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Robert Akerman

Mr. Akerman talks about family history and mother’s Native background. Interviewed by Margaret Simons, 1977

Accession Number Interviewer Margaret Simons
Date 1977 Location




Unknown Speaker 0:00
This is April the 28th 1977 and we're in Fulford visiting Bob Aikman. Bob's Family has quite a history in this area. In fact, how far back does your family history go ball?

Unknown Speaker 0:17
Well, my family history would go back a good many years. My grandmother, chives was the daughter of the chief of the couch and Indians. She was born about 1840 and she she married my grandfather dies who came here in about

Unknown Speaker 0:57
1860. My grandfather dies was a officer in the American army. And his last duties were being with the piglet and his men when they were stationed on San Juan Islands, the time of the dispute over the line and the with a Pig War Two

Unknown Speaker 1:34
and he was discharged from American army and he used to while he was in the army, he used to get a canoe and just roam around the Gulf Islands on his time off and he found Fulford harbour and thought it was very nice. So he when he got a discharge from the American army, he went to the Victoria to see if he could find some land on Saltspring. So Douglas told him that he could come and anywhere at all on Saltspring any given land for $1 an acre,

Unknown Speaker 2:17
would that be around 18 5018 seems to be about

Unknown Speaker 2:21
Yes. 18 No, I'd say teens 60, early 60s In the early 60s,

Unknown Speaker 2:31
so he would be among the first

Unknown Speaker 2:34
to be one of the first and he looked over Fulford and found the creek, the little creek that's still going through the valley and he wandered up there and he found this big cedar cedar forest that's that used to be in the valley and he thought that that's the place that he liked where these big cedar trees because he he used to cut shakes her shakes further for roots. And so he picked up this piece of land about 100 acres and he started in the shake business see the sweat shakes, and he got a large canoe and he used to carry them from his farm down to the bay and paddle them into round Victoria for subtleness. And they sell them to the to the village and downstairs in Victoria to build their their houses.

Unknown Speaker 3:46
Who would that property be today? Well, that

Unknown Speaker 3:49
is the the Gize property it's it's free to buy about the center of the valley. Judges and the brand was the judges have Mike who was one of the sons he got half the farm and Mrs. Brenton sister got the other half of the farm so they're still there. The Mr. And Mrs. gyres and Mrs. Brandon are still are still on the old place.

Unknown Speaker 4:15
And Mrs. Brenton and Mrs. jugs would be your aunt. That would be

Unknown Speaker 4:20
Mrs. Mrs. Brandon is my aunt. Yes, Mrs. Jive. So that was a way for my uncle legacy. So,

Unknown Speaker 4:35
you mentioned your grandmother was she born on Vancouver Island

Unknown Speaker 4:43
and she was born at Cowichan Cowichan Bay that is where her the her father and grandfather and so on and there is Their main camp.

Unknown Speaker 5:02
She was an Indian

Unknown Speaker 5:05
is the daughter of the chief of the collections? Yes. Make the in those days, they were all hereditary chiefs. They weren't elected in those days. They just took him from the Father to the Son on all the way down, and they remain chiefs. So her people were achieved some way back.

Unknown Speaker 5:25
So you'd really be able to trace your family history on your mother's side quite far

Unknown Speaker 5:29
away back. Yes. My grandmother used to tell me a lot of stories about the early days, raiding parties that used to come down from the north and grade, the different villages here in the south. The main object was to

Unknown Speaker 5:54
capture some of the younger people to bring them back and they would bring them into their own tribes and strengthen their own tribes. They maybe the people think of as slaves, they weren't actually slaves. They were treated very well, according to my grandmother.

