< Key Dates

Key Dates
as compiled by Charles Kahn in his book "Salt Spring, The Story of an Island"

3000-2000 B.C.  The oldest site of Aboriginal habitation in the Gulf Islands is established between between North and South Pender Islands.
1800-200 B.C. The earliest known Aboriginal habitation on Salt Spring Island is established at Long Harbour.
1780 A smallpox epidemic dramatically reduces the Aboriginal population.
1790-1850 Fierce inter-tribal wars take place between the Salish and Kwakiutl peoples.
1778 Captain Cook becomes the first European to land on Kauai Island.
1846 The Treaty of Washington with the United States limited Britain’s sovereignty to Vancouver Island and to the mainland north of the 49th parallel.
1849 Britain grants the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) jurisdiction over the colony of Vancouver Island with the proviso that it develop the colony as an agricultural settlement.
1851 HBC Chief Factor James Douglas is appointed Governor of Vancouver Island.
1858 The gold rush along the Fraser and Thompson rivers begins.
1858 Blacks from San Francisco send a delegation to Governor Douglas to inquire about the prospects of emigrating to Vancouver Island. After a favourable reception, about 600 people move north.
1858 On August 2, the mainland colony of British Columbia is created out of New Caledonia (an early name for much of mainland B.C.).
1858 Britain resumes full control of the colony of Vancouver Island.
1859 Non-Aboriginal settlement of Salt Spring Island begins.
1859 The first settlers come to Salt Spring Island.
1859 Jonathan Begg opens his store and post office at Beggsville (Fernwood).
1859 The Salt Spring Island Stone Company operates on the west side of Salt Spring just south of Southey Point.
1859 Thirteen Blacks, with and without families, pre-empt land on Salt Spring Island.
1859 Salt Spring Island Stone Company operates on the west side of Salt Spring just south of Southey Point.
1860 There are about 70 resident landowners on the island.
1860 J. J. Southgate, a resident of Vancouver Island and a supporter of the Douglas government, is elected to represent Salt Spring Island in the colony’s legislative assembly in Victoria.
1860 About fifty Cowichan attack a party of fourteen Bella Bella in Ganges Harbour (then known as Admiralty Bay), killing eight men and two women and taking two boys and one woman hostage.ii One injured Bella Bella escapes.
1860 Four Germans are producing shakes and barrel staves for the Victoria market.
1861 The first boat landing on the island is built at Vesuvius Bay.
1861 John Craven Jones begins teaching school at Central Settlement.i
1861 A group of Haida rob Jonathan Begg’s store in Begg’s Settlement (Fernwood).
1862 Frederick Marks and his daughter, Caroline Harvey, are murdered on Saturna Island.
1863 Two settlers, Bill Brady and John Henley are attacked by a small group of Cowichan at Bedwell Harbour, Pender Island.
1863 Major John Peter Mouat Biggs of Chemainus is appointed justice of the peace for Chemainus and Salt Spring Island.
1864 One hundred acres are set aside for public use at Central Settlement, where the first school is erected, with John Craven Jones as the unpaid teacher.
1864 There are five hundred head of cattle on the island.
1866 The colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island are united on November 19.
1866 Dr. Hogg, Salt Spring’s first doctor, is killed on his pre-emption.
1868 William Robinson and Giles Curtis are murdered in their cabins within eight months of each other.
1868 Kiave, the first Hawaiian to come to Salt Spring, settles at Fulford Harbour.
1869 John Maxwell and John Lunney donate land for a permanent wharf at Burgoyne Bay.
1869 Abraham Copeland is elected to Salt Spring’s first school board.
1869 Tshuanahusset of the Halalt nation is convicted of William Robinson’s murder.
1871 British Columbia becomes a province of Canada. The population of Salt Spring is estimated at 91 people
1872 Henry Sampson is appointed constable of Salt Spring Island.
1873 John Craven Jones and Henry W. Robinson are elected to Salt Spring’s seven-member council.
1873 Salt Spring Island is incorporated and becomes a municipality.
1873 Burgoyne Bay School District is formed.
1874-75 The first land survey of Salt Spring is conducted.
