Though Mr. Cane was a talented musician, he worked as a censor in the Nairobi post office during World War I, occasionally bicycling home. It was up to Mrs. Cane, equally keen as her husband, though not in music, to gradually begin a profitable business. As it was indeed true that the altitude was not suitable for coffee, it did not deter her from selling vegetables. Not only did she manage an enormous garden, she also tended to a herd of cows, proving that the Cane family was only half – mad to buy the land. The produce was carefully placed in handmade baskets, taken to the train station in Limuru by wagon, and then shipped all over Kenya and as far away as Uganda.
During the Great War, as World War I is called, the Canes began to take in British soldiers, sailors, airmen, and nurses in order to give them a brief holiday. The land, once criticized as “nothing but mist,” became a sanctuary for troops fighting against other colonial powers. Providing holidays called for the addition of a few new cottages, some of which were grass huts. Now, these cottages make up some of the historic, white – washed rooms open to the modern – day guests of Brackenhurst.