The Palmer family lived at 4550 West Saanich Road ca. 1950.
The Palmer family lived at 4550 West Saanich Road ca. 1950.
Thomas William Hall and Maude Hall (nee Edmundson) were born in West Hartlepool, County Durham, England in 1883 and 1882, respectively. They received their teaching certificates in England. Thomas Hall immigrated to Canada in 1911 with Maude following in 1912. They were married on November 9, 1912 in St. Mary’s Church in Vancouver. The Halls moved to Prince Rupert before settling on Vancouver Island in 1913. Their first home in Saanich was “Queen’s Grove” at 144 Loenholm Road. Thomas Hall served overseas during WWI with the 103rd Battalion “The Timberwolves” and was injured in Flanders. Upon his return to Canada, Thomas Hall became the Principal of George Jay School and was later the Saanich Inspector of Schools. Maude Hall was active in both the I.O.D.E and the Red Cross. In the 1930s, the Halls purchased land at 1248 Burnside Road West and built Stranton Lodge, designed by local architect Hubert Savage. They developed a showpiece garden in the wooded 8.07 acres with the assistance of local nurseryman and designer Arthur Lahmer. Thomas Hall died in 1961. Maude Hall continued to live at Stranton Lodge until 1973 when she sold the property to the Municipality of Saanich. Maude Hall died in 1985 at the age of 103 at the James Bay Lodge nursing home in Victoria. The Stranton Lodge property was added to the 10-acre Knockan Hill Park. In 1992, the building and grounds were given heritage designation. The home and gardens are managed by the Saanich Heritage Foundation in cooperation with the Friends of Knockan Hill Park Society.
Oscar Fagerberg began building 588 Ridgegrove Avenue (now a Saanich heritage property) for himself and wife Bertha (nee Nelson) in 1920 but he died the following year. Son George completed the house after his father's death. Daughters Clara and Elsa never married and lived in the house for most of their lives. George married Myrtle Lindquist in 1935, and he built a house for them on what is now Daffodil Lane. Myrtle's family lived in Gordon Head for many years, and her brother was named Gordon after the area. George and Myrtle never had any children. The house that George built was never finished upstairs because that was to have been rooms for the children that they did not have.
Nine years after the death of William George Bradshaw, his wife Sarah Payne Windsor Bradshaw left Placentia, Newfoundland on July 24, 1907 with her children for Victoria. Albert Bradshaw, Sarah's brother-in-law, accompanied the family on the journey. Her brother, Augustus Windsor, built a new home for her and her family in the Mount Tolmie area of Saanich. The family resided at 3701 Palo Alto Street until 1950.
Daughter Ethel May Bradshaw studied shorthand, typing, and bookkeeping in 1909. She briefly worked in the B.C. Hardware office and then at Coles & Oddy's. In 1910, Ethel took a stenographer position in Jordan River with the B.C. Electric of Vancouver Power Company. The following year she became engaged to Leonard Claude Lytton. She returned to Victoria and worked at the local B.C. Electric Company office. Ethel and Claude were married at St. Luke's Church on September 17, 1912 and approximately one month later moved into their new home "Oakdale" at 1941 Connaught Avenue (now Ernest Avenue). They had five children: Gerald Bradshaw (1913), Evelyn Margaret (1914), Brian Claude (1918), Roger (1923), and Beatrice Joyce (1927). Beatrice Joyce (known as Joyce) attended St. Margaret's School. She later married A.D. Wheeler.
James Todd (1818-1904) was the first settler in the Gordon Head area, owning Victoria District Section 17 and Section 52. He established Spring Farm at the base of Mount Douglas. He married Flora Macaulay in 1857 and together they raised 17 children on the property. James Todd was the son of HBC trader John Tod, an early settler in Oak Bay. The Todd family property was divided between three of James and Flora Todd’s sons, James Jr., Albert Henry, and Thomas. Thomas married Mileva Compton Shaw in 1911. Albert Henry Todd married Anna Matilda Henderson of Carey Road in 1914 and they had two children, Virginia and June Ellen. Virginia married Norman Arthur Griffin in 1941. June married John Norrington, son of the founder of Norrington’s Bakery in Port Angeles, Washington in 1938.
