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The McLennan Family

The McLennan Family

Alexander McLennan was living in Victoria in 1880, when Mr. Henry Ruckle came into the shop where he was working and mentioned that a neighbour of his had passed away leaving his pre-emption available. Alexander came to Beaver Point with Henry Ruckle and was shown the land, which he very soon pre-empted in his own name, naming it Glenshiel Farm after his birth parish in the Scottish Highlands. By 1882 a house was prepared and Elizabeth McLennan and their two little sons were settled in. The family eventually grew to four sons and four daughters.

Alexander and Elizabeth McLennan were community minded and contributing citizens of Salt Spring Island. Alexander was Beaver Point Post Master for a number of years and Justice of the Peace for several years. He was one of the trustees and founders of Beaver Point School and school board secretary for many years. Elizabeth offered solace and nourishment to those in need.

When Alexander McLennan was 17 years old, he was an educated, bright young man with absolutely no prospects of employment or income in Scotland. Entering military service was possible but he could not afford to buy a commission, which meant that he would have been one of the rank and file, an impossible situation for a gentleman. He had two uncles living in Canada, so he was sent to them, arriving in Montreal, about 1862. According to family tradition he went to Kingston Military Academy, but that institution was not yet founded, so he either enrolled in a different military academy or some other institute of higher learning. He may have been one of the Alexander McLennans enrolled at Queen’s University as he did learn to survey at some point. During his stay with his Uncle Robert McLennan, dominie (teacher) in Glengarry Co., Ontario, he was assistant teacher. Later, he went to his Uncle Alexander McLennan, in Fournierville, Prescott Co. Ontario, learning clerking and post office work in his uncle’s general store

about 1862

Accession number: 2006035001

Robert Ewen McLennan 1880-1901

Ewen was born in Victoria August 1, 1880. The family moved to Salt Spring Island when he was two years old and he attended Beaver Point School when it was built in 1885.

Ewen had an insignificant cut that became infected and he died of blood poisoning July 8, 1901, when he was twenty-one years old. His father, Alexander, was a staunch Presbyterian, but there being no Presbyterian Church on the Island, Ewen was the first person buried in the Burgoyne United Churchyard, a Methodist Church at the time. His red granite stone was brought to Salt Spring from Scotland.

Accession number: 99049003

Alexander Edward McLennan 1881-1970

Alex was born in Victoria December 4, 1881. He was an infant when the family moved to Salt Spring Island and he later attended Beaver Point School.

Accession number: 99049004

Alexander, Ewen and Ellen McLennan, children of Alexander and Elizabeth McLennan, Glenshiel Farm, Beaver Point, Salt Spring Island, B.C. About 1885.

Accession number: 99049005

McLennan Family Portrait c1897

back from left: Douglass, Alex Jr., Ewen, Ellen

front from left: Anne, Alex Sr., Jessie, Elizabeth, Maggie

Accession number: 99049006

Maggie and Annie with Murray and two unidentified hunters with a recently killed deer. Location also unidentified. C1903

Accession number: 99049007

Robert Murray McLennan 1902-1980

Murray was born on Salt Spring Island September 21, 1902. He attended Beaver Point School from the age of three in order to keep up the number of pupils needed to obtain a teacher. He went to Grade Eight at Beaver Point and then took some correspondence course in mathematics, animal husbandry, farming and carpentry (joinery) often relying on assistance from the teacher, Tommy Isherwood, who boarded with the family. C1905

Accession number: 99049008

Murray McLennan with a rifle. C1905

Murray left the farm during the mid-twenties and went to board in Vancouver, with his sister, Anne Stewart. He worked in housing construction with his brother-in-law, Alfred Williams.

On a visit to his home on Salt Spring he met Dorothy Dewar, the teacher at Beaver Point School. They married in the bride’s home in Victoria, on October 16, 1929 and moved to Vancouver where they lived in a house that Murray and Alf had built that same year.

When his father died in 1932, Murray, Dorothy and infant, Mary, moved back to Salt Spring to take over the farm and care for his mother, Elizabeth. By 1936, the depression had badly eroded farm income, so Murray and family moved to Duncan and Elizabeth to Maggie Lee’s home in the Burgoyne Valley. Murray’s 200 acres of Glenshiel Farm was rented to various tenants and the timber sold to logging companies, until it was sold in 1944 and the proceeds invested in a small acreage in Deep Cove on the Saanich Peninsula.

