Mrs. Suzanne (Susan) Simpson arrived here with her husband George Buchanan Simpson in 1912. Born in the south of France, Susan was the only child of wealthy, but distant, parents who left her upbringing to a farm couple in the French countryside.
She later attended a university in London where she met her future husband who, like her, held a strong interest in nature, plants and adventure. After time spent in various cities and places the shy and retiring couple found a new life in the wilds of British Columbia, namely Cowichan Lake.
After a few years they purchased a log home on property along the lake shore near Bald Mountain. It was a dream come true for the unassuming, quiet couple. They spent years establishing and maintaining a magnificent rhododendron garden on the estate as well as collecting other species of rare plants.
Years later, alone and failing after the death of her husband in 1958, she recalled a promise she had made to her long deceased mother. Susan had promised that the fine silverware, cutlery, china, furniture, plate mirrors etc., (her inheritance) would never end up in the hands of non-family members.
Since Susan had no children, she solved the problem by smashing the furniture and burning the wood then destroying all the lovely mirrors, cutlery, china and so on, until it was worthless.
One dark night, after she gathered in a sack the remains of her destroyed possessions, she quietly ventured out onto the lake in her small boat.
She silently rowed to one of the deepest spots on the lake then threw the sacks overboard. She had fulfilled the promise her mother had demanded.
She died about 1973 after leaving her property to the University of Victoria. A university field research centre was established on the Stoker/Simpson property and many of the prized and rare rhododendrons were used to establish Victoria’s Finerty Gardens.