1874 Salt Spring’s first post office is established.
1875 Louis Stark moves to the Nanaimo area.
1875 William Naukana pre-empts land on Portland Island.
1877 The Tsaout Indian Reserve is established to the east of Fulford Harbour.
1877 The first Japanese to come to Canada settle in Victoria.
1880 The Burgoyne Bay Post Office opens.
1881 The population of Salt Spring reaches 258.
1883 The municipality of Salt Spring Island is dissolved by the legislative assembly.
1884 Joseph Akerman opens The Traveller’s Rest, which includes the first store in
1885 St. Paul’s Catholic Church, built largely by Hawaiians, is consecrated.
1885 Beaver Point School opens.
1885 The CPR rail line is completed to Vancouver, facilitating the shipment of farm produce to eastern markets.
1887 The Union Church (now Burgoyne United Church) is built and consecrated.
1887 The Stevens Boarding House opens in the north end.
1891 The population of Salt Spring reaches 435.
1891 For the census, nine Salt Spring residents give logging as their primary occupation.
1892 Harry Wright Bullock arrives on Salt Spring Island.
1894 St. Mary’s Church (Anglican) is consecrated.
1894 Rev. Wilson records ten people of Japanese ancestry living on Salt Spring.
1895 The Japanese are legally denied the right to vote in British Columbia elections.
1896 The first fall fair is held on the grounds of the newly completed Central Hall.
1896 Central Hall is completed for use as an agricultural exhibition hall.
1897 The first telephone wires are erected on Salt Spring Island.iii
1897 Bullock moves into the house he had built by Reid Bittancourt.
1898 The Salt Spring branch of the Farmers’ Institute is founded.
1900 Mary, Harry Bullock’s younger sister, arrives from England.
1901 The population of Salt Spring reaches 508.
1902 Maria Mahoi inherits and moves to Russell Island.
1902 Ganges and Victoria are connected by telephone.
1902 Mahon Memorial Hall (named in 1904) is completed as an agricultural hall.
1904 The Salt Spring Island Creamery opens in Ganges.
1905 The Vesuvius Bay Methodist Church is consecrated.
1906 The Geographic Board of Canada names the island “Saltspring.”
1906 Jesse Bond arrives on Bullock estate, followed by Mrs. Palmer and her son, Bill.
1907 Japan agrees to limit emigration to Canada to 400 males per year.
1909 The Okano family moves to Salt Spring for the first time, returning to the island again in 1919 after some years away.
1911 Alan Blackburn acquires Salt Spring’s first car.
1912 The Salt Spring Island Trading Company is born.
1912 The island’s population swells to about 900.
1912 Bullock buys a Model T Ford.
1913 Salt Spring has its first bank(but only for a year and a half).
1913 The first speeding ticket is issued.
1914 Lady Minto Gulf Islands Hospital opens.
1914 Ganges Water and Power Company is founded.
1915 Rev. E. F. Wilson dies and is buried in St. Mark’s churchyard.
1916 Salt Spring experiences its “worst” snowstorm.
1918 The Islands Farmers’ Institute (named in 1937) is created out of the Island Agricultural and Fruit Growers’ Association and the Farmers’ Institute.
1921 The first Fulford Community Hall opens.
1922 Salt Spring drivers are now required to drive on the left side of the road rather than the right side, but the horses have trouble adjusting to the new law.
1924 F. M. Singer Lumber Company brings several portable tie mills to the island.
1925 Fulford Community Hall burns down, but is rebuilt within the year.
1926 Cusheon Cove Lumber Company’s wharf collapses, and the company closes soon after.
1928 Japanese emigration to Canada is now limited to 150 per year.
1930 Gulf Islands Ferry Company begins operations.
1931 Salt Spring’s population climbs to about 1200.
1931 Branch 92 of the Royal Canadian Legion is created on Salt Spring.
1934 Beaver Point Hall is built.
1936 Fulford Community Hall, Beaver Point Hall, and the White Lodge are all destroyed by arsonists.
1937 Electricity comes to the north end of the island.
1940 The Consolidated School opens; almost all students on the island now go to Ganges.
1942 All people of Japanese ancestry in B.C. are interned to the interior of the province and to other provinces.
1946 Bullock dies at age eighty, ending an era on the island.
1946 Salt Spring’s population reaches 1,755.iv
1948 The Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce begins operation.
1949 Freedom of movement and the franchise are returned to Japanese Canadians.
1949 Freedom of movement and the franchise are returned to Japanese Canadians
1949 Beaver Point Provincial Park is created.
1950 Miles Acheson starts the Spotlight, Salt Spring’s first new sheet since 1906.
1951 Salt Spring’s population has increased to 1,918.
1955 The George S. Pearson ferry begins service between Vesuvius and Crofton.
1957 The Salt Spring Island Creamery closes down.
1958 The new Lady Minto Gulf Islands Hospital opens.
1960 Prince Thurn und Taxis of Bavaria buys about 4,000 acres of forest land on Salt Spring.
1960 Woody Fisher starts the Salt Spring Island Driftwood.
1961 BC Ferries buys the Gulf Islands Ferry Company.
1962 The Holdfast Pozzolan plant on Welbury Bay begins production.
1963 The Long Harbour ferry terminal is created for BC Ferries’ Tsawwassen to Gulf Islands run.
1964 Bullock house is destroyed by fire.
1966 Salt Spring becomes part of the Capital Regional District (CRD).
1969 The B.C. government forbids land subdivision of under ten acres in the Gulf Islands.
1971 Building permits are required and building inspection is now mandatory on the island.
1972 The B.C. government buys the Ruckle farm to make a new provincial park.
1974 The Islands Trust, with a “preserve and protect” mandate is created to oversee land-use regulations on the Gulf Islands.
1974 Salt Spring’s first official community plan is adopted.
1981 The Water Preservation Society is founded.
1982 The fall fair is held for the first time on the Farmers’ Institute new grounds on Rainbow Road.
1986 The Ganges sewer plant begins operation.
1986 Salt Spring’s Festival of the Arts has its first season.
1986 The Salt Spring Hysterical Society gives its first performance.
1989 The Island Arts Centre Society is founded to build an arts centre for the island. The name chosen for the new centre is ArtSpring.
1991 About 5 percent of Salt Spring’s labour force is involved in agriculture.
1992 Island Natural Growers is formed to support Salt Spring’s organic farmers.
1996 Salt Spring’s official population reaches 9,247, more than four times as high as it was thirty years earlier.
1996 The Islands Trust produces the first draft of a second, revised official community plan for Salt Spring..
1996 The Core Inn youth centre opens.
1996 Salt Spring’s official population reaches 9,247, more than four times higher than it was thirty years earlier.
1998 The Islands Trust adopts Salt Spring’s second official community plan.