This information has been provided by the Research team from Luxton/Happy Valley Archives; the information is organized and presented in the same format as “The Catalogue”; a BCBHAS research project that started in 1978.
The Happy Valley-Highlands settlers are Joseph Lavender, Isaac Mull, Annie and Lewis Scott. Also included is Julia Ann Booth, who was a friend of Annie Scott and the wife of Samuel Booth, a business owner and prospector in Victoria. We did not have information in the catalogue about her. The information about these settlers is presented here; it will be integrated into the relevant catalogue sections AND will be retained as this separate webpage.
Research team from Luxton/Happy Valley Archives. “Around 1999, questions came up about a map that showed a Black settlement, Happy Valley BC. Who were they? What were their names? Did they own land? When and where did they come from?
Throughout the past few years whenever the opportunity arose research was undertaken to collect, verify, search and purchase documents about Isaac Mull and Lewis Scott to give these pioneers their rightful place in history. Many stories have been passed on through the generations but we wanted concrete facts and evidence. The online search of local newspapers and other research provided insight with names and clues as to who they were and the events in their lives. Land titles provided solid proof of their land purchases and dates and showed where they worked the land and owned until their deaths. They lived in and were much active participants in the community. We have really enjoyed getting to know these people and give them their voice and place in history. It is our hope their story can be shared and read by anyone anywhere. Our thanks to BC Black History Awareness Society for listening, supporting, and embracing our research.”
Section II Blacks in British Columbia History: Happy Valley and Highlands
Section III Population: Happy Valley, Highlands, Metchosin
Section V Employment and Occupations
Section VI Women
Section VII Politics
Section IX Legal Issues
Section XI Social Activities and Issues
Note: There are three variations of Isaac Mull’s name found in various articles and documents: Mall, Moll, Mull. For direct quotes the spelling is as quoted.
Section II Blacks in British Columbia History
Happy Valley and the Highlands
Happy Valley is a farming community 13 km west of Victoria, a suburb of the area known as the West Shore, Vancouver Island which includes Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, Luxton and Glen Lake.
Akrigg, Helen B. and Akrigg, G.P.V; British Columbia Place Names; Sono Nis Press, Victoria 1986 /or University of British Columbia Press 1997. BC Geographical Names Office
Excerpt: “Happy Valley Post Office opened 1 August 1896; closed 30 September 1922. Around 1860 some Black people who had emigrated from the United States settled here. According to some accounts, their singing gave the place its name. However, I.G. Walker, postmaster at Happy Valley in 1905, reported that it was one of these Black pioneers, Isaac Mull (who lived to be more than 100), who gave Happy Valley its name, possibly with reference to joy at becoming a free man under the British flag.”
Victoria Colonist Fiftieth Anniversary Number December 13, 1908, pg. 67 “Metchosin”
The article states that Happy Valley was given its name from the fact that “several colored bachelor gentlemen made their homes here in the early days. These were given to rendezvous at night …making merry in their own way…”
During their research, this team also discovered Joseph Lavender, a native of North Carolina who owned property in the Highlands in 1887 and worked at various jobs in Greater Victoria and the West Shore.
Section III Population
Happy Valley, Highlands, Metchosin
Beginning in 1868, in various district directories and census records, the following men are listed as farmers: Isaac Moll from North Carolina and Scott Lewis from Georgia. They both pre-empted and then purchased land in the area we now know today as Happy Valley. Lewis Scott married Annie Johnson in 1874. Isaac Moll remained a bachelor.
Listed in the census and also a property owner in 1887 is Joseph Lavender from North Carolina.
Properties for Lavender, Mull, and Scott
Section V Employment and Occupations
Lewis Scott made an application for citizenship in 1858, listing himself as a Carpenter. He opened the first wheelwright’s shop in Victoria on Yates Street. He later settled in Metchosin, buying property to farm.
Isaac Mull owned 3 lots: 79 (51.4 acres), 80 (102.45 acres) and 112 (56 acres) in Metchosin.
Metchosin District Land Titles
“Certificate of Improvement” No. 176 dated 20 June, 1873 cites Pre-emption Claim recorded as No.229.
“Certificate of Purchase” No. 214 dated 14 March, 1876 cites Pre-emption Claim No. 229 and Certificate of Improvement No. 176.
