Robert Robertson, his wife Janet and sons James and Thomas emigrated from Scotland in 1907. Robert worked in various BC locations, before the family arrived in Chemainus in 1912. Robert worked for the E&N a job he held for 25 years. In 1914 Robert purchased 9 acres of land from Mrs. Charles Bradbury, with the dream of having a chicken farm. The land was a heavily wooded wedge-shaped tract between the old Nanaimo Trail and the old Chemainus Highway. The farm was referred to as 'Little Scotland".

In 1918, wind fanned some burning slash, and a wildfire, swept through the area and cleared the land. As the chicken farm didn't seem to be a successful venture, Mr. Robertson subdivided his property into residential lots, but kept his own home there and started raising honeybees. The first lot was sold to James McKay, (probably who McKay Street was named for). By 1936, there were 19 lots on the original 9 acres. The subdivision was commonly known as Scotch Town.(According to Water Over the Wheel, this appellation was never a very popular one.) Street names came along later and reflected the names of some of the early residents (McKay, Maxwell and of course Robertson)


by Irene Dutton