Unknown Speaker 6:29
The younger people that were captured and brought back to the different tribes were treated very well and were brought up just like their own children. And

Unknown Speaker 6:42
I remember my grandmother telling me one time about when her her father was and his. No, I just heard her grin. Her grandfather was away on a fishing party over to the Fraser Fraser used to run the Fraser and

Unknown Speaker 7:08
river and get salmon and dry them for the winter time. And they were away in the North Indians came down and

Unknown Speaker 7:17
what what tribe with

Unknown Speaker 7:21
the highest from the Queen Charlotte's and they landed, they they came in early in the morning, just a daybreak and they captured a lot of the a lot of the younger boys and girls and the

Unknown Speaker 7:50
turning them back north again. And when my great grandfather got back, he was he didn't thought that he'd have to go back and get them to say so he

Unknown Speaker 8:06
went around to the Saanich Indians who were that I had their main gap and Saanich. He went to the songhees in Victoria and first Lummi Island, and he gathered several of the tribes together and they made it they were going to make a raiding party and see if they could get some other young people back again. So they let's talk time because in those days, they had lots of time, and they were gone all going to meet and couch and Bay at a certain time. And the journey had a Potlatch and few dances before they left to say so they they pretty well. We're all together at Cowichan Bay, getting ready to go north and some scouts they had ahead the journey send scouts ahead to see if there's any danger on the way came back and said there's a there's a there's a raiding party of for the Heidi's at Maple Bay and they watched them for a while and they were cutting polls and what you're going to use them for was the the couches had their, their their camps along the couch and River up the river you see towards Duncan, and they use these poles for pulling their way up the the river is too too shallow at that time to tattle. So they're cutting these poles so they can pull her way up. There. And so the reported to my grandfather and he got everybody together and says well we'll we'll read them tonight and before they have a chance to rate us so that that night they get already and the went around the journey just to write a guardian, my grandmother just daylight in the morning and because everybody was pretty sleepy about to get ready to defend themselves so they like they they went around and they they they they rated the the the Heidi's who are on the beach of maple Bay and the sounds kind of bad but I think there was only one one Id left after they had their their battle. And he escaped but later on the he was caught I think at Comox according to my grandmother's Got it komak so but anyway, they they got the Heidi canoes and brought them back to couch and then I thought well we might as well go, you know, anyway, now we we pretty well had our revenge but we haven't got our children back. So we might as well go away already. So they they started out and they use the Heidi canoes. They left most of their own home they took the it canoes because they were they were maybe better canoes and they had they come a long way. Yeah, that's right. And they took them and they paddled up the coast and I don't notice how long it takes them. It takes them quite a while. And they knew the village that they they knew the village that these Heidi's were from and it's one of the main villages on the Queen Charlotte's and they had to figure it out. So they'd get in there just an evening at dark, just a dark. And so they went into the village and they had two men that were former that they'd captured a few years back from the Queen Charlotte's and they knew the the they knew the the Heidi's victory song they could sing it and they had them up in the barn with the canoes as they went in this night. And up on the bow the main canoes the Franklin's and they were singing the the Heidi victory song. So when the people in the village heard delay, they were thinking they're there. People are coming back to say like like the I guess I could see the outline of the canoes. They were Heidi canoes. So they all came down to the beach and

Unknown Speaker 13:31
when they got in there just the dark the all the canoes come up on a beach and they were all college students you know and so they just surrounded the whole village. They had the whole village there. So they they they took their founder has many of their sons and daughters that I said previously captured and it was a quite a reunion I guess when they got together with their fathers and they also

Unknown Speaker 14:06
captured a good number of the younger Heidi's and they brought them back down again to the couch and

Unknown Speaker 14:18
reserve not the reserve that has not already won reserve in those days that was their own land in those days. And there were they were really satisfied that you know they got the older young people back again. We also got a quite a good number of the Heidi's the the young people back from the

Unknown Speaker 14:51
from the hydro village. These young people grew up in the couch and in And with the cartoons you see and when Douglas came in the governor he ordered all the any tribe that had any slaves that were would have to go back to their own own tribe and these people the all of the young people that that my grandmother's people captured wouldn't go back