“Certificate of Purchase” No. 215 dated 14 March 1876 cites Pre-emption Claim No. 229 and Certificate of Improvement No. 176.
Pre-emption Record No. 62 recorded on 25, September 1885
“Certificate of Improvement” No. 245 dated 28 February 1894
“Certificate of Purchase” No. 2659 dated 2 March, 1894, cites pre-emption claim No. 62 and certificate of improvement No. 245.
“Crown Grant” dated 6 March, 1894 for Section 112; cites pre-emption claim No. 62.
Colonist, July 7, 1880 pg. 2 “For Sale”
Sections LXXIX (79) and LXXX (80), Metchosin containing 154 acres and now occupied by Isaac Moll.
This ad ran until July 23, 1880 but it is not clear if the property was sold.
Death Registration, Royal BC Museum and Archives:
Isaac Mull, Registration Number:1895-09-009661, Event Date: 1895-01-20, Event Place: Sluggett District (now known as Central Saanich), Age: 99.
Land Registry Office: Isaac Mull, Registration Date: 1895-Feb-15; Age: 103, Where born: North Carolina; Rank or profession: Labourer
There are two obituary notices for Isaac one in the Colonist and one in the Victoria Daily Times; both are on January 23, 1895.
Colonist, January 23, 1895, pg. 5 Obituary
“Isaac Mull, a colored man whose long residence in this province as also his remarkable longevity, has made him known to most Vancouver Islanders died at the home of Mr. Joseph Lavender, Saanich road, yesterday morning. The deceased suffered no particular illness; he simply died of old age, having attained the remarkable of age of five score years and three (103). Since 1858 the deceased lived in this province, but six years prior to that he emigrated from his native state, North Carolina to California, and was then known as a grey haired old man. He was a man of rather large physique and was always active notwithstanding his age. He was unmarried. In political matter he took considerable interest and his vote at election times was never overlooked. Tomorrow the funeral takes place. The remains will be interred in the Saanich cemetery.”
Victoria Daily Times, January 23, 1895, pg. 5
An old man named Isaac Moll died in Saanich yesterday at the advanced age of 103 years. Deceased was an old timer in the province, having come here in the very early days with most of the men who sought and gained fortunes British Columbia’s gold fields. The deceased was a native of North Carolina, and emigrated from that state to California. He was unmarried and as far as known had no relatives in the country. He had a very large circle of friends throughout the city and the province. The funeral will take place tomorrow.
Lewis Scott owned lot 68 in Metchosin. This lot is (as of December 2021) part of Olympic View Golf Course.
“Certificate of Improvement: dated 10 February, 1871, cites pre-emption claim No. 1032; states “he has made improvements consisting of 10 acres under cultivation, home, small barn …”
“Certificate of Purchase” No. 33 dated 11 February, 1871 section 68.
“Crown Grant” dated 17 March, 1871 for Section 68; 100 acres.
Registration of Marriage, November 8, 1874
The certificate states Lewis Scott, age 45, residence of Metchosin, born in Georgia, USA, is a widower and a farmer. The bride is Annie Elizabeth Johnson, age 42 of Metchosin, born in Richmond, Virginia; is a widow. The marriage was witnessed by Samuel L. Booth and Julia Ann Booth of Victoria.
Lewis Scott died on February 11, 1890, age 66 years and is buried at Saint Mary the Virgin Churchyard Cemetery in Metchosin. The grave marker is a white wooden cross with a nameplate SCOTT.
Victoria Daily Times, February 19, 1890, pg. 4 “An Old Pioneer Gone”
There died at Happy Valley, near Metchosin, on Tuesday the 11th last, an old pioneer of the province, named Lewis Scott. The deceased came to this city in 1858, and opened the first wheelwright’s shop in Victoria on Yates Street. In 1860 he went to the Cariboo, and was also with the first party which went north. He was 66 years of age at the time of death, and had been ill but three days, death resulting from natural causes. Mr. Scott was a colored man, a native of the United States, and during his long stay in British Columbia made many friends. The funeral, which was largely attended, took place at Metchosin on the 16th inst. Rev. Ellison conducting the service, the following gentlemen being pall bearers: Messrs. A.G. Clark, R. Whitty, H. Whitty, J. Bennet and J. Walker.
