Thomas, John Joseph, Anne Margaret (Mrs. Lacoursiere), George and Frank. The latter bought the Stelly farm and his daughter, Mrs. Dignan, still resides on the property. Verdier Avenue, Brentwood, is named after them, in fact this was blazed by them and used as a skid road for their logs to the waterfront. Frank also scouted the original road over the Malahat.
WILLIAM R. ARMSTRONG came to North Saanich in the early seventies and purchased a part of the McDonald farm. He was a native of Three rivers, Quebec, or came from there. The farm took in the Resthaven and All Bay area and the Maples was the original Armstrong home. He was a wheelwright by trade and made some of the first wagons that trundled the old trails of North Saanich. He took an active part in community affairs. He helped to organize the first Methodist Church and was the last Reeve of the short-lived Municipality of North Saanich. The Armstrong children were Mary Della, William Charlie and Martha (Mrs. Johnny Michell). Mary died while still in her twenties and was not married. William Armstrong later moved to New Westminster and died there.
REV. JAMES REYNARD landed in Esquimalt about 1866. He was from Yorkshire, England. His wife, who came with him, was a native of Devonshire, England. The "Royal Tar" was the name of the ship they came on. He was assigned as Curate of Saanich and was the first Anglican minister to live in the district. He had charge of St. Stephen's Church and took services in the Institute Hall in North Saanich as well. He died in June, l 8 7 5, two years after he came to Saanich and is buried in St. Stephen's cemetery. He left his young widow with a family of seven children, one a mere infant. They were George, Eva May (Mrs. Davis), Steven, Cuthbert, Arthur, Marmaduke and Catherine. Arthur married William Lidgate's widow and lived on the old Lidgate farm.
Pete Warren bought it next and grew the first bulbs on this farm that were planted in South Saanich on a commercial scale. As we have seen, Wooldridge had started before that in North Saanich. JOHN OTTO was of German extraction, who came out to Saanich in the early days. Little is known of his family life, but he is remembered by the old-timers because of his ability as a carpenter. He knew the way to build a hop kiln properly and consequently supervised and helped to build most of the hop kilns in the district. It is said that J. J. Downey, who wanted to get the plans for building a kiln, had to make Otto drunk before he would divulge them. He does not appear to have owned any land but he is on an early voters' list.
ROBERT BROWN had a farm in North Saanich near the McTavish Road and the East Road. It is thought that it was the farm that Thomas Harrison later purchased. It was on this farm that the North and South Saanich Agricultural Society held their .first Fair and Robert Brown was the .first President. The Browns were rather an elderly couple with no family. They moved to Victoria after they sold the farm. Though little can be remembered of these folk, Robert Brown's memory will be kept green through the Saanich Fair and the Society he helped to instigate. If his ghost hovered over the 90th fair in 1958 then I am sure it would have been well satisfied with the progress it has made down through the years.