of Ty Collwyn
Dr. Richard Felton
was the first resident practicing physician in Sooke village.
He went first to Jordan River in 1911, where he was on contract
to the Vancouver Island Power Company and to the logging interests
there. After the first year, he lived in Sooke. This substantial
house, overlooking Sooke's outer harbour, was built as a residence
for his wife and daughters Barbara and Marjorie. (Son Allan
was born later.) The place was named Ty Collwyn; Ty is a Welsh
term meaning 'house'. A small cottage was built at the corner
of the family driveway (now Felton Lane) and Sooke Road, and
this cottage served as his office.
Dr. Felton left
to serve in World War I, and on returning after the war, he
had the Richardson brothers build an annex onto the east side
of his home. A letter written by Dr. Felton in 1969 tells
Annex was initiated by me to eke out a very, very, poorly
paying practice. It was run by my first wife and myself- and
consisted of four rooms and appurtenances."
A number of Sooke
residents were born in this "lying in hospital".
One of the women, Ann Arden, whose confinement took place
at the Felton hospital, recorded in her diary during her two-week
19th, 1921, Saturday. Very cold. East Wind. Baby and I in
a snug warm room with nice fire. Castor oil first course for
breakfast. 11p.m. Mrs. V. Richardson came, baby born 12:45."
In addition to
his practice, Dr. Felton served as the Health Officer and
School Inspector for the area extending from Jordan River
to Metchosin and the Highlands. He left Sooke for Victoria
in 1926. His letter gives more details:
pioneering in the Sooke District was various and included
the church, cemetery, water supply, new recreation hall, etc
such as the Indian village at Jordan River and the large halibut
bed adjoining, from which was landed by far the largest halibut
in my experience
the transportation to Jordan River
by my family, the first 'rig' to try the trip over 'corduroy
roads' beyond Kirby's or Coal Creek. Transportation to Jordan
River was mainly by sea only in those days
After the Feltons,
the Locke family lived in the house for a time. Mrs. Edwards
owned the house during the 1930's, and she ran a guesthouse
and a tea room, which she called Ty Collwyn. A number of young
Sooke women found employment there. Subsequent owners have
used the building as a family home, aside from Dr. Brown,
who also used an office in the home to see his patients. Other
owners or occupants have been the Carters, Smiths, Summers,
Margaret Buxton, and the Maughans. Stan Maughan, a career
serviceman and his wife Kay, a longtime Sooke and Metchosin
area teacher, owned the house from 1947 to 1979. During this
period, the house sometimes served as a boarding home for
Port Renfrew students attending Edward Milne Secondary School
where Kay Maughan taught.
feature of the house during the Felton time was a special
vegetable kitchen adjacent to the main kitchen, where a Chinese
gardener prepared vegetables needed for the household. Perhaps
a remnant from this time, an opium pipe was reported found
in the garden at a more recent date.
story bungalow has been extensively altered with many additions
made, obscuring much of the original character. The original
construction of the foundation, exterior and interior walls
and windows are all uncertain. The foundation is now concrete,
outside walls are clapboard covered with stucco, and interior
walls are drywalled. The original cedar shingled roof is now
duroid. A very old mantel and mirror that remains on one of
the two fireplaces in the home came from England around Cape
Horn. The Maughans made most of the alterations, including
converting the hospital annex area into a two-bedroom apartment,
which was used by Kay's mother, Jessie Robertson. The also
added a den, closing in a porch and a verandah, and adding
an indoor swimming pool.
"101 Historical Buildings in the Sooke Region"
McWilliams and John Henderson are owners of the home today.