Throughout his life here on Vancouver Island, Joseph Lavender had various jobs.
– 1871: restaurant worker, employed by John Taylor who operated The Blue Jacket restaurant on Johnson Street;
– 1884: farm hand in Esquimalt District;
– 1889: labourer in the Highlands District;
– 1899: in his obituary he is listed as a farmer.
Joseph Lavender was born in North Carolina and it is believed he arrived on Vancouver Island circa 1862. In 1882 following the July 24th Esquimalt Election, when his right to vote was disputed, he says that he married in 1866, a marriage registration has not been found.
In 1887 Joseph Lavender purchases property. “Crown Grant” dated 27 April, 1877 for Section 12; 157 acres.
The Highlander, Summer 2000, Excerpt from “The Rise and Fall of “Aldermere” – Site of the Highlands New Municipal Hall, written by Nancy McMinn.
“Lavender worked as a labourer for a number of years before taking up his Highland pre-emption. At the time only the Millstream ran through the low lying gulch that later was damned to form Matson Lake. He built a small house near there on a rocky knoll across Millstream Road from Teanook Lake. Probably he had occupied the land for several years before April 1887 when he paid the $157 for the crown grant and obtained the deed to his 157 acres. He made an X as his mark on the Grant. A month later he sold the land, selling at a loss of $7.”
Circa 1895 Lavender lived on Saanich Road. He died on February 27, 1899 at the age of 64 at the Jubilee hospital and is buried at Ross Bay Cemetery K.24.W.1.
Section VI Women
Colonist: 1916-March-18 “Obituary Notices”, pg. 6
Mrs. Julia Ann Booth, wife of Mr. Samuel John Booth, and one of the pioneer colored residents of this city, passed away yesterday at the family residence 938 Mears Street, at the advanced age of 87 years. The deceased was a native of Maryland, U.S.A., and came to Victoria 57 years ago. She is survived by her husband. The funeral will take place this afternoon at 4 0’clock from the B.C. Funeral chapel, where the services will be taken by Rev. A. de B. Owen.
Date of Death: 1916-March-06, From Ross Bay Cemetery Records the gravesite is G.50.E.9; age is listed as 87 years.
Her husband, Samuel Booth, died the following year, age 91, on December 12, 1917 and is buried next to Julia G.51.E.9.
Anna/Annie Elizabeth Scott
Born in Richmond Virginia, it is not clear exactly in what year she arrived in Victoria, or when she was born. On her second marriage to Lewis Scott in 1874 she is listed as age 42; therefore born circa 1832; however when she died in 1914 her age is listed as 90, therefore born circa 1824.
It is believed her first marriage was to L. Johnson who is listed in 1869 Metchosin District First Victoria Directory 3rd Issue. It is also thought L. Johnson died around 1870. In 1871 Annie is listed alone in the First Victoria 4th Issue as Mrs. Johnson Happy Valley Metchosin District. Three years later, in 1874 Annie marries Lewis Scott.
Registration of Marriage, November 8, 1874
The certificate states Lewis Scott, age 45, residence of Metchosin, born in Georgia, USA, is a widower and a farmer. The bride is Annie Elizabeth Johnson, age 42 of Metchosin, born in Richmond, Virginia is a widow. The marriage was witnessed by Samuel L. Booth and Julia Ann Booth of Victoria.
Annie and Lewis lived on a 100 acre property in Metchosin.
Her second husband, Lewis, died on February 11, 1890.
Circa 1900 she moved into the Aged Women’s Home according to her obituary (1914). In the 1901 census Annie is listed as living with Samuel and Julia Booth; though it is noted that she may have been at the Booth home for the 1901 census taking. In the 1911 census she is listed as living at the Aged Women’s Home.
Annie died on Wednesday, April 1, 1914. Her death certificate, registration no. 1914-09-029374, at Royal BC Museum and Archives states her father as Milton Dixon, Virginia and mother’s name as Agnes, Virginia.
Two death notices have been found, both in the Colonist on April 3rd and 4th.
