Today’s story is one that has taken us well over 3 years to bring to you, one that has had a profound effect on the way we see the world around us, and in a larger context one that has made us appreciate our rich heritage here on Vancouver Island that much more.  This is a story of a wonderful house, one that has deep roots in the overall history of the Cowichan Valley in terms of colonization.  Elkington House at Oak Park had a grand beginning, and this standing in the community has been maintained up to today as it remains a landmark in the area.

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

For us this story really started the day we moved into the Cowichan Valley.  I had spent my youth growing up in the area.  My friends and I constantly found ourselves coming up to visit Duncan almost daily from the big city of Victoria to the south.  On some days we’d make the trip twice.  It took no time for me to realize the incredible beauty of the area and to fall in love with it.  When it came time for us to buy ourselves a house we came up here specifically to be a part of the community, the landscape and the heritage that brings it all together.  Within a few days of landing in our new community we set out to explore it all and see what treasures it might have for us to discover.  As soon as we saw Elkington House peering through the trees and foliage, we knew we wanted to learn more.

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Over the course of several years after our discovery we reached out through various channels trying to gain access to the property and the house.  One day I opened up my computer and came across the most wonderful surprise…  one of the original family members had discovered our photos of the house and contacted us.  This led to a series of contacts and communications that finally saw us schedule time for a visit.  We can’t even begin to tell you what a wonderful experience it was to finally have the opportunity we had so hoped for all this time.

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Our story starts in 1882 when Samuel Bednall owned the 293 1/2 acres that the property now sits on.  Over the course of several years Samuel tried to lease or sell the land with little success.  That is until the announcement printed in the June 8th, 1884 edition of The Daily British Colonist that stated:

Sale of the Bednall Farm – Mr. Elkington, a young English gentleman, has purchased the Bednall farm at Cowichan for $13,500.  Other purchases by other parties are in treaty.  The Island is filling up with a most desirable class of settlers.

When trying to understand the scope and sale of the property in comparison to 2012 dollars, it quickly becomes evident that $13,500 from the late 1800’s is the equivalent of a multi-million dollar transaction in today’s times.

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Coming from a distinguished family in England, Mr. Elkington had a solid financial footing when he arrived here on the island, meaning he did not necessarily have to work for a living.  In reality, he was quite the talented and ambitious man who wasn’t afraid of rolling up his sleeves and doing manual labor as required.  When you consider this in the context of traveling thousands of miles to an untamed land, this also meant he was quite brave.  Life wasn’t easy here on the island during those times, and although the allure of a new world to explore and settle might seem exciting and romantic, it also meant hard years of toils and challenges as events unfolded.

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

William Elkington and Gaynor Simpson met in the valley and were married on January 30th, 1890.  Soon thereafter Lionel Frederick was born at Oak Park on December 14th, 1890, followed by Eric Henry William on June 1st, 1893 and Gerald Erlam on January 7th, 1899.  As the family grew and settled into the area, Mrs. Elkington was well-known with her work at St. Peter’s Church Quamichan, and she routinely hosted garden teas and tennis parties as they took on very active roles in the growing community.

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Mr. Elkington kept a brief but regular diary outlining his family’s experiences with life in the valley.  An entry on April 29th, 1894 states simply “3:00 am the house burnt down.”  The Victoria Daily Colonist noted in their May 1st, 1894 edition:

DUNCAN, April 30. – A fire broke out at Oak Park, Quamichan lake, yesterday morning, destroying the residence of Mr. W. H. Elkington and nearly all the contents.

Almost everything was destroyed in the fire, save for his diaries and a scorched piano.  This must have been very upsetting for the family, and notes from Mr. Elkington’s diary hint at how the family managed to deal with these events by moving into what was known as a cottage on the property, and supplementing the cramped living quarters by putting up a tent to increase their living space.

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Thankfully, the barn survived the blaze and the farm continued to operate fully during the next phase of construction to replace the lost home.  This allowed the Elkington’s and their hired help to continue normal operations of the farm.

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

In the summer of 1894 work began on the new house, the one we see in these photographs published here.  By 1895 the new house was completed, and it is noted that the interior of the house has not been significantly altered since.  Trim and siding were changed, some minor additions were made, but overall the house we see today is the same one that was so lovingly built and lived in for all those years.

