Salt Spring Island’s first regular newspaper was a monthly parish newsletter, written by the Reverend E.F. Wilson.
From the first issue, which was for December 1895, until the final issue for October 1906, Reverend Wilson produced a monthly one-page newsletter, mostly accommodated in two columns.
The Salt Spring Archives is sadly lacking many of the issues produced, but thanks to one or two families who kept their copies, there exists sufficient copies to present a fair representation of the doings of this island during this period, as far as they became known to an indefatigable minister of the Faith. The Reverend Wilson traveled extensively over the island, visiting Salt Spring Islanders of all faiths and of none, bringing them health care in a time when there was no doctor, and generally keeping them in touch.
As well as church matters of interest to his local Church of England parishioners (now the Anglican Church), the newsletters included a regular monthly weather report submitted by a parishioner on Kuper Island, accounts of the meetings of the newly-convened local agricultural association, news of the schools, and, in general, personal details such as who was coming and going, who was ill and in need of neighbourly consideration, and who had contributed what to which fundraiser.
The newsletter appeared on the outer cover wrapped around a monthly parish magazine published in England and sent out for local distribution to missionaries etc., of the British Empire of the day.
The inside of the cover (using a watercolour by Rev. Wilson) featured the local news; while the inside of the back cover, and the back cover itself, featured local advertisements, which helped defray the costs.
In 1895, the monthly parish magazine the Reverend Wilson chose was called Parish & Home. He eventually decided upon what he felt was a more interesting parish magazine called The Church Monthly, which also provided an extra page for local matters. The first extant copy of this new format in the Salt Spring Island Archives is the issue for December 1901.
To Search Salt Spring Island Newsletters of 1895-1907:
To find all references to a particular family name, open the Index.
(This exhaustive index of all the available newsletters was prepared for the Salt Spring Archives by Tia Leschke.)
To find references to particular subjects, open the Index
To search for additional subjects not covered in the Index, use the “text” of the month(s) of the required year(s).
To view scans of the original newsletters, use the “pdf” of the month of the required year