Over the years, Murray worked at many jobs, truck driving, house construction and farming and prided himself that his family always sat down to ‘a good table.’

He was a well-liked person with many close friends and a loving family. The welcome mat was always out.

In 1979, Murray and Dorothy celebrated fifty years of happy marriage with a large reception and dinner at the Princess Mary in Victoria. He died of prostate cancer the following July 2, 1980 and is buried in the Burgoyne United Churchyard with his parents and other family members

Accession number: 99049009

McLennan Family Portrait c1906

back from left: Anne, Jessie, Muriel Brethour, daughter of Sam Brethour, Sidney, B.C.

front from left: Olive Brethour,(sister of Muriel), Maggie, Murray

Background is one of the two original log cabins that were on the site when Glenshiel Farm was purchased, now incorporated into the center of the house. The other log cabin was the kitchen, seen to the left. It was later torn down and a new kitchen built in its place.

Accession number: 99049010

McLennan Family Portrait c 1908

back from left: Maggie, Annie, Douglass, Jessie

center: Elizabeth and Alexander McLennan with Murray in front sitting on McLennan plaid tartan rug, probably sent from Scotland or Ontario.

Accession number: 99049011

Professional portrait of Douglass and Murray with the ‘team’. C1908

Accession number: 99049012

Snapshot taken at Bulman home at Cusheon Cove (Allison Bulman Mill) 1908

Maggie with Willie Bulman, Murray, Arthur Bulman. Mr and Mrs Bulman on veranda to right.

Accession number: 99049013

Murray McLennan about 1910

Accession number: 99049014

A family gathering

From left: Murray McLennan, Findlay Leonard, Bea Leonard, unidentified woman, Lawrence Williams in the buggy, son of Jessie (McLennan) Williams, Maggie McLennan. Bea and Findlay are the children of Martha (Dunn), whose husband, Michael Leonard, died early in the marriage. Martha became ill with cancer when the children were still young. She sent them to Salt Spring from her home in Detroit to be cared for by her sister, Elizabeth.

Accession number: 99049015

McLennans and Neighbours

From left: Maggie, Douglass, Mrs Allison with Jackie, Elizabeth, Clarrisa May (Pyatt) McLennan, Alexander, Mr Allison Front from left: Findlay, Murray, Bea

Accession number: 99049016

From left: Murray, Catherine Brethour, Edith Brethour , Maggie, Bea, Elizabeth with LawrenceWilliams, son of Jessie (McLennan) Williams, Findlay

Accession number: 99049017

From left: Douglass McLennan, Mr and Mrs Bulman and child, Maggie, Findlay standing on Beaver Point Road.

Accession number: 99049018

Alexander McLennan with horse “Rosie” and buggy on Beaver Point Road. He could be delivering the mail.

Accession number: 99049019

Cutting the hay on Glenshiel Farm

Douglass on the mower, Anne and Alexander Sr., attending to a vital crop of grain for the coming winter.

Accession number: 99049020

This snapshot states on the back that Alexander McLennan “Poppa going fishing”. He was an avid fly fisherman and left to his descendants a wallet of hand tied flies made from peacock feathers. Photo dated April 29, 1915

Accession number: 99049021

Alexander McLennan standing beside an outdoor worktable on the back porch of the house.

Accession number: 99049022

Robert Ewen McLennan 1880-1901

This copy from a large portrait may have been taken shortly before Ewen died of blood poisoning. He appears to be about twenty years old.

Accession number: 99049023

Alexander Edward McLennan 1882-1970

Alex went to Eastern Oregon about 1903 to go into sheep farming with his cousin Ewen MacLennan, from Scotland. This snapshot was taken when he was a middle-aged man living in retirement at Camp Sherman, Oregon. C1950s

Accession number: 99049024

Ellen Jane McLennan 1883-1972

Ellen Jane McLennan was born at Beaver Point, Salt Spring Island on December 22, 1883. She weighed about three pounds at birth and spent the first weeks of life in a basket on the oven door. She grew to very small stature, but was strong and healthy, living to be 89 years old, with less than a year in a much hated intermediate care facility, which may have led to the demise of this very independent woman.