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

William Elkington lived at Oak Park for 62 years, passing away on May 31, 1946 here in the home he built.  Gaynor has passed previously in 1928 at the age of 65, and both of them are interred at the Heritage Cemetery at St. Peter’s Quamichan.  Mrs. Toad and I have visited their grave site more than once, and having this strong connection with the history of the place we really feel a bond with the family even though we didn’t have the chance to meet William or Gaynor.  This really adds a wonderful dimension to the story for us personally.

The children mentioned earlier, Lionel, Eric and Gerald were all born at Oak Park.  Sadly Lionel passed away in 1901 at the age of 11.  Eric went on to a distinguished career, settling in the city of Victoria and passing away in 1990 at the age of 97.  Gerald was both born on January 7th, 1899, and passed away at Oak Park on February 7th, 2004, at the age of 105.  He had come full circle in his life, with Oak Park being a constant anchor.

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Our visit to Elkington House at Oak Park was truly a once in a lifetime experience, one that will remain with us for the rest of our lives.  We were very lucky to have made the connections we have, and through the kindness of those people we had the pleasure of spending an entire day exploring the wonderful house from top to bottom.  The connection we felt during our visit was truly palpable, the energy and spirit of the entire Elkington family was felt in every room with every step we took.  This has had a very profound effect on us, drawing us closer to the history of the area and in direct connection with people who were responsible for settling the area and creating the contemporary nature of the valley that we ourselves love so and call home to.

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Elkington House at Oak Park - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Elkington House at Oak Park – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Here are some further notes on Elkington House and Oak Park, as supplied by family members to us during our research on the history of the property:

  • Gerald sold his property on June 25, 1999 to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to forever preserve it as a gift for all Canadians. He retained life tenancy on the property until his death in February, 2004.
  • Of all the ecosystems in British Columbia, Garry oak (Quercus garryana) is among the most rare and endangered. A mosaic of woodlands, meadows, grasslands, and open rocky areas, biologically rich Garry oak ecosystems are the most threatened component of BC’s precious Coastal Douglas fir region. Garry oak habitats now occupy much less than 1% of the land base of BC, yet are still under relentless siege from urban development and agriculture.
  • Prior to its protection, the BC Conservation Data Centre described the 30-acre Oak Park as being the finest example of an intact Garry oak ecosystem in the province of BC.
  • Garry oak landscapes reflect the climate and topography of south-eastern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands where the moderating ocean and mountain rain shadows produce near Mediterranean conditions. Here we find blue Camas, white Easter lily, shooting star, Hooker’s onion and chocolate lily. Rare species include Howell’s triteleia, yellow montane violet, deltoid balsamroot, and dozens of others. Sadly, Garry oak ecosystems are in steady decline largely as a consequence of their attractiveness for human habitation. They are red-listed by the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, indicating they are considered endangered and greatly at risk of extirpation from BC. To forestall the inevitable loss of a remarkable natural habitat The Nature Conservancy of Canada concluded a purchase agreement with the Elkington family, and worked with the Cowichan Community Land Trust Society, the Cowichan Valley Naturalists’ Society and community residents, to raise the funds needed to complete the purchase by June 1999. The community was very supportive and all came through – the Elkington property was purchased and is now protected.

At this time we’d like to extend a heartfelt and special thank you to the Elkington family, The Nature Conservancy of Canada, our local contacts at the Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives and countless others whom without their help this project would never have been completed.  We also extend a very special thank you to the Site Manager at Oak Park, for his wonderful support and personal insights into the house and property.

Our entire catalog of 64 high-resolution, high quality images of Elkington House at Oak Park is available on our online gallery.  If you’ve enjoyed the story, we wholeheartedly recommend you spend a few moments and check out the entire series.  To watch the series in a slideshow, please click here.

We really appreciate you taking the time to visit us here today at The Hollow and for joining us as we share this incredible story.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors, so please do feel free to leave us any comments you may have.  Many thanks!!





  1. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    I really love this piece Toad! I’m so happy that you were so graciously granted such access to this story of fortitude and history!
    Amazing that they rebuilt after the fire!
    Stunning images and an impeccable story my dear friend! 🙂

    • Thank you ever so kindly, Rachel, that means an awful lot to us coming from you my friend! Thanks so much for your kind visit and comments today, we really appreciate it!

  2. avatar Lisa Gordon says:

    What a beautiful place this is, and how fortunate you were to have the opportunity to visit.
    Thank you for sharing here!!