Unknown Speaker 15:32
really no they would like the way the way the country here

Unknown Speaker 15:35
and that seemed to be the last of the main battles that they had with the with the Heidi's that it just didn't come down again. They did have a little skirmish and Ganges but that was more or less a few of the Heidi's coming down to trade trade with the whites in Victoria that it wasn't organized battle like this one that

Unknown Speaker 16:02
well, now we're there Indians living on Saltspring on the

Unknown Speaker 16:07
Saanich Indians owned before the white man came was Saanich Indians owned Fulford harbour my

Unknown Speaker 16:22
my grandmother's vehicle owned half the valley and burger couch and that was a bit of coaching and they had the camps there that my gun my grandmother

Unknown Speaker 16:41
and her father had a camp at Oregon bay or out of the bay. They had their camp there.

Unknown Speaker 16:49
Well when you say camp do you mean they would be here for part? Well, it was here they were

Unknown Speaker 16:53
here yes there they came for hunting and fishing. There was a creek there at Burgoyne where the salmon used to go up.

Unknown Speaker 17:00
And so they would just come over from a cow which certain times a year

Unknown Speaker 17:05
did clams and dry them for the wintertime and and it gets the salmon and leaves the sun dried and keep all winter and then they go back to couch and for the for the winter for that's their main camp. That's where they had their buildings there. They're the main buildings couch and now

Unknown Speaker 17:33
in Fulford harbour itself. There, there was an Indian Summer Camp too. We don't

Unknown Speaker 17:43
have profunda that the the the Saanich Indians had more of a permanent camp at Fulford they stayed there pretty well all winter, all year. All year they stayed there.

Unknown Speaker 17:59
Indication seems to be that there was a burial there. I remember when they were putting in the dog a couple of years ago, they did find quite a few bones. Right,

Unknown Speaker 18:09
right. Yes, yes. It looks to me like there was a permanent cap there because you do find a lot of artifacts there along the beach where they've been washed out of the beach. And a lot of the Marines are very good ones.

Unknown Speaker 18:27
You've got quite a collection yourself.

Unknown Speaker 18:29
I have about 1000 pieces of really authentic artifacts. And my grandmother used to tell me about walking down the creek to visit the cat or the Saanich Indians when they lived at Fulford that is before the white man came she just a little girl and she used to come down and visit them. She told me quite an interesting story one time about when she was a little girl just before the white man came. She and her father and mother were coming down this evening to visit the the sandwich Indians leave to come down stay overnight. They were very friendly. They were just a neighbor, neighboring tribe and they were very friendly. And on their way down. That would be about halfway down the valley that my grandma my grandmother's father said I know where there's a wolf, a wolf den under this big cedar, fallen cedars it could be that there might be some pups there so they my grandmother and her brother are very interested as kids, they want to see these pups so they went up and sure enough there were there were three little pups. wolf pups in this nest But the wolves are away I guess they're away on a hunting trip. And so just like children they wanted them they wanted to take them so he's gonna try because we can't we can't take take them but if you want to take them down to show us the your little friends down at the Fulford you can take them down, but we'll bring them back tomorrow morning, when we come back, we'll bring it back, put them back in, in the nest, so they're not just fine. So they, they carry them all the way down the shoulder, the Saanich children, these little girls and and they were playing with just like pups, you know, and that have quite a big fire on the beach, goes to the beach, and I was sitting around the fire. And pretty sound I heard these wolves. They were they were just like they were on the chasing something, you know, like you hear them howling. And they listened and they're coming right down along the creek just where the they walked a couple hours before. And so they came right on right on the beach, this small pack. And they watch them they watched the fire, but they wouldn't come too close to the fire. But they watched them. And my granny's Father said well, he says that it looks like they've found out where their pups are. And so they said, Well, we'll see what they do. So they were they were watching them for a while and they circled the fire for a few minutes that they wouldn't come to closer to circle around it. And then they left and they crossed the creek and went up into the onto the hill above where the little Catholic Church is now that was stone church. And they heard them start howling again like they're on the run. And pretty soon, just not too far from where the they were camping at the head of the bay. There was a quite a splash just down along the beach and this deer came in into the water with the world is right right behind it the vision doggedly drove right in the water and it was standing up there. And the rules were just just around the beach, I wouldn't let it go back on the beach again. And my grandpa my granny's Father said well, it looks as though we have to give the babies back now because according to him, it meant that they brought that deer in to trade for their for their pups. Oh, what

Unknown Speaker 23:00
a wonderful story.

