was the pioneer Scottish John Muir family
who became the leaders of the Sooke community
after their arrival in 1851. They built a
home they called Woodside, and established
the first successfully-operated steam sawmill
in the new colony in 1855.
family also purchased the property of Sooke's
first immigrant settler, Captain Walter Colquhoun
Grant, 100 acres overlooking Sooke Harbour,
and it was on this land that Sooke's first
cemetery, Muirside, was established.
Miller Muir, matriarch of the Muir family,
was the first of the family to pass away,
in 1875. She was buried with a grave marker
of sandstone, near a meandering brook with
birds singing in the leafy boughs overhead.
long Ann Muir's grave had been joined by that
of Mary Ellen Welsh of Moss Cottage, and two
of her babies. Eventually almost fifty graves
were counted on the small parcel of land,
with the last, that of Emma Welsh, in 1969.
the cemetery was well-kept in its early history,
in later years it fell into disrepair, and
with changed ownership of the land, it suffered
Eventually, with the assistance of the Sooke
Lions Club, the Sooke Community Association
and other service organizations, and a great
deal of volunteer work and public fund-raising,
the Sooke Region Historical Society was able
to open it as a public park in 2001.
a designated Regional Heritage site, the park
project was recognized in 2004 by the Victoria
Hallmark Society with an Award of Merit, and
with an Outstanding Achievement Award by the
British Columbia Heritage Society. The park
is located at 1971 Maple Avenue.