Here’s a tour with grave consequences for those wishing to explore Metchosin’s history.
This year’s Cemetery Tour, “How the Settlers came to arrive in Metchosin,” takes place on Sunday, Aug. 25 from noon to 4 p.m. at St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church on Metchosin Road. The event will focus on exploring how Metchosin’s earliest settlers arrived, explained Gaert Linnaea, one of the organizers and a member of Metchosin’s Heritage Committee.
Some of the earliest pioneers arrived by ship via a route around Cape Horn, while others took the train from back east through the United States because there was no train service on the Island at that time while others used the stagecoach, Linnaea said.
“We’re taking a chronological approach to sharing information about the earliest settlers,” said Linnaea, who, along with her husband, Robert Patterson, has been involved with the Heritage Committee for the past 20 years compiling Metchosin’s history. Local history writers who were active community members that lived in Metchosin for most of their lives will be acknowledged as well.
The first settler, Thomas Blinkhorn, established Bilston Farm, the first in Metchosin, at Witty’s Lagoon.
World maps will be on display depicting the routes settlers used to get to Vancouver Island, as well as a map of Canada. In addition to the pioneers researched for the Pioneer Map Booklet, the maps will outline where some well-known Metchosin elders arrived from.
Allison Marshall and her music students will perform throughout the tour, and refreshments will be served in the Parish Hall. Fawn lily and camas seeds gathered from plants on the cemetery grounds will be available for purchase, as well as copies of the 15oth Pioneer Map Booklet, which was produced by the Heritage Committee in 2017.