Unknown Speaker 23:02
My granny said it's a true story. And she said that they were very very close to nature in those days because they just lived with the animals the holes they could tell the message and they could pretty well talk each other's language and so they kind of had a we have to get them back now so we he took them down the beach put them down went back to the camp and the wheels came along and pick them up that way they went that was the last day so you know them

Unknown Speaker 23:33
goals and Saltspring for a long time when

Unknown Speaker 23:39
there was one here in 1930 but it swam over from bank around but when my grandparents came the there was a quite a number of really my mother said that she she used to hear them calling you know or barking I guess where you could call it from one mountain to the other in the valley or that one wouldn't howl and one side and then the others would howl on the other side to answer them and she was the girl that I guess it shows you how close they were to nature in those days to their understanding what the rules meant and one another's people lost quite a treasure up on under maximal mountain with their their words never found. Now this is a this is a really common I guess I don't know what to call it in those days but it was made up of made up of a lot of their valuables in those days like Jade Jade tools and and shells that they they valued and it was in a cedar box and they'd gone out fishing And they There was one young fella he is helped wasn't too good so he stayed home he was wasn't feeling good and there was a raiding party coming down they saw this raiding party coming down through through a Samsung narrows it would be the hardest again well I'm not quite sure if it was the highest or one or the other there was numerous tribes north of Comox they were friendly to do Comox that was them an enemy territory see but they saw them coming saw this fellow he picked up this box with their knowledge treasures in it and he took it up somewhere into that area of what we call a boulders below Mexico speak and he hid it he buried it up there and all the rest of the the people had they these tied up in there too. They're all good. But after the raiding party left they went back to their their camp again. And I guess there was a little time before they went up to look for this treasure and in the meantime this young fella died he for some reason he died and so my grandmother's people they love to look for it but they never did find it and she said it's still there somewhere in that in that area. But it's it's it's I guess it's all grown over now but it's it's still there and if she said us in a in a cedar chest

Unknown Speaker 26:46
Have you ever gotten

Unknown Speaker 26:49
lucky that I've looked at I have never come across it but I have found artifacts looking up there found artifacts under the in the in some of the caves under the under the actual speak

Unknown Speaker 27:04
so you know that that the story is true that

Unknown Speaker 27:07
the story is true. It's an I'm sure that it's still there somewhere but it could be buried under a slide or something now it's hard to say I sure would like to find it because there's things that they valued you know in those days Yes.

Unknown Speaker 27:22
X was owned the valley. They own the burger and valley after 1860 and the government sold it to them is that right?

Unknown Speaker 27:36
The government Yeah, they they bought they bought it to the government sold. All this land was going for $1 An acre here in those days and

Unknown Speaker 27:45
when are your grandfather Aikman came around that time to ditty?

Unknown Speaker 27:49
Yes, my grandfather Eckerman he left in 1955 17 years old and he sailed around the

Unknown Speaker 28:00
horn into Victoria on the what's the name of the ship Tynemouth, I think it was a tiny house or something like that. And the land in Victoria and worked for some of the merchants there for a year or two and then he he liked gardening so he he

Unknown Speaker 28:33
got the he rented some land just back of the where the parliament buildings are today. And he grew vegetables and supplied the village there with vegetables. That'd be in the late late 50s. And he planted a lot of the trees there's still some trees back around the back of the parliament building Sarah I think the ones that he planted in late 50s And then he heard about land on Saltspring saw he came on here about 1862 And he took up land in the valley.

