Craigflower was one of Vancouver Island’s first European farming communities, established in 1853 along Victoria’s Gorge Waterway. The Puget Sound Agricultural Company, owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company, established farms to reduce the need for importing goods from abroad, and to meet the Hudson’s Bay Company’s obligations to Britain to support colonization. On lands purchased from chiefs of the indigenous aboriginal people, Kenneth McKenzie oversaw construction of a self-sufficient settlement.
Long before the arrival of the Craigflower settlers in the mid-1800s, the Kosapsom families occupied this area, with their people using the Gorge waterway and its adjacent lands for shellfish collection and processing during the 5,000 year period prior to European contact. The descendants of the Kosapsom are the Esquimalt Nation, whose people still harvest shellfish, salmon and herring from the tidal waters that separate the Manor from the Schoolhouse.