Salt Spring Island Archives

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Val Gyves Collection

Val Gyves Collection

Michael Gyves was 17 years old when he left Wicklow, Ireland with his brothers John and Jim. They traveled to North America in search of work, and they landed in New York. John was able to find work very quickly, but the other two brothers decided to keep traveling westward. Jim got a job in the mines in Nevada. Michael decided to join the American army and found himself in the Great Frontier. He left the army in the early 1860s, lured by the prospect of gold in Cariboo. He was unlucky in finding any, so he started to build houses in Barkerville. He did well for himself, so much so that he was able to do some traveling. On one of his trips to Victoria he met a fellow Irishman by the name of Mr. John Maxwell. Maxwell told him to move to Salt Spring Island because the land was well priced and the farming was good.

The land that Michael settled on was Cowichan land. He started to form a relationship with the Cowichan peoples that would pass through, often offering for them to come in for lunch. The family that passed through was Chief Tousilum and Taltunaat, as well as their daughter Tuh’a’wiye. When Tuh’a’wiye was 17, Michael asked Chief Tousilum for permission to marry her. Tuh’a’wiye was christened before their marriage and took on a new name of Mary Ann Gyves. Mary Ann and Michael married in 1886, then had three children, one of which was Ellen Gyves.

Ellen Gyves moved to a convent in Cowichan when she was a young girl, this was most likely the Saint Ann convent. Her father was extremely religious and wanted her to get proper education, he believed that Catholicism was the only way. She graduated from the convent at age 12 and moved back to Salt spring to help on her family farm. This is where she met her soon to be husband Ted Akerman. They married in 1901.

Tuh’a’wiye was born to a hereditary chief of the Clem Clemelutz clan of the Cowichan Tribes First Nation that went by Tousilum, and Taltunaat. They had three children, Tuh’a’wiye, Qwiyahwul’t’hw, and Kwulihwulwut. All three were born into Burgoyne Bay, or Xwaaqw’um. Qwiyahwul’t’hw (Married Tlitsiye’). They have S’hwthilum (Alec George), and also Slyelumul’t’hw (Walter George).

Michael and Mary Ann did well for themselves with odd jobs and farming. In the 1860’s, there was a huge housing boom in Victoria. Michael and Mary Ann cut down all the cedar trees on their property and cut them into shake bolts which they then turned into roofing shakes in order to send them off the Cadboro Bay.

Mary Ann was also a midwife for the Fulford Valley. She delivered almost all of the children in the valley. Her knowledge of traditional medicine helped her become one of the most knowledgeable people to go for medical and midwife advice.

Gyves Family

Ellen Akerman and (Ted ) George Edward Akerman. Ellen was the daughter of Michael Gyves and Mary Anne Gosselem. They were married in Victoria Feb 14, 1901.

Ellen Gyves was born July 14, 1871, died May 17, 1955. Ted was born Dec. 28, 1873, died June 12, 1953

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Date: 19-

Responsibility: scanned photograph

Source: Val Gyves

Dimensions: 4.8cm x 7.06cm

Accession number: 2005008001

Gyves Family

l - r; Michael Gyves Sr., Molly Akerman, and Jim Gyves.
Michael Sr. was born in Ireland 25 Dec. 1833, he married Mary Ann Gosselem 7th Nov. 1886. Michael died Sept 22, 1920. Mary Ann was born 1851 in Cowichan, her father, Chief Tzouhalem. They were married Nov 7, 1886.
Michael farmed, cut shakes and took them to Sidney for sale. Mary Ann was a mid-wife and delivered many babies on the Island. From a memo from Burnet George, Cowichan Tribe Ann was Tuwa’h’wiye” sister Owiya’h’wuithw, children of Chief Tzouhalem and Taltanaat of the Clemclemelutz Village, Cowichan, B.C.

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Date: 19-

Responsibility: scanned photograph

Source: Val Gyves

Dimensions: 9.14cm x 14.11cm

Accession number: 2005008002

Gyves Family

Michael Gyves and his wife Carolyn (Cotsford). Michael is the son of Michael Sr. and his wife Mary Änn. They lived in Burgoyne Valley where they farmed. Michael worked for the Forestry Department and was stationed on Mt. Bruce lookout during the summer months. Michael was very interested in sports. They had five daughters,

Val, Dorothy, Phyllis, Deena, and Shirley.