Colonist, April 3, 1914, pg. 7
SCOTT – The death occurred on Wednesday evening (April 1) at the Aged Women’s Home of Mrs. Anna Scott. The deceased was 90 years of age, and was born in Virginia, U.S.A. She had been an inmate of the Home for fourteen years and had been a resident of this district for some time previously, her home being in the Happy Valley. The funeral will take place this afternoon at 2:30 o’clock from the Aged Women’s Home, where services will be conducted by the Rev. J.B. Warnicker. Interment will take place in Ross Bay.
Colonist, April 4, 1914, pg. 6 “Obituaries”
SCOTT – The funeral of the late Mrs. Anna Scott, whose death occurred last Wednesday, at the Aged Women’s Home, took place yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock from the Home. There was a large attendance of friends. Rev. J.B. Warnicker officiated. Interment took place in Ross Bay Cemetery.
From Ross Bay Cemetery Records the gravesite is N.45.G.E. She is listed as 90 years of age.
Section VII Politics
Colonist, September 8, 1875, pg 2 “Requisition and Supply”
This article is a letter to Robert Weir, Esq., Metchosin signed by some of the electors of the Esquimalt District requesting that Mr. Weir put his name forward to be nominated as a candidate for the Esquimalt District in the forthcoming election for the Legislative Assembly. Isaac Mall (Moll/Mull) and Lewis Scott are listed as electors.
Colonist, October 9, 10, 24, 1882. “Esquimalt Election Petition”.
On October 9, 1882 petition proceedings began to determine the validity of votes for this election. The result of this petition is that 5 votes were determined to be invalid including Joseph Lavender, even though he had voted in previous elections. This also changed the election results. Pooley who had lost by 1 vote in the initial count, now was the winner by 1 vote.
Section IX Legal Issues
July 13, 1882 A bull, owned by E.J. Rosman was killed and dressed by George Brown with assistance from Isaac Moll. George Cole claimed the bull was his and criminal charges were brought against Moll and Brown.
August 1 and 2, 1882 The Colonist newspaper reported that both defendants were given the opportunity to pay bail in the preliminary proceedings.
December 10, 1882 The Colonist reported that the trial took place on December 9, 1882 and that both Moll and Brown were acquitted.
August 1883 Isaac Moll brought a case against George Cole for malicious prosecution and requested damages of $5,000.00.
August 31, 1883 After a trial, Cole was found not liable.
On July 13, 1882, George Brown and Isaac Moll were charged with illegally killing a bull owned by George Cole, a neighbour in the Metchosin district. Both Moll and Brown were arrested and taken prisoner. Throughout the trial E.J Rosman claimed the bull was his, that he paid George Brown to kill the bull and that Brown asked Moll to help him. Witness statements related that all the cattle used the same fields, and it was not clear who owned the bull.
Colonist, August 1, 1882, p.3, “Killing Cattle”
One witness stated that “the meat was taken away by Brown and that Moll, the colored prisoner, was present when the bull was shot.”
Colonist, August 2, 1882 p. 2, “The Cattle-Killing Case”
The Colonist reported that the judge held there was a prima facie case to support the prosecution. Bail was set at $600.
The trial for illegal killing of the bull
Colonist, December 10, 1882, pg. 3 “Fall Assizes”
This article reports on the four day trial which concluded on December 9, 1882. The judge advised the jury that there was no evidence that Moll had willfully and maliciously killed the animal knowing it to have been Cole’s property. He also advised the jury that he saw no evidence of felonious intent against Brown. Both defendants were acquitted by the jury.
Case of Malicious Prosecution
Colonist, September 1, 1883, pg. 3 “The Assizes”
A civil case charging malicious prosecution was brought by Moll against Cole for swearing out a criminal charge against him. Damages were laid at $5,000.00. The matter was heard before Judge Begbie on August 31, 1883. The evidence on both sides occupied nearly the whole day. The issue for the jury was Cole’s state of mind and whether he acted on a reasonable belief that the bull that was killed was his. After deliberating for several hours, the jury brought in a verdict of no liability for defendant Cole.
Section XI Social Activities and Issues
Colonist, May 11, 1881 pg. 3 “Metchosin Mail Petition of the Settlers”
This article prints a letter dated May 9, 1881 addressed to the Postmaster General, Ottawa. The signees are expressing their dissatisfaction with the closure of mail delivery service. The article states the petition was signed by almost all the settlers. Isaac Moll is one of the signees.