160 Acre farm
William Henry Anderson, a Carpenter’s Apprentice from Yorkshire England, first came to Sooke on foot from Victoria in search of land to farm in 1895. He found 160 acres of suitable land and purchased it from the E. & N. Railway Company. Because it was in the very tip of the Malahat Land District, he called his farm Malahat Farm.
In September 1886 he brought his wife Azuba, eldest Daughter Marjory, Son Herbert and one-year-old Lavinia in their spring wagon to Malahat Farm to start their new life. First, they cleared a small piece of land to build a log cabin which he and his wife finished enough to move into by Christmas of that year. Slowly, more land was cleared for a garden and farming, and a sawmill was set up.
After clearing, farming approximately 16 acres, and starting a sawmill, Mr. Anderson and his family began building a new farmhouse. The house that still stands today was finished to a very high standard in 1914. Although he never saw electricity before he died in 1935, forward-thinking Mr. Anderson wired the house for electricity when it was first built.
After completing the farmhouse, the Anderson Family began welcoming guests to their property. Using their original cabin and other outbuildings they were able to accommodate about 20 guests at a time.
In 1918 William's son, Herbert Anderson, with his father's help, built The Cottage for himself and his new bride, Margaret. They lived there with their two daughters until after the death of William Anderson in 1935, when Azuba moved into the cottage and Herbert and his family moved into the main house. Herbert continued to farm the land, mill wood, and run the farm as a destination for guests until his death in 1959. His wife stayed another year, then sold the property and moved away.
Over the years the property has gone through many changes but has continued to remain a place where guests can come to stay to enjoy the beautiful, peaceful surroundings. Imagine how it would have been for the Andersons when they first arrived here more than 120 years ago!
Malahat Farm Photo Album
→ Read more about the history of the Muir Creek region.
Otter Point History, Heritage Sites & Areas of Historical Interest
From the original Malahat Farm guest book. July 5th, 1920 Miss M. E. Carr, Victoria B.C.
In 1920, renowned Canadian Artist & Author Emily Carr stayed at Malahat Farm at the age of 48. Emily Carr signed the Malahat Farm guestbook as Miss M. E. Carr. Carr signed her paintings as both M. E. Carr and Emily Carr. The ‘M’ refers to her family nickname, ‘Millie.’
During the 1920s, Carr ran an apartment house in Victoria that she referred to as ‘The House of all Sorts,’ at 642-646 Simcoe St.
Carr was known for her landscape and modernist paintings, featuring totemic carvings of the First Nations people of British Columbia and the rainforests Vancouver Island.
Emily Carr was also the author of Klee Wyck, The Book of Small, The House of All Sorts, Growing Pains, Pause, The Heart of a Peacock, and Hundreds and Thousands.
Visit the Emily Carr House
207 Government St. V8V 2K8 Victoria, BC Canada
View the Royal BC Museum Emily Carr Timeline
View the Vancouver Art Gallery Virtual Museum