In her youth, Ellen regularly attended the Burgoyne Bay Methodist Church and took part in social functions there. She won first prize for butter that she entered in the Provincial Agricultural Exhibition in Victoria in 1904. Later in 1904, she went to Oregon to keep house for her brother, Alex and cousin, Ewen, from Scotland. She later married Ewen and lived the rest of her life in Oregon. She was not welcome at Glenshiel Farm as long as her father lived because he did not approve of a marriage of first cousins.

Accession number: 99049025

Ellen wore her hair ‘up’ most of the time, but this snapshot shows how long it was. Ellen was a tiny, feisty, independent woman who chose her own way in life.

Accession number: 99049026

Douglass Stewart McLennan 1886-1975

Douglass was the farmer in the family. He never left home, but was given more than half the original farm, on which he had his house, built by Beddis&Son, when he married Clarrisa May Pyatt. The house is still standing on the corner of Beaver Point Road and McLennan Drive, having been thoughtfully restored by Jonathan Yardley when it was his home, Southdown Farm.

Accession number: 99049027

Jessie Brethour McLennan 1891-1995

Jessie was named for the woman who delivered her at the Wesley Brethour home in Sidney. Jessie may not be her intended name as her father called her his little Jannet, pronounce Seanette, the Highland way of pronouncing Janet. As a young woman, she was apprenticed to a milliner in Victoria, where she met and later married Alfred Williams, a native born Victorian and school teacher. Jessie was a lady. She never let her back touch the back of her chair. She was a most gracious hostess and always knew the correct way to behave. She had a wonderful sense of humour and a mind that remained razor sharp until the day of her death at age 103. At 102 she could still beat an expert challenger at Scrabble. After marriage, the Williams family moved to Vancouver, where they spent the rest of their lives with frequent visits to Salt Spring while her parents were alive.

Accession number: 99049028

Anne Elizabeth McLennan 1894-1985

Anne Elizabeth McLennan was born at Beaver Point on Salt Spring Island

March 16, 1894. She attended Beaver Point School and enjoyed working with her parents on the farm. All her life, her religion meant a great deal to her.

For several years, Anne trained as a nurse at St Joseph’s Hospital in Victoria. She did not finish her training because one day when she was about twenty-three, she went to Stewart’s Shoe Store to buy some shoes and was served by William Stewart, the son of the proprietor. This led to courtship and marriage. The Stewarts lived in Victoria for a few years and then moved to Vancouver. Anne lived on Morningside Drive on Salt Spring in her later years.

Anne was frail for a couple of years and died on Salt Spring May 19, 1985 at the age of ninety-one. She is buried in the Burgoyne United Churchyard with her son Bill, who was killed in a logging accident on Moresby Island in 1955, her parents and two brothers.

Accession number: 99049029

Anne Elizabeth McLennan 1894-1985

A later portrait of Anne.

Accession number: 99049030

Margaret Christina McLennan 1896-1989

Margaret Christina McLennan was born at Beaver Point on Salt Spring Island

May 06, 1896. She attended Beaver Point School.
She was a farmer at heart, working at home until marriage in the early 20s, after which she farmed with her husband.

Maggie married a local boy, William Hudson Lee, usually called Hutsy Ed, to help distinguish him from the other Hudson, Hutsy Tom. These two Hudsons were the sons of brothers, Ed and Tom Lee.The Hutsy Ed farm was on the right hand side of Lee Hill, with entry off Fulford-Ganges Road. The large white farmhouse still stands today, partially hidden by holly trees and the fruit orchard. After the early death of her husband, Maggie stayed on the farm until 1957 when she sold it to the German nobleman who purchased much of the neighbouring Burgoyne area property.

After leaving the Island, Maggie worked in Victoria for a number of years, as a practical nurse. She was in good health until a few months before her death at age ninety-three. She is buried in St Mary’s churchyard with her husband and other Lee family members.

Accession number: 99049031

Maggie and Anne McLennan in an old two-door open coupe. Is Maggie driving, or just pretending?

Accession number: 99049032

Bea and Maggie sitting on the porch peeling potatoes

Accession number: 99049033

Anne and Maggie, with their mother, Elizabeth, between them. About the mid-twenties.

