(Above) Photo from the early 1900s shows a wooden bridge crossing Sherwood Creek. The current William Head Road (right) has a culvert running underneath at the same spot.

Metchosin: Then and Now, May 29

The old Sherwood Creek Bridge spanned waterway until the 1940s, when a poorly executed plan saw better road, culvert built

Sherwood Creek crosses William Head Road and runs through Devonian Park into Sherwood Pond before seeping into the ocean on Taylor Beach. It is named after the Helgesen family home, which stood at the top of Lombard Drive.

Sometime in the late 1940’s, the Highway Department expropriated some land from Tom Helgesen to replace the bridge with a culvert and fill.

Mismanagement placed the fill for the culvert on the wrong side, thereby creating a dip and a jag in the road, much to the amusement of the locals. The jag has long since been rationalized, but the dip is still noticeable.

Isabel Tipton (Helgesen) remembers that in Grade 1 when walking to school, she would balance along the railings rather than using the bridge deck. Hughie MacMillan, six years her senior, threatened to tell her dad of this dangerous activity, but she foiled him by saying she would tell her Auntie Bea, Hughie’s Mum, that she had seen him smoking behind the big oak tree.

Kids and governments don’t change as much as our infrastructure and environment.

… Visitors are welcome to our Museum: the Pioneer Barn and Book Store is open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the School House is open Saturdays 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays 11:30 am to 4:30 p.m.

– Wendy Mitchell is president of the Metchosin Museum Society.

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