Salt Spring Island Archives
Walter - Jack Bates

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We have a gentleman, Jack Bates, hoping to discover information about his wife's uncle and aunt, Fred and Laura Walter. Jack has been to the archives and was earlier in touch by phone and e-mail for awhile now, but we have not been much help to him. He brought some old snapshots of the couple, which Frank has scanned to the website and also their death certificates from Vital Stats. and an obituary for Fred, but there was no indication of the newspaper from which it was clipped.
Apparently, Fred and Laura lived in a cabin called Lang's Cottage on Ganges Hill about 1925. He died in 1945 and she died in 1949, both in Ganges. Fred is connected some way to the water tower and Ganges water supply, during his years on the Island and also with BC Tel in the early days of telephone service. We checked Tony Farr's history of BC Tel on Salt Spring, but did not come across Fred's name.
Jack Bates would welcome any information that would lead him to discover more about this couple. After he left the archives on Thursday, he was off to see Ellen Bennett, who may have been able to direct him to Lang's Cottage. Maybe that will be a clue to help you recall the Walters. By the way, no relation to our pioneer Walters families - he has checked that lead thorougly.
Thanks for any help that may be forthcoming.


Bob Rush wrote:
I have a vague recollection of a "Walter house" the "block" on Fulford-Ganges Road between the Beddis and Cranberry Road turn-offs.
I don't remember the Walters themselves. Someone who may, though, is Edith (May) Meadwell. She is a few years older than me, so would have a better recollection. The May family lived in the same block as the Walters.
Edith lives in Victoria, at 303 - 1525 Hillside, V8T 2C1. Her phone number is (250) 595-8175.
Mr. Bates is free to mention my name if he wishes to contact her.

Do you remember the water tower, and what happened to it?


The water tank is still there. Or if it isn't the original wood stave tank that was there in the 1930s in Mr. Walter's time, there would be a newer one, but on the same site. Going south on Fulford-Ganges Road it is on the Ganges side of the ravine just before you come to the Cranberry Road turn-off. It is part of the North Salt Spring Waterworks District's water system from Maxwell Lake.
Mr. Bates refers to "a cabin called Lang's Cottage on Ganges Hill". Mr. Lang was instrumental in establishing the Ganges Water and Power Company in 1914 (later taken over by the North Salt Spring Water District). I don't know if his son Jim is still alive (it's been 5 years since I saw him last. Sue Mouat may know for sure), but if he isn't, Jim's wife, Helen, is still listed in the phone book and may be able to add some information for Mr. Bates. Helen's address is 10173 Melissa Street, Sidney, V8L 3M5, ph. no. (250) 656-5918.


The second photo was likely taken of Mr. and Mrs. Walter standing in their driveway. If it isn't, though, it would have been taken from property fronting Fulford-Ganges Road between the May family home and the water tank.


Thank you Mary and Frank for pursuing my request and to Bob for responding. Fred Walter was my maternal grandmother's uncle, he served with Steele's Scouts during the NW Rebellion in 1885 and in England during WW1. The BC directories show him on Saltspring in 1914 and 1915, in Ganges 1921 and 1922, in Victoria 1923 - 1928, and in Ganges 1929 - 1945. It appears through Ellen that the old cabin on Wright rd is likely gone as is the cottage by the water tower on F - Ganges rd, I believe that may have been Lang's cottage..Sue thought she could perhaps confirm that. I will contact Edith and Helen in the near future......thank you again....jack bates