What could possibly be better than great photos, a scintillating write-up, and a dapper Toad in a tophat?  More of them! Well, things are always hopping here at The Hollow and as much as that makes us very happy indeed, at times it can leave a toad feeling like throwing his flippers in the air and proclaiming “I feel like a frog in a blender!”.  So when Mr. Toad told me of his dilemma, I didn’t hesitate to jump right in.  Gee, maybe on second thought I should have told him…. oh well, here goes….

Today’s post finds us back at the Metchosin Pioneer Museum as we continue our running photoblog series “The Antiques Toad Show“.  We were thrilled to have after-hour access to this wonderful little museum, as it is curated by our dear friend who is a wealth of information on the area and the founding families.  These artifacts were owned and used by local folks as they carved out a community and went about their lives, often in difficult and demanding conditions.  These early stories pepper the landscape and serve as a reminder of the foundation of what is now a busy and ever-growing community.

Horse Drawn Carriage - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Horse Drawn Carriage – Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

One such story belongs to Dr. Oswald Meredith Jones, original owner of this beautiful horse-drawn carriage.  Dr. Jones was a Welsh ship’s surgeon who arrived in 1891 on H.M.S. Warspite of the Pacific Command.  He left the navy to establish a very successful medical practice in Fort Victoria, joining Dr. John Chapman Davie who was the first to introduce antiseptic surgical practice in British Columbia.  He built a house in 1909 in Victoria that was designed by Francis Rattenbury who also architected the Empress Hotel and the Parliament buildings, two iconic structures that proudly stand overlooking the harbour in Victoria.  He also bought land in Metchosin, the second oldest area to be settled outside of Fort Victoria, where his family continues to live.   Thankfully, they have been very generous contributors to the museum and if not for people like them we surely wouldn’t have these wonderful tales of our past.  Dr. Jones later went on to become BC’s pre-eminent surgeon, and passed away in 1918.

Horse Drawn Carriage - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Horse Drawn Carriage – Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Long before disposable items, things were made with care to ensure many years of use and to serve a specific purpose.  This carriage could have meant the difference between life or death for the poor soul waiting at the other end all those many years ago before ambulances and 9-1-1.  And yet great attention to detail and workmanship are evident in the intricate iron embellishment adorning the front of this otherwise functional item, much like the hood ornament on a modern Jaguar or Cadillac.  With ample seating and leg room, and a simple yet purposeful design, no doubt this was a real show-stopper at the time.  Even in the face of an emerging landscape where survival was a daily concern, there was still room for beauty and elegance.

Horse Drawn Carriage - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Horse Drawn Carriage – Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Now when it comes to getting a flu shot or some other such thing, I must admit that it is Mr. Toad, and not I, who turns green.  But even I have to say that I am glad for modern medicine.  The tools and tinctures carried in a medical bag such as this one would have been nothing short of magic to many, I’m sure, but without anaesthetic or painkillers, some of the procedures would undoubtedly have been as bad or worse than what caused the injury in the first place!  But then conquering new lands was never meant for the faint of heart, afterall.

Thanks to everybody for letting me try my flippers at something new and I genuinely hope that you enjoyed this post.  I feel that I am already among friends as I’ve shared your stories and read every one of your kind and thoughtful comments.  I certainly could never attempt to fill Mr. Toad’s big, green, floppy shoes, but I would dearly love to stop by and share a pot of tea and some great stories about this magical place that we are lucky enough to call home, if that’s okay, and maybe a little gossip too!

With love,

Mrs. Toad




  1. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Very well done Mrs. Toad! Great images and wonderful verbiage to go along! Mr. Toad might want to consider letting you hop around the blog a bit more often!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Jim, thank you so much for your kind words. Mr. Toad certainly gives me some great photos to work with, and I will most definitely be hopping back again soon!

  2. An excellent post in the tradition of the Toad family! Wonderful story with top notch images to support it. Hopefully, we will hear more from you Mrs. Toad.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Hi Mark, thank you so much for your lovely comments, I really do appreciate it! I am looking forward to hanging out with everyone much more often here at the Hollow. Cheers!

  3. avatar Heather says:

    You’re a GEM Mrs. Toad 🙂 I might steal you to write a blog or 2 for me!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Heather, I feel that we are already great friends and I look forward to spending more time here with everyone. Thank you for taking the time to comment, and my flippers are yours anytime!

  4. Hello and well met to Mrs. Toad. How delightful to see you taking a more active role here! Well done.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Hello Mark, thank you so very much for making me feel so welcome and for your thoughtful comments! I am humbled by your kindness.

  5. avatar Rick Louie says:

    How cool is that! I love that shot of the medicine bag and the medicine bottles. It must have been magic to be able to cure with those tools. I’m sure it was better than nothing. I’m sure 30 yrs from now we’ll cringe at what we use today. Thanks for sharing as alway, Toad!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Hi Rick, thanks so much for taking the time to leave these wonderful comments today! What I found interesting is that I recognized a lot of the labels on the bottles from my childhood, so I guess this stuff worked pretty well after all! Have a great day!

  6. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Well done Mrs Toad ,nice of you to hop in and keep this blog rolling!I think you are being very modest here,you are a huge part of what we love about this Toadhollow blog,your work behind the scenes has been essential to maintain the incredible quality that the Toads deliver to the happy and lucky followers of this blog.More please….

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Hi Fred, thank you for your support and friendship! I just cannot tell you what your kind comments mean to us, thanks so much for popping by!