Ernest Brownlow Underwood was born on March 1, 1873 in St. Paul's, Deptford, London, to George G. Underwood and Lucy Anne Frazer. In 1888 at the age of 15, he joined the Coldstream Guards as a drummer boy and would remain in military service throughout the British Empire, eventually reaching the rank of Major. E.B. Underwood married Alice May Hogben on February 21, 1899 during a short visit home to England. They emigrated to Toronto ca. 1909 and in 1910 moved to Winnipeg. There he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and went on to serve overseas during the First World War. E.B. Underwood, who knew George Pearkes, came to Victoria in 1922 after the war and was posted in Esquimalt. He retired from military service in 1932. He and his wife then lived at 400 Gorge Road W (now 2840 Gorge View Drive), then for a time at 5172 West Saanich Road, and later in Victoria. They had five sons: Arthur Victor George, Leslie Harold Patrick, Ernest Albert, Ghazi Kenal, and Reginald Cyril (died in 1937 when he drowned while working at the Cameron Lumber Company wharf); and three daughters: Lillian Songhurst, Muriel Burch, and Mena Miller. E.B. Underwood's sons Leslie (Buster), Ghazi, and Ernest (Ernie) all saw action in the Second World War. Leslie and Ernie volunteered for service in 1939 in Victoria. They were attached to the 3rd LAA Battery, RCA. They left for England in 1941 and were in the gun crew that was recognized as the first Canadian crew to destroy a German bomber (Junkers 88) during the Battle of Britain. Both took part in the raid at Dieppe. Leslie returned, but Ernie was wounded on the beach and was a Prisoner of War for the duration, writing a series of letters home from the P.O.W. camp. Ghazi joined the Army in 1943 at age 18 and saw action in Italy and Europe. Leslie saw action at D-Day and in Northern Europe until the end of the war. With the end of the war, the three brothers returned home to Victoria. Leslie Harold Patrick Underwood and wife Emily Agnes (nee Burke) (married on September 28, 1934) lived at 3060 Wascana Avenue and 3097 Millgrove Avenue in Saanich and later 5424 Fowler Road (now 776 Menawood Place) in Cordova Bay. They had two children, Leslie Garnet and Mena Patricia (after whom the street was named).
William J. Williamson and his wife Wilhelmina (nee Clarke) came to Gordon Head in 1897, and built a house on Tyndall Avenue. W.J. Williamson operated Gordon Head’s first grocery store from 1909 to 1918. He also contracted the first rural mail route in the neighbourhood which in 1913 was taken over by his eldest son Jack. Jack Williamson served overseas during WW1. When he returned, he took over the Gordon Head bus service in 1921 and ran the business until it was bought by the Matson Coach Lines Company in the late 1920s. In addition to operating Gordon Head’s first grocery store and mail route, in 1913 the Williamson home was also the site of Gordon Head’s first telephone office, with 1 switchboard and ten lines. In 1924, a new telephone office opened with at the corner of Feltham Road and Tyndall Avenue with 97 telephones. The Williamsons’ daughters, Alixena “Bea” and Agnes, were both employed at the new telephone office.
Anton Henderson was born in Denmark in 1853 and came to Victoria when he was 26. He married Ellen Orr in 1882 and took a job with the Victoria Transfer Company, which started the Tally-Ho horse-drawn coach service. Anton Henderson’s accomplishments include forming the Victoria Tourist Association, taking advantage of business opportunities during the Klondike gold rush, becoming a city alderman in Victoria, and becoming the Grand Master of the Independent order of Foresters of BC. The Henderson family lived in Victoria until they moved to a farm on Carey Road. Anton Henderson retired ca. 1910, spending the remaining years at his home at 3978 Carey Road. Anton Henderson died in 1950. In 1914, Anton Henderson’s daughter Anna Matilda Henderson married Albert Henry Todd, the son of James and Flora Todd. They had two children, Virginia and June Ellen. Virginia married Norman Arthur Griffin in 1941. June married John Norrington, son of the founder of Norrington’s Bakery in Port Angeles, Washington in 1938.
The Bown family owned the North Saanich Hotel near Sidney, and operated the post office on site. Charles Quinton Bown Sr. is listed as the Postmaster from April 12, 1905 to December 18, 1906. The eldest daughter Marian (May) Bown married James Hector Monk, teacher at North Saanich School. The other members of the family later moved back to Manitoba.