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Date: 19-

Responsibility: scanned photograph

Source: Val Gyves

Dimensions: 9.42cm x 14.11cm

Accession number: 2005008003

Gyves Family

Dorothy Gyves riding on her dad’s horse. Dorothy was born 1917, Jan _______. She married Robert Dodds.

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Date: 19-

Responsibility: scanned photograph

Source: Val Gyves

Dimensions: 9.6cm x 14.11cm

Accession number: 2005008004

Gyves Family

l-r: Deena Cotsford, Carolyn Gyves and Michael Gyves. Deena and Carolyn were sisters.

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Date: 19-

Responsibility: scanned photograph

Source: Val Gyves

Dimensions: 9.31cm x 14.11cm

Accession number: 2005008005

Gyves Family

Dorothy Gyves married Robert Dodds

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Date: 19-

Responsibility: scanned photograph

Source: Val Gyves

Dimensions: 14.11cm x 9.49cm

Accession number: 2005008006

Gyves Family

Dorothy Gyves on left and Val Gyves on right, daughters of Michael and Carolyn Gyves. Dorothy married Robert Dodds and lived on Salt Spring Island. Val received her RN in Victoria, B.C., 3 years training and 2 years nursing. After Victoria she nursed in Vancouver B.C. for almost five years. She went to Montreal, and nursed for one years and then 20 years in Portland, Oregon She returned to her family home to take care of her parents when she retired.

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Date: 19-

Responsibility: scanned photograph

Source: Val Gyves

Dimensions: 14.11cm x 9.03cm

Accession number: 2005008007

Gyves Family

Deena Gyves. Daughter of Michael and Carolyn Gyves. She married Mr. Sanderson and they lived in North Vancouver.

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Date: 194?

Responsibility: scanned photograph

Source: Val Gyves

Dimensions: 14.11cm x 10.09cm

Accession number: 2005008008

Gyves Family

Mary (Gyves) was the youngest of the Gyves children. She married Ernest Brenton, Dec 23, 1922. Ernest was in the police force close to Seattle. Later Mary returned home to look after her mother and eventually moved to SSI where Ernie drove logging trucks and then the school bus. They lived in the family home in Burgoyne Valley.

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Date: 194?

Responsibility: scanned photograph

Source: Val Gyves

Dimensions: 14.11cm x 10.02cm

Accession number: 2005008009

Gyves Family

Shirley Rees, daughter of Michael and Carolyn Gyves. She married Mr. Rees and lived in Fanny Bay, Vancouver Island.

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Responsibility: scanned photograph

Source: Val Gyves

Dimensions: 14.11cm x 9.31cm

Accession number: 2005008010

Gyves Family

Phyllis Gyves, daughter of Michael and Carolyn Gyves. She married Mr. Russell and second marriage, Mr. Paget. She is a retired school teacher.

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Date: 194?

Responsibility: scanned photograph

Source: Val Gyves

Dimensions: 14.11cm x 9.31cm

Accession number: 2005008011

Gyves Family

Dorothy (Gyves) Dodds and Val Gyves at the SSI Historical Society meeting February 9, 2005. The snapshot in the background is a picture of both of them when they were little girls growing up in the Burgoyne Valley.

Collection: Val Gyves Collection

Location: home of Val Gyves

Date: 9 February 2005

Responsibility: archives snapshot

Source: Frank Neumann

Dimensions: 1600 x 1200 pixels

Accession number: 2005008012

The road crew 1920
Bridge over Cusheon Creek

Cliff Wakelin (middle)

Dick Maxwell (left)

Ted Akerman (right)

Accession number: 2009040002

Accession number: 2009040003

EM Phillips cabin (ca 1890)

This cabin could still be seen beside Cusheon Lake in 2009.

Charles and John Tolson built this cabin for EM Phillips c.1890, and their younger brother Leonard Tolson stayed there when he first came to Salt Spring Island. Phillips was a watercolour painter and author of a 1902 booklet about Salt Spring Island.

Accession number: 2009040004

Accession number: 2009040005

Accession number: 2009040006

Accession number: 2009040007

Accession number: 2009040009

Accession number: 2009040010

Accession number: 2009040011

Accession number: 2009040012

Accession number: 2009040013

Accession number: 2009040014