Accession number: 99049034

Canoeing on Cusheon Lake

Middle couple, Maggie with Ernie Smith. Anne is in canoe to the right. The date of this photo must be about 1918 as several of the men are in WWI uniforms.

Accession number: 99049035

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Glenshiel Farmhouse, built in stages from 1881, beginning with a central core of a log cabin. Maggie and Anne at upstairs window

Photo dated about 1918

Accession number: 99049036

Glenshiel, McLennan farm at Beaver Point
pre-empted in 1880-1, 250 acres with two small log cabins, occupied in 1881.
Farm grew to 600 acres and house to ten rooms.

Accession number: 99049038

Another view of the McLennan house on Glenshiel Farm

Accession number: 99049039

McLennan farm at Beaver Point
pre-empted in 1880-1, 250 acres with two small log cabins, occupied in 1881.
Farm grew to 600 acres and house to ten rooms.

Accession number: 99049040

Haying on Glenshiel Farm.

Accession number: 99049041

Glenshiel Farm in the winter. Photo shows the lane from Beaver Point Road, the main entry to the farm.

about March 1936 - year of the “Big Snow”

Accession number: 99049042

Family gathering back l to r: Bea Leonard with infant Arthur Lee, Douglas McLenan, Mrs Allison

next: Anne (McLennan)Stewart, Jessie (McLennan) Williams, Maggie (McLennan) Lee

next: Will Stewart, Alfred Williams, Murray McLennan, Jackie Allison

front: Alex McLennan, Les McLennan, Lawrence Williams, Ted Williams.

Allison girl lying in front

Accession number: 99049043

A family gathering

From left: Anne Stewart, Will Stewart, Douglas with Bea in front, Alf Williams with Jessie in front, Murray behind, Maggie with Arthur, Mrs Allison

Front: Jackie Allison, Alex McLennan, Leslie McLennan,( sons of Ellen), Lawrence Williams, Ted Williams, Allison girl.

Accession number: 99049044

A family picnic at the beach

From left: Lawrence Williams, Alex (son of Ellen), Aileen, (daughter of Alex Jr.), Jessie,

Alf Williams, Anne Stewart, Dorothy Dewar, Murray, Ted Williams

Front from Left: Leslie (son of Ellen), Ed (son of Alex Jr.), Alan Williams,

Catherine (daughter of Alex Jr.), Agnes Stewart, Kathleen Stewart.

Accession number: 99049045

From left: Lawrence Williams, Anne Stewart, Ted Williams, Kathleen Stewart,

Jessie Williams, Les (son of Ellen), Agnes Stewart in front

Accession number: 99049046

Douglass and Clarissa May (Pyatt), with baby Stuart McLennan, on the steps of their home on Glenshiel Farm later named Southdown Farm. Clarissa May died about 1928 and Douglass remarried several years later, to Zora Mae Bosworth. About 1936, Douglass and Zora adopted a little girl named Beverly.

Accession number: 99049047

Stuart McLennan. Portrait taken about 1935

Accession number: 99049048

Stuart McLennan, a non-commissioned officer in the Canadian Navy during WWII

Accession number: 99049049

Anne (McLennan) Stewart with baby Agnes and Murray McLennan about 1926

Accession number: 99049050

Billy Stewart and his grandpa, Alexander McLennan, resting on the porch of the family home at Beaver Point.

Accession number: 99049051

Alfred and Jessie (McLennan) Williams with sons Lawrence and Teddy in their open four door coupe sedan. - 1919

Accession number: 99049052

Golden Wedding celebration for Elizabeth and Alexander McLennan, Glenshiel Farm, Beaver Point. (To the left: Mary Elizabeth and Roderick McLennan, cousins of Alexander, just married. They lived in the Burgoyne Valley and both are buried in Burgoyne Churchyard)

Accession number: 99049053

Guests at the Golden Wedding: Left, Jessie (Mouat) Toynbee with Dick and Manson,

Far right, Reverend Allan, United Church minister, Behind Elizabeth and Alexander are Annie, Murray, Dorothy Dewar, Maggie, Jessie, Zora, Douglass, Mary Elizabeth and Roderick McLennan, Hudson Lee (Hutsy Ed). Standing beside Elizabeth is her dear friend, Mrs Cessford, who was her attendant at her marriage in 1879

Children in front: Unidentified, ? Agnes Stewart, Stuart McLennan, Unidentified, Helen Ruckle with Nan Ruckle standing behind her.

