The Rhodes family (left to right) Susan, Cheryl, Bev, Barb and Barbara, show off a painting of their great-great grandfather Joseph Rhode’s former property on Happy Valley Road. Rhodes is considered a pioneer of Happy Valley. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Remembering the family that pioneered Happy Valley in Langford

Joseph Rhode’s great-great granddaughters want road named after him

Standing outside a grey-coloured house on Happy Valley Road, it looks like an eyesore in a sea of new duplexes, townhouses and single-family homes.

Trees have overgrown the Langford property, making it difficult to see the house from the road. The bright blue front door and window can be seen peeping through the bushes. The home doesn’t look like much, but to the Rhode’s family it means the world.

But the 105-year-old home was recently sold by its former owner to a developer and is facing the wrecking ball, said the family.

While they can’t do much to save it, they would like the developer or the City of Langford to consider naming a road after their great-great grandfather, Joseph Rhode (AKA Rhodie).

“With these last two houses going, it just hit us that that’s it for any acknowledgement,” said Bev Rhode, one of Joseph’s great-great granddaughters.

“It’s always been a big part of our family history … It just means that after this house is gone, that’s it for any physical sign of our family.”

Joseph Rhode was one of the pioneers of Happy Valley. Originally born in Germany in 1840, Joseph found his way to Victoria at a young age and opened a bakeshop on Store Street.

During his second marriage, Joseph and his wife, Angelina had four children – Joseph, Frank, Albert and Paulina. The family moved to Happy Valley and purchased 1,200 acres of property at Dicker Road, which ran on both sides of the road to the intersection of Station and Jacklin roads.

The Rhode farm was not only a producing farm with sheep and cattle, but it was also known as a halfway house for travellers to Metchosin and Sooke. But, following Joseph’s death in 1907, the land was sold off.

Joseph’s sons later returned to the valley, purchasing the land that was formerly owned by their father. Albert built a home at 3467 Happy Valley Rd., while Frank built one at 3344 Happy Valley Rd.

Since 1911, Frank’s home has changed hands several times. It was put on the market a few years ago, but the high price tag prevented later generations of the family from purchasing it back.

Despite the impending demolition of Frank’s home, Joseph’s great-great granddaughters (and last generation of the Rhodes family), including Barbara, Susan, Cheryl and Bev Rhodes, are hoping to keep the family name and the history of Langford alive.

“I hope it doesn’t get forgotten. They [the Rhodes] played a major role in the area as pioneers,” said Cheryl. “We’re disappointed and sad that there’s no history being carried on for an old family that goes way back.”

Mayor Stew Young said the City is open to naming a road after the family.

“We would definitely look at something like that,” Young said, adding the family can put in a request or write a letter to council, and the fire department will ensure there are no roads with the same name in the municipality. “We always like doing heritage-type stuff, things that show our history … I know the [Rhode] name and most people on Happy Valley would.”

Young noted he could potentially touch base with the developer to have the request completed as well.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Colwood tree bylaw causing problems

Arborist says bylaw unreasonable, puts homeowners at risk

Pellets shot at window of B.C. Transit bus

Bus was travelling near Craigflower and Admirals roads Wednesday morning when window was hit

Find out what the future holds for the West Shore

Chamber of commerce hosts annual Vision West Shore in February

Smell of pot plants sparks social media debate

A noticeable smell on Sooke Road has caught the attention of residents

Horgan indicates Highway 14 improvements coming soon

Premier says looming announcement part of much more coming for south coast connector

Victoria’s Our Place in desperate need of clothing donations

Downtown service provider feeling pinch from less frequent community clothing drives

Winds up to 100 km/h expected for Vancouver Island

“If you are near the water, it is important to be ‘Coastsmart,’ by staying above the high tide.”

Island-filmed TV series gets third season

Crews returning to Parksville Qualicum Beach to film Chesapeake Shores in the spring

Bank of Canada hikes interest rate to 1.25%, cites strong economic data

The rate increase is expected to prompt Canada’s large banks to raise their prime lending rates

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Canada, U.S. lead call for sanctions against North Korea

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces engagement

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

Hijab-cutting case highlights ethical issues with putting kids in spotlight

A Toronto police investigation has concluded a girl’s hijab was not cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Most Read