Unknown Speaker 29:16
And that be right where your house is now.

Unknown Speaker 29:20
No that was that was up a little further up the valley up in the french french property know

Unknown Speaker 29:33
where the French is no. And this would be across from the jogs property Linwood.

Unknown Speaker 29:38
Yeah, so he actually took up both sides of the road there just up towards Bergen, like from the Jays property. Oh yeah, they were neighbors in those days and

Unknown Speaker 29:59
he He built a log cabin. More under mount booths. And he lived there for two years. But he found out in the wintertime it was quite shady there. So he moved across the valley then to where that the French property is now.

Unknown Speaker 30:14
Was that his original home?

Unknown Speaker 30:18
The original home was up to the valley log cabin

Unknown Speaker 30:20
with the frenches house today was his home. Oh, yes.

Unknown Speaker 30:24
Oh, yes, yes, yes. He had a he he moved across them. And he built this quite a large log house and with quite a number of rooms in it and he lay out a hotel I call it a traveler's rest

Unknown Speaker 30:47
period at that time, or was it just it was the blind self?

Unknown Speaker 30:51
No, no, I guess I'm gonna get it myself. No, he married he. He went back to the Korea it's in 1863. And he married my grandmother. Her name was Martha clay and she came out in the Robert low on the bride ship.

Unknown Speaker 31:13
Oh, did she Yes. And she worked for

Unknown Speaker 31:14
she worked for the she came out the same time as Mrs. Spencer Spencer brothers at a large department store in Victoria nearly days. And she came out with her she know Mrs. Spencer very well. And they were married in 1863.

Unknown Speaker 32:05
In the mood I think that fall of 200 saw spring and they built this big log house and he had a as I say kind of like a hotel and a store.

Unknown Speaker 32:21
And in this was known as the travelers rent is

Unknown Speaker 32:24
known as a Traveler's Rest and

Unknown Speaker 32:31
a lot of the people in those days used to just come to looking for land you see and they wanted a place to stay overnight. So let them stay overnight. And they'd buy their meals. So he did pretty well with the store in early days. And he he was a great gardener and he brought in a lot of of the trees we now have hair like the holly trees and a lot of the fruit trees he brought in a lot of them while the trees he brought all those in.

Unknown Speaker 33:04
And when you say he brought them in, he would bring them in and sell them to other people or he planted no he

Unknown Speaker 33:09
planted them he planted them he had a real show place that was a very mature place in early days. They awake around the farm and and he had he brought in quail little quail we have here now they're not native to Saltspring. He brought them in is that right? And had them in cages. And then he left them out and spread all over the island.

Unknown Speaker 33:31
And then he then acquired a family there was five boys and three girls, and they're all they all grew up on the island. My son has just made arrangements to buy the older or the old original increment farm from the frenches. So there'll be an increment back there after all exciting after quite a number of years. It's been out of the family now for FAR. Oh imagine 35 years or so.

Unknown Speaker 34:12
Which sound is this decision that

Unknown Speaker 34:15
is made or interested by?

Unknown Speaker 34:18
Well now with sheep breeding, when that start was that in your grandfather's day?

Unknown Speaker 34:25
Yes, my grandfather brought the sheep I guess the first sheep in the early days had a small flock of sheep and old ranch. And then his sons are a sheep that flocks their own but after about after the turn a century the salesman turned into a quite a sheep raising island a lot of the The people selling in the cranberry the Musgrave mountain area all pretty well raised sheep.

Unknown Speaker 35:10
Did they all have the same type of sheep?

