The first Ardens settled in Metchosin about 1890. William and Hannah Arden, with seven of their ten children, came to live on a farm in the Kangaroo Road area. William Jr. (Bill) was already living in Victoria and located the property for his father, which was known later as Alvany Farm. The school age members of the family trudged four miles each way to Metchosin’s little one-room school, near St. Mary’s Church.
The girls all married and left the district. Eustace drove the mail stage to Sooke for many years. He later was the light keeper at Sherringham Point until his retirement. James (Jim) was killed in World War I. Percy stayed on the home farm for some years and after residing in Victoria during World War II, he moved to Sooke. In 1966, he passed away thus ending that line of the family.
In 1908, William Jr. and his wife, Mary, with five children, moved to Metchosin. William gave up his work as an engineer and bought the one hundred acres of land next to his father’s farm. The was named “Fern Hollow.” Another son, Andrew (affectionately known as Chum) was born in 1909. These children all attended the same one-room school as their uncles and aunt had.
Mr. Arden was always a staunch Conservative, but his only entry into the public life was as trustee on the local School Board for several years. William Jr. and Mary Arden passed away just before World War II and with Andrew, who was killed in 1941, rest in the cemetery of St. Mary’s Church, Metchosin.
Source: FootPrints Pioneer Families of the Metchosin District, Marion I. Helgesen editor