The Plaque Commemorating the Harpooneer

by John M. MacFarlane 2017

Monument plaque

The plaque commemorating the Harpooneer (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )

On the seawall of the Inner Harbour at Victoria BC is a plaque commemorating the arrival of the first group of settler to go to the site of preset day Sooke BC.

She was a Bark that arrived at Fort Victoria from London with 21 settlers in 1849 who were led by Captain Walter Colquhoun Grant to settle at Sooke. She left London on November 29th, 1848 and arrived at Fort Victoria on June 1st, 1849.

Walter Colquhoun Grant erved as an officer in the Royal Scots Greys. He was a Captain in the Second Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) c1845. After losing a considerable sum of money he had to resign his commission in the army so he decided to emigrate. He is considered to have been the first independent settler at Fort Victoria, in August 1849. The stipulation was that for every hundred acres granted the purchaser should bring out five people. He brought out eight: William McDonald, Thomas Tolmie, James Rose, James Morrison, William Fraser, William Macdonald, Thomas Munroe and John McLeod. He settled at Sooke Inlet where he built a log cabin and a house for the workmen surrounding it with a fence on which he mounted two small cannons. He called this place Achaneach. He established a small lumber mill and carried on agricultural cultivation. He leas his farm to Thomas Munroe and left for Hawaii. He brought the first seeds of Broom which is now so common on Vancouver Island o his return from Hawaii. He departed for Oregon and California and returned to Sooke. He returned to England about 1853 having sold his land to John Muir. He served in the Crimean War. During the Indian Mutiney he is reported to have died from fever in the summer of 1861.

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2017) The Plaque Commemorating the Harpooneer. 2017.

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