Most of these guests are long time Islanders. If anyone can offer any further identification it would be most welcome.

Accession number: 99049054

Elizabeth and Alexander with their family gathered around:

Murray; Anne; Maggie, William Meikle Stuart, Hudson Lee, slightly back; Alf and Jessie Williams; Zora and Douglass McLennan.

Accession number: 99049055

Alexander McLennan 1845-1932

Alexander in his old age. He lived to be eighty-nine years old. He suffered from prostate cancer for several years before his death, but was disabled for only a few days before he died. His family gathered around and were present for his last hours.

Accession number: 99049056

Elizabeth (Dunn) McLennan with granddaughter, Jean McLennan.

Bernice Jean was born to Murray and Dorothy September 29, 1933 in Victoria, but during the years that they were living on Salt Spring. She resembled the McLennan family and was a great favourite with her grandmother who would rock for hours with the infant, Jean, on her knee, both enjoying their frequent naps.

Accession number: 99049057

Elizabeth with granddaughter, Jean

Accession number: 99049058

Alexander McLennan 1845-1932

Accession number: 99049059

A family gathering in 1940 at Maggie Lee’s farm in the Burgoyne Valley.

From left: Douglass, Jessie, Zora, Ellen, Anne, Maggie, Dorothy, Robert, Murray

Front, from left: Beverly, Jean, Elizabeth, Mary

Accession number: 99049061

Anne, Elizabeth and Jean

Accession number: 99049062

Alexander McLennan 1906- Alex is still alive and active at age ninety three

Alex was born in Portland, Oregon, the son of Ellen McLennan and Ewen McLennan. He worked in Portland until retirement at which time he moved to Deep Cove and lives in a house built by his Uncle Murray.

Accession number: 99049063

Leslie McLennan and wife Inge

Image number: 26

Accession number: 99049070

Ernie and Frank Smith 1914. These brothers were not part of the McLennan family, but seemed to be very good friends of Anne and Maggie. We would be most grateful of any information about the Smith family on Salt Spring Island.

Accession number: 99049067

This is the final picture of Glenshiel Farm, taken by the real estate office in charge of selling the property. Three descendants of the McLennan family remain on the Island in homes in Fulford Harbour Village. We remember with nostalgia, our days on the farm, our parents and grandparents who prepared the way for the good lives and memories that remain.

Accession number: 99049068

1991. Mary (McLennan) Davidson and her brother, Robert Alexander McLennan, daughter and son of Murray and Dorothy McLennan at Beaver Point Hall, site of the third of three family reunions.

Accession number: 99049066

Jessie (McLennan) Williams, Maggie (McLennan) Lee, Dorothy (Dewar) McLennan

Accession number: 99049065

McLennan Sisters [c.1980]


Anne Stewart

Jessie Williams

Maggie Lee

Accession number: 2006005001

The first of three McLennan Family Reunions and gathering of the Clan.

This reunion, arranged by Robert and Mary, took place in St JohnÕs United Church orchard in Deep Cove, Saanich Peninsula in the summer of 1986.

From left: Karen (Williams) Archer, June (Williams) Whitlow, Win Williams (wife of Lawrence) seated, Lynn (Cunningham) Pikkainen kneeling, Cameron McLennan, Agnes (Stewart) Cunningham, Pikkainen boy, Jessie (McLennan) Williams, Maggie (McLennan) Lee, Dorothy McLennan, Alex McLennan, Robin Dean.

Centre from left: Hattie (widow of Bill Stewart), Aileen (Williams), Simon Whitlow, Stuart McLennan, Marcia (Williams) Dean, Audrey Whitlow, Allison Whitlow, Mandy McLennan, Mary (McLennan) Davidson, Lesley McLennan

Back: Husbands and sons and other relatives

Accession number: 99049064

Collection: Stuart McLennan

Location: Sidney

Date: circa 1900

Source: Stuart McLennan

Dimensions: 24.5cm x 43cm

Extent and Physical Description: screened print

Accession number: 2008007001