Unknown Speaker 35:14
No normally there were different types like the Hampshire the Oxford Suffolk and then they would cross them to you know

Unknown Speaker 35:28
they hadn't mostly for meat not for spinning

Unknown Speaker 35:33
mostly for meat yes they used to put them in their wagons and take them down to Burger King or Fulford gets the old steamboat that used to come in in those days and ship them into Victoria at the burdens company and I think about all there must have been over 2000 sheep on the island over 2000 in I'd say from around 1912 to my team 35,000 Most of the sheep were were raised like the mount Bruce area we don't hear about them now but there was a quite a settlement there at one time. They all raised sheep

Unknown Speaker 36:34
in the mount Bruce. Bruce area Musgraves

Unknown Speaker 36:38
when all good taking in Moscow us Oh yeah. Landing all the way up to the top of the mountain. Yes, I I had jotted down a few names if you want if you wanted to hear the names of the early settlers. I could tell you who they are surprised you just how many people were in there. From say from 1912 1935. There were the laundries the garden brothers, Julius and Axl was held in Brantford. The Simpson brothers

Unknown Speaker 37:22
are they the Simpsons that are of sunset?

Unknown Speaker 37:25
No, no, they're not. There were some two boys from Washington that came and settled on on that in that area. And then there was the cowards who said Mr. Mrs. Roach, Mauldin. Joe Ogden and the blennies the guns the Patterson's followers Bill Smith, the trench brothers

Unknown Speaker 38:00
trench or French trench. They own

Unknown Speaker 38:03
the the Kellogg estate now and they had a they owned most of the mountain at one time, trench brothers. And then there were the Frank and oriental Smith through there they raised goats and they made cheese and shipped it to Duncan didn't sell.

Unknown Speaker 38:18
Are they the ones that also had was at a post office?

Unknown Speaker 38:21
Yes, they had to they had to the post office that Muskers landing and the trench brothers as they own most of the island and they they they had they had a lot of their property up for sale and during the 30s and they wanted to $2.50 an acre but they didn't get any buyers.

Unknown Speaker 38:39
Oh imagine

Unknown Speaker 38:43
I remember coming down Mr. Trump's coming down to see my uncle here. And he had two sections right back at my uncle's place and he wanted to sell that to him for 250 An acre but the 1930 The money was pretty hard to get so it shows you that there was a lot of credit settlement there in those days and they all pretty well all had sheep that was their their living

Unknown Speaker 39:14
now with a boat come from Victoria to pick them up or how would they get the the sheep off the

Unknown Speaker 39:23
they did the the there was the old otter and the island Princess Joan came in to either burger in or Fulford for beaver point.

Unknown Speaker 39:37
They know when they were coming and Joe there's no one there. I guess it was a regular service wasn't

Unknown Speaker 39:42
right, right. And the Eric was the request went down off of Sydney in just after the turn of the century, and quite a few people drowned. And they were all waiting at Fulford for documentary footage left Sydney to for Fulford and there they were all waiting there for it and it didn't turn up so we found out later it sank off of Sydney was there a storm that was blowing quite a heavy and they had a load of hay on to had a load of hay on the top deck and I think that he shifted in the storm and capsized my grant. We've got some other guys told me that her brother, her brother, her two brothers and father were camping on the beach just out of Sydney, their summer one of the small islands at least thought go down and was blowing quite heavy but they went out and they did they rescued a quite a number of people

Unknown Speaker 40:43
in their canoes. And understood I don't know how many they rescued but they raised to to quite a number and brought them to shore in a canoes

Unknown Speaker 40:56
must have been quite rough because for the aquatic go down, you know, I guess they could handle their canoes, you know, they rescued a quite a few. My grandmother sister saying that one. We're all quite young. She was a schoolteacher going to one of the islands to teach school and my brother said that he saw her, you know, go down. And they went as fast as I could over there to where she wasn't she could. She had quite long hair. And he looked down he could see the the see the hair, you know, under the surface of water. So he reached down and grabbed he grabbed a handful of her and he brought her up and brought her into the clue and they got her breathing again and saved her life. For that long hair that he said he didn't think you'd be able to get her because of her water was very rough.