  3. avatar Jean-Pierre Antonio says:

    Isn’t that house along the road to Maple Bay, near Quamichan Lake? I drove there often, especially in the summer on the way to the Bay to go swimming. I’m so happy to hear that the land has been preserved. So much of the valley has changed over the decades. At least this bit of the land will stay the same. Wonderful photos!

    • You bet, Jean-Pierre, that’s the house indeed!! We feel the exact same way about the valley as you do, for sure! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit us today, and for leaving these wonderful comments and kind words about our work, we truly appreciate it!

  4. This is such an intriguing place with an awesome story and a great set of photographs to accompany it. I’m glad to finally see some of the building’s inside and, reading the story, I wonder what future plans are in place for maintaining or restoring this old house.

    • Hi Joseph, we just love it when you pop by to see us here and leave us your always terrific comments! Thank you!! We, too, are wondering about the future plans for the home as it seems the story continues to unfold. We can only hope that by raising awareness that perhaps this will help facilitate something to happen. Many thanks for taking the time to pop by and see us today, we really appreciate it!

  5. What a marvelous set of images and history to match! I’m so glad that you were finally able to get full access to the property and how faithfully and engaging your telling of its story in both images Vancouver Island’s lucky to have you!

  6. I meant both images and words… thinking ahead of my typing skills again. 🙂

  7. avatar Edith Levy says:

    WOW what a place. I’m so happy that you were given access to document this treasure. I viewed the slideshow and all the images are exquisite. A wonderful body of work Toad.

  8. avatar Jenny Nelson says:

    From the very bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

    Your beautiful, sensitive, heart-felt essay on my family’s old homestead moved me to tears. You’ve given me the greatest gift I could ask for: an ode to my history and a loving glimpse at a home that bore witness to a century of living by people without whom I wouldn’t exist. You did such a beautiful job with the photos. They so perfectly capture, on one hand, the stalwart presence of a simple yet beautiful house, crafted lovingly from local materials, and, on the other hand, the heart-breaking stillness of a home no longer occupied and slowly falling into greater depths of disrepair.

    And the writing – always from the heart – is absolutely lovely and so perfectly captures the story of the Elkington family’s history in the valley. I can’t say enough good things about the stunning work you’ve created and I can’t thank you enough for this invaluable record.

    It is our (the Elkington family descendants) hope that what you’ve done here may help generate community interest in finding a new use for this historic house. How wonderful it would be to populate its lovely rooms again!!

    Ever so gratefully,

    Jenny

    • Jenny, if not for you this project would never have happened. Without any shadow of a doubt, this is one of the most important and profound projects we’ve had the joy of working on, and having you appreciate the outcome of the project like this means so very much to us. You and the entire Elkington family are in our hearts and spirits now forever. We can only hope that the work we’ve done here can play a small part in the next chapter of this terrific story. And in the meantime, we’ve made such wonderful connections and friends through this process. Meeting you guys earlier this year in person was, and always will remain so, a true highlight of our year for us and we cannot wait for when you return so we can all get together again. We are absolutely thrilled beyond words that you like this! Thank you so much for taking the time to pop by and for leaving these wonderful comments that add a terrific dimension to the whole story!! 🙂

  9. avatar Susan Lines says:

    Thank you so much for reviving all those wonderful old memories. My family and I lived there for a few years in mid to late fifties. I think I was around 10-11, and loved the house and surrounding area. The house had such a mysterious, but comfortable old soul. There was also an ‘old house smell’ as well, which I loved.
    I often have dreams where I am back living there again, oddly..
    The photos and story are amazing. I haven’t been in the house since we lived there, but now I feel I have.
    Thanks again!

    • How wonderful! Thank you so much, Susan, we really appreciate you taking the time to come and visit us here at The Hollow and for leaving your personal and heartfelt story for everyone to enjoy!! I was just talking to Mrs. Toad here and we both agree that one of the most wonderful parts about projects like this is a the personal and direct connections we make with people just like you. We sure do appreciate it!!

  10. avatar Bev Oliver says:

    Your magnum opus, Toad. A really wonderful piece of work, both visually and verbally. How fabulous to connect with former owners and tenants. I loved the comment by Susan that she sometimes dreams that she lives there again. Just magical. Thank you for this!

    • Thank you so so much Bev, we’re beaming from green ear to green ear here this morning with your wonderful comments! Thank you ever so much for taking the time to pop by and for leaving these wonderful comments!

