A Short History of Malahat Farm


In 1895, William Anderson walked out from Victoria in search of affordable farmland. He purchased 160 acres (the farm now has only 5) at $3 an acre, one-tenth in cash, balance in nine equal payments with interest at 6%. He and his wife Azuba decided to call their land Malahat Farm as it lay at the very southern tip of the Malahat Land District and there were no other farms in the area.

In 1896, the Andersons moved with their two young children into a small house at Tugwell Creek and began to build a small log cabin at Malahat Farm. They probably shivered their way through the winter of ‘96 in the new house as they had only blankets hung to cover the openings for doors and windows. William, a carpenter’s apprentice in England, had many useful skills. After the first years of struggling to clear the land by hand and develop a farm, he built a successful water-run sawmill and did very well. In 1912 he and his son began to build a grand new house for the family.


The Daily Colonist October 15, 1915
"Malahat Farm is about 30 miles from Victoria, on the main road to Jordan River. From the gate to the house is a row of white ash. The lawn is about sixty by one hundred and twenty feet, surrounded by alternate mountain ash and holly trees, with a profusion of flower plots. At the end of the lawn is the vegetable garden, which affords an abundant supply. The new house is a commodious eight-roomed dwelling, wired for electric light and supplied with a good water system from an 1800 gallon reservoir, the water being raised about 30 feet by a windmill.

During the past two seasons, Mr. Anderson has opened his house to guests seeking the benefit of a few days in the country. Pressing the old cottage and one or two other small buildings into service, about twenty guests can be accommodated at one time. A fine avenue through the woods leads from the house to Muir Creek bridge, where good bathing can be had, either in the sea or fresh water. Mr. Anderson’s house would cost to build in Victoria not less than four thousand dollars. With the exception of the plastering, the whole work has been done by himself and his son, now grown to manhood. It is only right to say that without the self-sacrificing labour of Mrs. Anderson and the other members of the family, the success of Malahat Farm could not have been accomplished.

What Mr. Anderson has accomplished is within the reach not of all, but perhaps a large percentage of the unemployed in Victoria today, but they must go and do likewise. Having spent a week at Malahat Farm the latter part of July, I give you my impressions, in view of your efforts to encourage agriculture on Vancouver Island. "

– Donald Frazer