Unknown Speaker 41:54
So he was her hero on

Unknown Speaker 41:56
Yeah, well, I guess so on quite a tragedy. I have a letter I have a letter here that my dad's I think it was when he was appointed road foreman here that would be in the early 1800s. And that letter actually went down on your cars and the mailbags were found on piers Island and they were brought back to the post office to get started and my dad didn't get the letter A few weeks after the nearest appointment for the road Foreman position on South Island

Unknown Speaker 42:41
with the world goal or when you say the south end of the island, but it goes from Fulford harbor to through the valley and then

Unknown Speaker 42:51
it went right through it again Geez. That went over the old divide in those days what to call the old divide, it went into wars Blackburn's lake and then over over the ridge there was quite steep and it wasn't till later quite always later on where they they built it around towards Cushing lake and then around that way

Unknown Speaker 43:11
and with the south end of the island BC from Blackburn road down

Unknown Speaker 43:18
the south end of the island Yeah, the South End Leon was is still full for district is still just pass Cushing Lake, there's a line. There's a line crosses there. You'll see it on a Saltspring map. And it goes and takes in Maxwell's Lake Maxwell's Lake is actually in Fulford district. Better subdivision now, the better subdivision? Is that sinful for district?

Unknown Speaker 43:45
Is there anything else we should know about the sheep breeding?

Unknown Speaker 43:50
Well no, the only thing I say about the sheep business, I guess it is the sheep business is something that the it was the biggest industry on Saltspring for years.

Unknown Speaker 44:06
And I don't know how a lot of the old timers would have survived but wasn't for the sheep business.

Unknown Speaker 44:14
Did your father then have sheep to when he was ruled for yes, he

Unknown Speaker 44:19
did. Yes. He had sheep too. He. He was road farming for 45 years here. I took them over. I took his flock over about it 1930 I guess and I run sheep for quite a number of years. Up till this day, a year or two ago my son's two sons taking them over now.

Unknown Speaker 44:53
Would that be tedding Paddy?

Unknown Speaker 44:56
They're quite interested in farming and they'd like to be able to stay on the farm if they could they don't have the buyers coming in and and cutting them down. Like we used to have that trouble on one time the buyers used to come in from Victoria and we're pretty fast talkers and I know they used to get away with quite a bit some of the old farmers they weren't quite so sure if you know, just like myself I sold a load in the 30s for $2 apiece and I went to cash my check and it bounced. Lost just about all my years years. Profit there

Unknown Speaker 45:42
you don't forget that. No, I

Unknown Speaker 45:44
don't forget. I went to school in my 20s Where did you go to school? Where'd I go to school? Right in the middle of the valley here. This is a we had our old schoolhouse just in the middle of Valley.

Unknown Speaker 45:59
Now we walked. We walked about a mile to school. A lot of the children in those days like the Max was from Morningside road. Not a quite a walk, you know, school. This is a school that I went through is the second school actually. The first one was built. My dad and mother both went to the first school here. That would be in 1970 the first schoolhouse was on the same site as the old originals. The old school is a house now up here. It's just a it's a cross train just across the road from the little church. The gray house there.

Unknown Speaker 46:45
I believe the Harrisons are

Unknown Speaker 46:46
in it now. Right? Right. Right. Right. Well, before that there was a there was a school there and then it was taken down and this one was built. But when I was going to school, there were always to be run around 30 Going to school from the valley here, children. That would be a one room schoolhouse.

Unknown Speaker 47:10
That'd be one room school. I can show you a picture here of the second school around. 1880 I have a picture of all the children here all the old timers and they're all gone now but it must have been about 20 some odd children

Unknown Speaker 47:34
would they come from the village of offered to them?

Unknown Speaker 47:38
Mostly around the valley. Most around the valley the leaves the furnaces and

Unknown Speaker 47:45
he mentioned the Maximals for

Unknown Speaker 47:49
the Maxwell's holiday Max was laid down on one side road just you know on the point yes. They had a quite a family they had a family of

Unknown Speaker 48:02
and then have quite a watch to school to then more

Unknown Speaker 48:06
than that. But the the fathers that I know used to live that the triggers they lived out on the other side of craggy mountain. What do you call a mountain back and forth? We call it tricky mountain. That's the old name. Reginald Reginald Hill. Yeah. As it was known as tricky mountain in those days.

