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A Fearless Midwife

In the early days, medical help was less available in the rural communities of the region. Residents had to be resourceful with medicine. Disease was always a concern, with many children dying at a young age. Home remedies were concocted, and knowledge of the useful medicinal plants essential, and women tended each other in childbirth. Luckily for the women of the region, Mary Ann Vine or “Granny Vine” of Pedder Inlet often came over to Sooke to assist with birthing emergencies.


A black and white portrait photo of a woman. She wears a high neck blouse with a white neckerchief and a full, striped skirt. Her hands are resting on a cushioned arm rest, and she holds in her hand what appears to be a card.

The fearless Mary Ann Vine, shown here in England in the 1890s, prior to her departure to the New World.


In the late 1800s, Mary Ann was a midwife who found her services in demand when mothers living in relative isolation in the region approached the time to give birth. She was the first to undertake such invaluable duties in the province.

Mary Ann has been described as hardworking, strong, and fearless as she hiked alone around the region to visit patients, despite the dangers posed by wild animals and the elements. Excerpts from a biography written by M. E. McVicker in 1930 describe some of her missions, many of an exciting and frightening nature.

A waterfall cascading down large rocks between trees in a forest.

Mary Vine Creek Falls, 2020.

Mary Vine Creek, a tributary which drains Peden Lake into the Sooke River, in the famous Sooke Potholes Regional Park, is named in honour of Mary Ann. What some may know today as Glenrosa restaurant in Metchosin was originally her home.