Mary Ann Vine, 1825 – 1907, was the grandmother of Ike’s wife Mary Cordelia and is referred to in the family as “Granny Vine”.
Mary Ann (family name unknown) was born in 1825 in Bexley, Kent, England where she married Thomas Reid in 1843. Their only child, daughter Barbara Ellen Vaughn Reid ,was born in the same year. Thomas, Mary Ann and ten-year old Barbara Ellen arrived in Port Camosun, Victoria, on the emigrant ship Norman Morison in January 1853. At the time Mary Ann was 28 years old. Husband Thomas, a seafaring man, took an immediate dislike to the colony and returned to England where he died the same year. Mary Ann later married Edward Vine, who emigrated from Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England in 1851. He bought over 600 acres of land to farm at Pedder Bay, southern Vancouver Island, in 1858 and the Vines lived there until 1895. Part of the land purchased by Edward Vine was sold by William Walter Sims, who later became Mary Ann’s son in law when daughter Barbara Ellen married him in Port Townsend in 1859. For some reason William Sims was not acceptable to Mary Ann and the marriage brought about a complete estrangement. William and Barbara Ellen Sims had nine children, including Mary Cordelia born November 21st 1869. Mary Cordelia later married Isaac “Ike” Gandy in Victoria, in 1894.
Mary Ann Vine passed away on March 1 1907 in Pedder Bay , eighty-two years old, and is buried in St Mary’s churchyard Metchosin. Mary Ann was survived by her daughter, twelve grandchildren, forty-seven great grandchildren and fifty great great grandchildren. In 1930 ninety-five of her descendants were still alive according to Mrs. M. E. McVicker (see source below). Husband Edward Vine died on October 21 1909 in Victoria.
Mary Ann and Edward are both buried in St Mary’s Churchyard, Metchosin
The inscription reads “In memory of Mary Ann Vine, beloved wife of Edward Vine, March 5 1907 aged 82 years. A native of Bexley, Kent, England. Gone but not forgotten.”
The inscription for Edward reads “Also Edward Vine J.P. died October 21 1909 aged 81 years. A native of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, Eng. May they rest in peace.”
According to Mrs. M. E. McVicker there is another inscription on the grave:
“Long life to the hearts still beating, and peace to the hearts at rest.”
Midwife and Nurse
Mary Ann Vine was a trained midwife and nurse and became a local legend, serving as the first midwife for the Metchosin-Sooke region. She is described as hardworking, dominant, and fearless as she hiked alone around the region to visit patients, despite the dangers posed by bears, cougars, wolves, Indians and the elements. Her mission as midwife was described in a biography written by Mrs. M. E. McVicker in 1930, from which I have selected a few excerpts (see source below):
“Among the passengers on the ship with her were Mr and Mrs J0hn Parker, and shortly after their arrival a daughter was born to them, and Mrs. Vine assisted at the birth. … during the passing years ministering to all new arrivals in that family (Ball).”
“From her humble home in the virgin forest, surrounded by the foothills of the Sooke range of mountains, Mrs. Vine went forth to minister to the needs of her neighbours as well as those of the settlers in more remote places.
“Day or night, most often on foot, alone she traversed the trails leading about the thinly settled district of Sooke, Rocky Point, Metchosin and Colwood (see map below). And it is to her that most of the early native sons and daughters owe their introduction into this world of affairs, and to her credit must be added the fact that she never lost any of them nor their mothers during the ceremony.”
“Often when her day’s work at home was done she would light her lantern and hike away to some neighbour, possibly miles away, for a chat or to visit some sick child or needy person. When wolves, and they were plentiful in the mountains, would howl, she would be implored to remain the night, for to be about on foot was dangerous. But heedless of the warnings she would say: `I would just like to meet them´. It was her common boast, that she feared neither God nor devil.”
“It was her custom when called to Sooke to attend some maternity case, to pack a few articles of clothing and a lunch before setting off over the rocky hills skirting Lake Matheson where the trail led. This twenty-mile journey on foot, even today, is not one to be undertaken by a weakling. Her patient attended to and well on the road to recovery, she would retrace her steps and resume her home duties, ostensibly without fatigue. These overland trips were frought with many dangers from wild beasts, for not only wolves were plentiful, but bears and panthers roamed about, as well as Indians.”
Mary Vine Creek, which drains Peden Lake into the Sooke River, is named in honour of Mary Ann Vine and her service to the community.
Metchosin and Glen Rosa
In 1858, Edward Vine bought and cleared 600 acres of land to establish the farm he named Norfolk. It was located on Rocky Point Road, overlooking Pedder Bay on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in the area called Metchosin. The original homestead was built by the creek in the valley below the farm. Supplies and material for their new home were brought on boat from Victoria, as there were few roads on Vancouver Island at that time. Most travel was along winding trails by foot or on horseback. The farm stocked sheep and Mary Ann established an apple orchard.
The house burnt down in September 1881 and was replaced by a second house built on a rocky hillside overlooking Pedder Bay. The Vines lived there until 1895, when the farm was sold to John Dunlop Reid. Mary Ann and Edward then moved to a home across the inlet, where they spent the rest of their lives together.
John Reid renamed the farm “Glen Rosa”. He developed the farm, ran sheep and the orchard which had a thousand apple trees. He passed away in 1917 but the farm remained in the Reid family until 1952. The house still stands on the same spot and was completely renovated in 2002, using much of the original fir timbers from 1881.
In later years it has served as a restaurant and B&B. The present owners still use the name Glen Rosa, run a few sheep and look after the surviving fruit trees. Pedder Bay is home to a popular marina.
“Strange Life of Mrs. Mary Ann Vine”, by Mrs. M. E. McVicker. Published in the Victoria Daily Colonist on Sunday April 6th 1930 and reprinted in “Footprints. Pioneer Families of the Metchosin District, Southern Vancouver Island, 1851 – 1900.” Editor Marion Isabel Helgesen for the Metchosin School Museum Society
“Gandy Connections” compiled by Gerry Moore in September 1997. The photographs of Mary Ann Vine and Edward Vine are from “Gandy Connections”. Gerry Moore has also taken the photographs of Mary Ann Vine’s grave in St Mary’s churchyard.
Ronnie Eastwood has kindly provided material about the history of Glen Rosa restaurant http://www.glenrosafarmrestaurant.com/farmhistory/, an article “Metchosin’s Glen Rosa farm home to colourful characters “ by Wendy Mitchell in the Goldstream News Gazette, September 16 2914 and “A history of the Anglican Church in Metchosin” (St Mary’s). The above photographs of Glen Rosa are taken from this material.