The mission of the Sooke Region Museum is to present the fascinating story of how nature, through the centuries, has shaped the people and the history of the southwest coast of Vancouver Island where the rainforest meets the sea. It was the forest and the sea that sustained and sheltered the T'Sou-ke First Nations Peoples at the Sooke Harbour and the Sooke River in the eastern region and the Pacheedaht Peoples at the San Juan River Valley in the western region. In the late eighteenth century it was the search for the famed northwest passage that brought Spanish exploration; in the mid-nineteenth century hardy immigrant settlers arrived, some by ship from the British Isles and some overland across the continent from the French settlements in eastern Canada. The ongoing saga of the pioneer families as the new society developed, the intercultural relationships, the neighbourly spirit that was nurtured throughout the region, and the natural resources that built the economy, are all reflected in the history of Sooke, East Sooke, Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River and Port Renfrew.
Within the museum's galleries, highlights of the region's history and culture are presented through First Nations artifacts, historic photographs, dioramas, displays, and scale models, depicting both important occasions and day to day life in the region. One can find items of clothing from the 18th century, weavings, quiltings and carvings, pioneer artifacts, and displays of exploration, natural history, early schools, churches, farming, forestry, fishing, and mining. The archives section houses some eight thousand historic photographs, and more than six thousand historical documents and a range of newspaper clippings.
You will find the museum with its lighthouse and information centre, immediately past the Sooke River Bridge, a 40-minute drive from downtown Victoria, via Highway 14, also known as the Pacific Marine Circle Route.
Open throughout the year 9:00am - 5:00pm, with the exception of Mondays during the winter season and a brief Christmas closing.