  11. avatar dragonflydreams88 says:

    . . . what an amazing historical story!! . . . how I wish I had been with you the day you explored the interior of this incredible piece of local history!! . . . thanx for sharing!!!

    • It was a dream come true day for me, Sher, I can tell you that my friend! Thank you so much for your continued friendship and support here, it means the world to us!

  12. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    This blog post really conveys your love for that great island of yours Toad. It is great to see that your documentation of the wonderful sights there paid off getting access to the interior. The images, especially those of the inside, are killer. Great post.

  13. Stumbled upon this story through Facebook, and read it with a great deal of interest. I grew up in the valley and remember passing by this house many times. So many wonderful pictures and thanks to you and the Elkington family descendents for allowing the pictures.
    I’d love to see the house restored and furnished with period pieces and used as a living museum, letting people have a glimpse back to a simpler time and lifestyle.

    Thanks so much for sharing this story and the pictures.

    • I love your idea of a refurbished living museum, we’ve seen these sorts of things before and they can be quite successful here on the island. Thank you for reaching out and connecting with us on this story here, we really appreciate it!

  14. Another great Vancouver Island treasure Toad! Now I have another place to search for when I get home. I love how you show me places I have never seen right in my own back yard.

    • We’re so thrilled to read your comments this morning Anne, thank you ever so kindly for taking the time to leave these for us my friend! Next time you’re back to the island, we simply must get together one weekend, there are so many wonderful spots to discover here on Vancouver Island!!

  15. avatar Joyfulgozo says:

    This so awesome. so glad u were blessed w. the inside tour & picture taking. I guess no more residents –even family.
    /// could it ever be used/rented for specisl occasions.
    /// that is one very beautiful site!
    /// It really got my attn. that the barn was all the family needed to continue their business. Their beautiful 1st house must have beeb awesome. The cottage thankfully was there & handled the minimum needs for housing. A tent was there to handle other housing needs. BUT< it was the barn that supplied the "simple" business/income. Life was able to continue w. no major upset to that business.
    Now-a-days, that would have been so different.
    /// There is such awesome wonder to this back to basics reality.

  16. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Totally awesome post, Toad! So many great images to enjoy and far too tough to pick a fav. 🙂

    So happy you were able to access this wonderful place, what an experience it must have been. Fine work, as always.

  17. What a great post!, and the images really tell a great story of the history of such a great place, well done!

  18. avatar Terri Haines says:

    I took care of Gerald back in 2000-2004 . I spent many nights in that grand house!! So nice to see it being preserved and kept as a priceless piece of history!!

    • Thank you so much, Terri! We really appreciate you taking the time to visit and leave these WONDERFUL comments that I am sure everyone will enjoy!! We can just imagine how great it must have been to have enjoyed evenings at Elkington House like that with the Garry Oaks around you and the lake just down the hill!!! Wonderful! Many heartfelt thanks for popping by today and for taking the time to share your terrific memories!

  19. avatar LensScaper says:

    Terrific writing and some wonderful photography. A fine example of your love of the Cowichan Valley. You are such a great ambassador for this area, Toad.

    • Gosh, Andy, I am completely humbled by your wonderful comments here today, kind sir. Thank you SO much for popping by and leaving these my friend!!

  20. avatar Julia Madison says:

    I wish the land conservancy or someone would fix it up and possibly use it for a Garry Oak Preserve meeting hall. It is such a worthy old building..so much history and beauty..It would be lovely to meet in there with people for eco events.

    • Hi Julia, thanks for taking the time to visit and comment! We would love to see this facility repurposed as well, but we do understand that this is a very complex topic. The house is such an important part of our local history, we do hope it has a future for us all. Many thanks for popping by, we really appreciate it.

  21. avatar Brittany says:

    I am so extremely envious of you for getting to go into the house! I myself feel a strong connection to it as well and was researching it last year. Thank you for sharing photos of the inside!

    • Thank you Brittany! That photoshoot was the result of working towards it for a few years and we felt we were extremely lucky to have the opportunity. We’ve at least managed to capture a comprehensive set of images that can be enjoyed for years to come by folks who are interested. Thanks for popping by, and for leaving your wonderful comments!

