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Castle Island

Castle Island

Accession number: castle3

Accession number: castle4

Accession number: castle4e

William and Clara Hague Castle-Island 1930's

I would like to contribute the attached photo of Castle Island in the 1930’s. In the doorway are my grandparents, William and Clara Hague who lived there during that time before they bought their farm on Ganges Harbour. My mother Mary Hague (passed away in 2005) recalled going to school in Ganges by boat with her brother Alex.

Bob Fyvie

Accession number: William-Clara-Hague-Castle-Island-1930's

Discussion Regarding Castle Island

From Charles Kahn interviewing Denise Crofton (and John Crofton), SSIA tape file titled simply 8 in the document I have.

Denise Crofton says that a Mr. Haig played in the orchestra, at Harbour House dances. He played the saxophone and his wife played the piano. "They owned one of the islands out there, that we call Castle Island. They had their own boat, and I went to school with their kids, they used to bring them over to school, and they also used to come and play our summer dances. His name was Bill."

Here is some information I received from Jacyntha England in 2004 . Her address is #404-Barclay St.Vancouver,B.C. V6E 1H3,Tel: 604-408-8621,email She is the great-niece of Sheila Smith (born Sheila Halley on Salt Spring,Island,1919.)

Sheila's father came to SSI about 1904. Originally from Glasgow,he was apprenticing to be a stockbroker in London. He was told to go to the colonies to get some fresh air. Having a brother already in B.C.,the two young men came to SSI. The brother was probably George Halley. Another brother,Ian Halley also lived on the Island at one time. Betty Halley said her grandparents came to live on SSI during the First World War, from Glasgow,I assume. She said her grandfather who was an architect built quite a few of the early houses on SSI including the well known little castle and home on an island in Ganges Harbour (called Halley's Folly) and a home that is still standing and is now owned by Summerside,across from the RCMP building.

I hope this helps,all the best, Sue

Castle Island in the 1980's was owned by an American who was residing instead in an American jail, placed there for tax evasion. Maybe he won it in a lottery...

He was most amenable to requests sent by mail, to have my friend Emily's houseboat moored to his dock for months on end.

She and her two children lived there for a lovely long time, possibly years. The two children were enrolled in the Salt Spring Centre School for years (their lovely presence in the school seemed like years anyway), and she rowed them to and from Ganges daily. I can't remember if she had a job in Ganges.

Her son was an amazing entrepreneur - at the age of 8 he began collecting returnable bottles and cans, riding around the side roads of Salt Spring on his bicycle, to collect the return money. I'm afraid I don't remember how long he continued to do so, except that the extent of that time was memorably long - as a result of his persistence he managed to save and amass sufficient to achieve his original aim - to pay the expenses for his family to go on a trip to Europe! I think his mother paid for the air fares of her younger daughter and herself, but that Chris proudly paid for his own fare - as well as paying for all the expenses of their stay there, in youth hostels. The owner of the island was suitably impressed, from his (probably not a) jail cell!

I wonder if the USA tax department seized his assets, including Castle Island? Maybe the solution to their owning it was to lottery it off! I can't think how putting it up for a lottery would have benefitted a tax evader languishing in prison...

By the way, in the 1980's I myself camped on the island for a week and made a number of drawings of the ruined "castle"; I knew nothing of the island's previous history, and the entire mystery of these "archeological remains" absorbed me all week - great fun. I may also have drawn the not-yet-demolished "gate house" at the top of the long dock. I should hunt for the little book I drew in - it was a journal, so would also have hand-scribbled descriptions and observations which might add to the pics, which could be added to the website! (In itself, not historical, but a deduced floor-plan of the historical building, the 'castle' itself.)


On 21-Jan-09, at 10:39 AM, Bob Rush wrote:

Don't know about that one, but I recall seeing legal ads sometime in the '70s or '80s re a proposed change of name by a (Roberts?) family wanting to change the name of Deadman Island to Roberts Island (after "Mr." Roberts died, if I recall correctly).

As far as I'm aware, the proposed change wasn't approved, and it's still officially Deadman Island.

While we're on the topic of the Chain Islands, I seem to recall that one of them was won as a lottery prize in the 70s or 80s, likely one of the Sister islands.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Marsh"

I thought one of the sisters was rename Cessna Island because it was owned by Cessna the plane guy, that was about 1958 he built a structure and piped water from SSI and of course flew in by plane. Colin Mouat was involve with this fellow it was a big deal at the time.

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