Salt Spring's Black Community

An Introduction to Salt Spring's Black Community
from Charles Kahn's book Salt Spring: The Story of an Island

Many of Salt Spring Island's first settlers were Blacks who came from San Francisco. Some were former slaves or children of slaves but all were free citizens of the United States when they immigrated to British Columbia. They included merchants, miners, farmers, and teachers among others. All shared a desire to escape discriminatory California law and to live fully as free citizens. Like many settlers, they had little money. The offer of free land drew them to an island wilderness. Chapter 4, p. 57

Audio Files

Families & Collections

Other information

The Stark Family
Audio tape of Naidine Sims' 2002 presentation to the Salt Spring Historical Society.
Stark / Estes Family

Location of Early Black Settlers

1977 Interview with Myrtle Holloman
Amber Hindle interviews the granddaughter of Sylvia Stark.

Gwynne / Woods Family
Who Killed Willam Robinson?
Ruth Sandwell & John Lutz
To Be Free: The 150th Anniversary of Black Settlement on Salt Spring
Evelyn White and Joanne Bealy's 2009 presentation to the Salt Spring Historical Society.
John Craven Jones
Salt Spring's First Teacher
Article by Gail Sjuberg in the Gulf Islands Driftwood of February 23, 2005
Whims Family Photographs