Major James Francis Lenox MacFarlane’s Version of the Siting of the Malahat Highway

From a letter to the Victoria Times August 29, 1938

"Sir - In a very excellent article by Mr. Frank Giolma in your Sunday’s issue, the writer however makes a grave mistake in his reference to the Malahat Drive. He states, "this was built by the Provincial Government in 1914 to replace the 'Old Summit Road'. There are two mistakes in this: First, there never was an ‘Old Summit Road’; second, the present road was finished and opened for traffic a week before Christmas, 1911. I had the honor to be first to drive over and ‘hanseled’ it with a bottle of Burke’s whisky to the road gang."

"Shortly after I had come to British Columbia and taken up land at Mill Bay, I inquired at the Department of Works why it was that there was no road going north from the Capital City? The reply I got was that the Government had sent out surveyors and engineers for forty years at intervals and that they had invariably returned and reported that it was impossible to find a line."

"I asked for a map and told them I would find a line and mark it on the map. I did so, but it took me many weary months. Everyone seemed to think it nonsensical for me to say a thing could be done when Government officials said it was impossible! H.B. Thompson, M.P.P. for Victoria, gave me a helping hand by employing Frank Verdier, a noted timber cruiser to go over my line and report on it. So Frank went over and blazed the line, reporting it quite feasible. The present road was then built."

"J.F. Lenox MacFarlane, Major (retired) 1353 Pandora Avenue, Victoria BC August 29, 1938."

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2013) Major James Francis Lenox MacFarlane’s Version of the Siting of the Malahat Highway. 2013.


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