The Lineham residence was a busy place and home for a number of family members and friends during the Great War. Eleanor’s father, Benjamin Madigan, had lived with his daughter’s family after his wife Margaret died in 1896. Mr. Madigan moved to the new home at 1 Cook Street, taking up residence in the Fairfield Room. Eleanor’s father had been a marine engineer and was the Chief Engineer on the Hudson’s Bay ship, the Beaver, the first steam powered vessel on the West Coast and the ship that first brought Sir James Douglas to Victoria in 1858. Eleanor’s father died in 1920 at the age of 81. Eleanor’s sister also lived with the family, using Tudor Room as her bedroom.
The famous boxer Jack Dempsey is said to have been among the many celebrated and powerful who visited here. One of Arthur and Eleanor’s nephews recalls eating rabbit stew fresh from Beacon Hill Park. The area along Dallas Road towards Clover Point was a popular shooting range, and the Linehams often took their rifles out of their storage area off the current dining room to go out for target practice or for hunting rabbits.
Arthur died suddenly and unexpectedly in Los Angeles in 1923 at the age of 52. He was on a trip promoting tourism in Victoria at the time. The family was thrown into a difficult situation due to the many investments Arthur had made in large parcels of land that he had planned to develop, including property on Saanich Peninsula 25 acres and a sand and gravel operation on the west side of Mount Tolmie and 900 acres on Salt Spring Island. Subsequently, Eleanor was forced to sell the family home at 1 Cook Street to help carry these expensive projects.
Harold Lineham, one of the sons, inherited a parcel of the Salt Spring Island acreage. He transferred control of the property to the family land holding company, Fairfield Block Ltd, to protect it for the future. This worked nicely as some 50 acres was recently transferred to the Islands Trust, a conservation authority, by Harold’s grandchildren to protect the unique ecosystem in perpetuity.