Reviews - Craigflower Country
An Historic Visit to Craigflower Country
Bonnie Bowman, Esquimalt News, November 1993
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Parson's Bridge and the Six Mile Pub - Then and Now
Old photo - Esquimalt Archives & New photo - Maureen Duffus
"Most of the farms are gone ... there's a large regional hospital on Helmcken where the old dairy farms used to be, and an elementary school on the site of a fox farm. A parking lot covers the greenhouse foundations of the Pollock farm ..."
Much has changed in what used to be known as Esquimalt District from the 1800s to the present day.
But the magnificent waterfront views that gave rise to View Royal's designation, some heritage buildings that have been preserved and original residents' memories are still intact and accessible. A new book has just been published that gives insight and authenticity to Esquimalt District's View Royal area ...
Two years in the making, Craigflower Country combs through the area's history with meticulous and personal strokes. Old back and white photographs share space with maps and historical information in an easy-to-read style. A section of the book is devoted to original settlers whose personal stories are sometimes as simple as a childhood memory of bringing gifts of apples to trainmen [on the CN tracks].
View Royal is an odd little piece of geography surrounded by four other municipalities and a lot of water. The shoreline includes numerous bays, coves, rocks and beaches of Esquimalt Harbour, and Portage Inlet, the upper reaches of a tidal salt water fiord running inland from Victoria Harbour - the Gorge.
The town, incorporated in 1988, is sliced into three parts by two major highways which transport thousands daily on their way to somewhere else, and two historic railways, one endangered, the other abandoned. Within the boundaries of the new town are the remains of a 19th century Hudson's Bay Company farm; two celebrated roadhouses; Thetis Lake and its surrounding forest; some of the least known choice residential property of Greater Victoria, and a substantial group of residents fighting fiercely to preserve what's left of the rural ambience.
Visit the Town of View Royal web site.
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