  22. avatar Terry Malbon says:

    I am proud that this unique and beautiful property will always be cherished and protected. My great-great grandmother Eliza Bednall (Bonsall) and her husband Samuel Bednall were the original owners of the Elkington property. They arrived in the Maple Bay area from Derbyshire, England in 1862. My great grandparents, Henry and Annie Bonsall were also early pioneers of Maple Bay. Henry arrived in 1868 to join his mother and step- father and help with the farming. He then met and married Annie Botterill and they purchased a 320 acre property in Westholme where they raised their 15 children and Henry had a state of the art dairy farm, as well as serving as councillor for many many years. (W.H.Elkington also served on the same council as Henry in 1896 and 1897.) Annie’s parents were also pioneers in the Maple Bay area. They are buried in the Herd Rd. cemetery.
    I am proud of the history that my family shares with the Elkington family and their role as pioneers of the Cowichan Valley.

    • Terry, thank you so very kindly for taking the time to visit us here at The Hollow, and for leaving this simply incredible background story for everyone to benefit from. My wife and I are actually friends with Elkington family members and that is how this project came to life. This additional information is incredibly interesting. My wife and I are terribly concerned about how our history seems to be disappearing in front of our very eyes and we are as dedicated as we possibly can be to help bring these stories forward to future generations to appreciate. I don’t know if you and/or your family still reside in the Cowichan Valley, and if so, is there any story(ies) that we could tell together? If you have any interest in pursuing this, please drop me an email at scott@toadhollowphotograpy.com, it would be an absolute delight for us to have a chance to connect with you. Thanks again, we simply cannot tell you how much we appreciate your time and the story you’ve shared here, it’s absolutely wonderful.

    • avatar Kirk Long says:

      I’m so glad I stumbled upon this! The Bednall’s are my great great great grandparents, my mom (Lorraine Bonsall) and her sisters grew up on the Bonsall Farm in Westholme. I was in Maple Bay a few years back and took pictures of Oak Park from the road and am happy to learn more about its wonderful history. Such a beautiful part of the world.

      • Thanks so much Kirk, we are so honored to have you pop by for a visit and for leaving these wonderful comments I am sure everyone will enjoy!!! 🙂

        • avatar gina oviatt says:

          I loved your story about the old house. Eliza Bednell was my great great grandmother.

          • Wonderful, Gina, we always always love hearing from our visitors, especially ones like you with a personal connection to the topic!!! Thank you so much for visiting, and for taking the time to leave your comments here for everyone to enjoy!! Cheers! 🙂

  23. avatar Jane Iverson says:

    I just stumbled upon this fascinating account of the Elkington House. The imagery is beautiful and your words have opened a wonderful window to the past. Well done!
    Eliza Bednell was my husband’s (Lance Iverson) great, great, great grandmother. Samuel Bednell was Eliza’s second husband. They came from England via Australia to settle in Maple Bay somewhere between 1862 and 1865. Eliza was first married to a Mr. Bonsall in England (first name unknown). Her son, Henry Bonsall arrived in Maple Bay from England in 1866 to join his mother (Eliza) and step father (Samuel Bednell). He met and married Annie Botterill and pre-empted land at Westholme where they farmed and raised prize cattle. They had 15 children, some born at Maple Bay and the rest born at Westholme. Henry Bonsall was quite involved in local politics and served on Council for many years both as Reeve and as a Councillor.
    After Eliza passed away in 1884, Samuel Bednell purchased a property at 152 Dallas Rd in James Bay, Victoria, BC, which is registered as a heritage property now. It would seem that Samuel had a knack for picking properties that would be prized pieces of heritage in present day times.
    I am working on our family tree and would love to connect with other family members to share information and photos. I visit Vancouver Island frequently as my mother in law (Henry Bonsall’s granddaughter) resides in Duncan. If I have any photos or stories that would be of interest in the interpretation of the Social History of the area, I would be more than happy to connect with you about that.

    • Hi Jane! How delightful to hear from you thank you so much for taking the time to visit and for leaving these incredible comments!! This is exactly why we love doing the work we do here at The Hollow, with the hopes of connecting with folks such as yourself! I have made the correction you noted to your comments, please don’t hesitate to let me know if anything else needs anything. Mrs. Toad is actually in process of researching a book right now on the Cowichan Valley with an eye towards the Elkington House and Oak Park. Stay tuned, we’ve hopefully got more stuff coming in the future on this topic! And, thank you once again for your kind visit!