Unknown Speaker 48:29
That's because the family's name was yeah, they understand drag these

Unknown Speaker 48:33
days. And they they lived at the summer resort there. summers there used to be some resort there on the other side. What's the name of that? Resort out there. I can't remember the but the magnetic slip thereafter ain, and Dawn freezer live there? Well, they walk from there over the mountain to the school here and walk back at night. Oh, they'd have to put all the way that they in wintertime, they would they would come over with the lander and over the trail overtop of original Hill. And they leave the ladder down at the bottom of the hill and not to work for 25 cents an hour and authorities and and the highest wages I ever made was $6 a day i i worked for PC bar commission. I made $6 a day. But finally is getting bigger. And that was that just wasn't enough to keep us so I thought well, I might as well. I might as well starve, not working. I started working so I just quit. And I spoke to his fellow Mr. Lachman. I don't know if you know Mr. Lachman or not. He was a quite a successful logger here in New Island. Talk to him one day and he asked me to I was doing as I was doing anything know what I was gonna do I said you got any advice for me? And he said sure he says do you go up on the Hilson take a conference and go up and and if you see some good timber just go up and find out who owns it run the lines and so he showed me how to use a compass and so I did I went out and I started looking around and found some pretty good timber just going back again Geez The mountain back again Geez nice timber in there so I I want the land office fun to do on the land and went to them and they were willing to sell it so I paid what I could down on it and how much money down on it but when we started to to log you know, takes logs out. And while they're taking the logs out, I was paying for the paying for them for it so we we ended up with about 550 acres I guess why I'm come right down into Ganges. Would that be mount Belcher that area? You have them on about at least from from Ganges. Retro back the Weddell Catholic churches now it went right back to grammar and road. Oh, yes. And up to the lake line where the light line crosses. And so we I was doing a little better than $6 a day. So I saved I saved my money and put it in my property. You know, and I wanted to what I wanted to get it was when the timber ran out, I wanted to have enough land where I could rent cheap. So I bought I bought land on the Musgrave side and which was a good cheap good cheap country just facing south south southwest is which is the best sheep grazing area. And

Unknown Speaker 52:17
we after our timber after our timber is pretty well running out up there we sold, we sold the land. And I went into for fall. I put my full time and a sheep then how many sheep would you I was running 1000 sheep at that time, and it was mostly in the Musgraves area mostly in the Musgraves area. And then I bought out the raptors, graduate and bass they wanted to sell out on the ground in the cranberry and so I bought theirs too. So we were running sheep there. So 1000 Alligators ship about 800 lambs a year, which can be a good living. And but as I went along the I found the hills getting steeper every year. And that is the time to give it up. So I gave it over to my son's. But we did have fun with it was a lot of fun. I like when I look back at it, it was pretty hard at the time. But it was a lot of fun doing it, how we used to make it fun. You know,

Unknown Speaker 53:34
I find more and more with this grant that as we're talking to people, they have things in their house, they'd like to put in a museum, right, so many people are just interested in the history of the island. Right, it'd be really interesting to be able to see it and be able to share it.

Unknown Speaker 53:54
Yeah, right. Yeah, well, I have my I have both my collection of artifacts, and I have the Sophie King collection of driftwood. He's quite famous. And I'd be glad to give it to him as if they don't want. I know of several other real good collections of artifacts that would go into museums. So we get started with Amazon just artifacts alone.

Unknown Speaker 54:32
But I guess the trophies and a little history of sports in the early ships that came into the army, just so many things.

Unknown Speaker 54:41
Oh, yes. So like the Phillips couple of days back in 1910 You see, which is quite a ways back. You know, when people today think well, we're learning about soccer and 1910 but they had some good teams there.

Unknown Speaker 54:59
Well This has been interesting

Unknown Speaker 55:02
well it says rambling