  7. avatar Perry Bailey says:

    Greetings, Mrs. Toad! A fine debut in the best Toad Hollow tradition. Some beautiful captures of a real gem there.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thank you so much for the vote of confidence, Perry! I can’t tell you how appreciated your thoughtful comments are!

  8. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Great post Mrs. Toad…and its a pleasure “meeting” you. Honestly Toad, you’ve outdone yourself with today’s images. I love them!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Hi Edith, it is just wonderful to meet you as well! Thank you for your on-going support and friendship, and for your wonderful comments.

  9. avatar ehpem says:

    Well done Mrs. Toad. And the photos are marvelous – that beautiful blue and great lighting. Something tells me you could be taking over the writing pretty soon. Especially if Mr. Toad doesn’t stay well away from that blender. I occasionally collaborate with my Mrs. on her blog – contributing pictures usually. It is a lot of fun to make a post together. I bet you could get used to it!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thanks ever so much for your comments ehpem! I must admit to a bit of “stage-fright” at first, but I am really enjoying being an “assistant toad” and can certainly see doing much more of it. Looking forward to seeing some of your collaborations as well!

  10. avatar Erin Duke says:

    Well, Mrs. Toad, it would appear that you are quite the writer! I always enjoy the photos posted here, and the stories behind them definitely make them that much more enjoyable. Thanks for sharing today, and looking forward to hearing a bit more of your voice as well! 🙂

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Hi Erin! I cannot tell you how welcome you, and everyone here, has made me feel. Thank you for your kindness and for your friendship, it means an awful lot to both of us!

  11. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    I don’t know why this came into my head but when I saw the first image, I envisioned King Toad (and his queen) sitting in that fabulous carriage. Great images and post Toad.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Hi Len, I agree that this carriage is worthy of a pair of royal toads! Thanks so much for your visit today and your great comments.

  12. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Mrs Toad, what a wonderful post today! I feel like I know you already from the many posts and adventures that you and Mr. Toad have been through and brought to us.
    The images today are simply spectacular, as is the description. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Very nice to meet you!! 🙂

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Hi Rachel, it’s so nice to meet you too, although I agree, I feel that I am already among friends and am so happy to be joining the community in a bigger way. Thank you so much for your comments, and for your wonderful friendship!

  13. avatar Mrs. Mudpuppy says:

    You are a natural wordsmith Mrs. Toad and the Mister should feel very proud to have you at the helm! Keep up the great blogging, I look forward to your next “guest post”!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Why, thank you kindly Mrs. Mudpuppy! We have some great adventures coming, and I look very forward to being here much more often. Thanks for your kind comments!

  14. These are absolutely gorgeous images Mrs. Toad. Your write up is every bit as vivid as the colors in the subject! Well done!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thank you Mike, I agree that Mr. Toad outdid himself with these shots, some of my favourites for sure! Thank you for stopping by and leaving these great comments, much appreciated!

  15. avatar A.Barlow says:

    That for sure is arriving in style! Wish we had more stuff around these parts like this to see.

    Love those old bottles and especially the old labels they used.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Hi Aaron, thanks so much for your comments! I have to agree, I love the old medical stuff and the old bottles and tins. I never knew that Halls had been around for so long!

  16. avatar Jim Nix says:

    nice work Mrs Toad!! thanks for sharing!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Hi Jim, thanks so much for making me feel so welcome here! I really appreciate your support and your comments.

  17. avatar Chris Wray says:

    Pleased to make your acquaintance, Mrs. Toad! Thanks for sharing this interesting bit of history. Fine photos, too! Love the color and detail.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Very nice to meet you too Chris, thanks for stopping by! We really do enjoy sharing the history of our little island with everyone, and I would have to agree that the shots are stunning…Mr. Toad has outdone himself, again!

  18. avatar Adam Allegro says:

    Vivid and beautiful! Wonderful work Toad! Your writing style always makes me smile 🙂

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thanks so much Adam for your great comments, we really appreciate it! We’re lucky to have so many wonderful things to photograph and share, our little island is truly special.

  19. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    So clean and crisp are these images and the writing continues the great Toadshow tradition. Mrs. Toad, it’s so nice to see you hopping to a more active role. I look forward to seeing more of your outstanding work. 😉

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Jimi, it is so nice to meet you, I just love “the great Toadshow tradition”! That’s fabulous! Thanks so much for your kind comments and for your support in my being a bigger part of what we do here. We really appreciate good friends like you!

  20. It’s great to see you here Mrs. Toad and read your wonderful post, I really enjoyed it. I hope we get to see you more often!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thanks so much Anne for your kind comments. It’s so nice to be here and to be more involved with the day to day stuff at the Hollow. Thanks for making me feel so welcome!

  21. avatar LensScaper says:

    Well, you and Mr Toad make a pretty fantastic partnership! What an excellent first post and some superb images. Quite honestly without you signing off I would have thought it was him writing – very clearly you share the same passions, the same skills and the same style of writing that we all love.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Greetings Andy! I will take it as a huge compliment to be mistaken for the very talented Mr. Toad! I will admit we share a fondness for words, but the images are all his. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave these great comments!

  22. First off I would like to extend a very sincere welcome to Mrs. Toad! You did an excellent job with this post! This is why I enjoy this blog so much! You are both very skilled at writing. And the images are flawless as always! I look forward to more posts from you!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Michael, thank you so much for your very kind words and for the vote of confidence! It is easy to find words when you are given such beautiful photos to work with, so for that I owe Mr. Toad a word of thanks! I am really excited to be more involved here at the Hollow. Thanks for popping by today!