Salt Spring Island Archives

Donate Now Through!


The Stark Family

Nadine Sims

Nadine Sims is talking to the SSI Historical Society about her family, as recorded by her grandmother Sylvia Stark.

Accession Number Interviewer Address to the Historical Society
Date November 14, 2002 Location Central Hall
Media Audio CD
ID 157 Duration




Unknown Speaker 0:00
I'm so glad to see everyone I really can't believe this many people are interested in our families. And it's, it's just a pleasure to be here. And I thank you for coming. I was just going to say that my name is Megan. And I am the granddaughter of Marie Wallace, who wrote the entire story that you read all the books, my grandmother wrote, but her mother told her, she sat and listened for years, and wrote down everything her mother's dead. So now we have a history. And that is one of the reasons why we have books. So I want you to know that there is a book for every for all of the books written about our family, or on that table back there. And you can find some that I still print. And also I have a family Bible, which came across the water, it's all watermark, but the Bible is in perfect condition. So I would like you to please have a look at it. It's for you. It's very interesting. And it's also the everything that's in the Daleks. We see my family, were not educated in the grind. So someone else always did the writing for them. And they were pretty Correct. An interesting one for people we didn't know, I have a cousin here because I didn't know I had just because of the Bible. So anyway, he looks just like me.

Unknown Speaker 1:58
I am going to read to you some of the reminiscence of my grandmother, she wrote so many things that her mother said it was a sad story. But it's true. So you have to talk about it. And I thought that you might be interested. And you can judge from this don't feel badly if you hear me say things about white people. But this was this was their history in the early years. Anyway, my grandmother started out she says there was nothing unusual in taking a trip to Salt Spring Island. This was what she wrote later on. I had passed through the island, the dock the Gulf of Georgia many times and used as it was spelled there and champion, but strange to say the peaceful meals and Jamie cold and never appealed to me as they did now. I was on a visit to my agent, brother, mother and brother of the Stark family for acts that was the beauty and grandeur of CMA that awaken to the realisation of the value of things. How true is the Scripture, there is no speech or language where the voice of very nature is not heard that songs may very close over the shimmering waters ideally, as to the midst of yours. The pantomime of yesteryears should not be reflections that are not related thing. She says I saw the unknown race of the NBC News, I heard the dip dip of their ghostly paddles, and the wild chance of a happy Potlatch as the native race to their yearly thought match. And I thought of our Pioneer father, because these troubled waters many years ago, seeking a home in the land of the three troubled waters with the natives of this country as well as those great pioneers. With a dark clouds of complex on handling over the land, and returns of the conquerors was eaten by the natives. They retaliated by slaying the settlers, so the pioneers lived in constant fear their lives. There was a time when men were willing to go into the wilderness with an axe and only at their own risk. They are the forgotten man whose courage and constancy blazed the trail and laid the foundation of our western civilization. They are the uncrowned kings of pioneer days. The shadows were growing low on the grass when my brother Willis, and I, in his one horse wagon, came to the factory shared with our mother, Sylvia scar, and her son Bear with me when the last of those black lines right here that says color. I don't say colored anymore. I'll say black, but it's colored all the way through her story. We tend to start playing with their families in the early 60s. Willis was about two years ago when he landed with his parents and says salt three in 1860s and he was the last of the Stark family to stand by his mother to some of the most child days of her life. His home was the fourth ranch in DC, on which mother and son had worked and clear the land. Much of the clearing had grown all over again. And each seasons new growth New Age, and UK marked the change in time on your plate. But the rock heaps and boulders was still standing where you put them nearly 50 years ago. They stood as a monument of the courage and strength of Willis back when he was young. And in his time now he was old and crippled from hard work and the rough road to crime. He had to engage the help of a neighbor, John Whammies. To do this. If it's building in woods, he would sit up late in the winter to keep the house warm for his aged mother. The first cabin realistic built was torn down to make room for a new house. The two oldest boys had planned it that way, with their mother and John and his brother would go and work in the mines in the manual. So the two brothers with the help of a proper neighbor built a new house for her. And she was very proud of her new place. But the first cabin list will still have been torn down to make room for the new house. It tells many pleasant memories, and our mother and our grandfather and input brother and myself. Now the toilsome years were telling on the health of Sylvia and her son. The old spinning wheels does it by the other Yes, but she was always busy with her knitting as I watched those coils or am I still a lifetime of service in a bear every line and wrinkle. Near 70 years have passed since you had faced the end of DC. Her memory was still good. She loved to talk about the fire garden she may activate the land. Willis raised his own brain and the chickens in that direction with an old fashioned sleigh. Be there always mowing by hand. Sometimes he created his grave by motorbike as with the cradle for other people because he was pressed for time. The chickens ran wild over the farm but Silvia took delight in hunting. And she put a bow on the hand. So taken by the hand of such a big piece of property and she found a nest. She always filled two cranes a week with eggs that morning paid for their groceries. They traded with the Bradwell store and Central's got sauce cream that was here. And those days farming was profitable for beginners, even in the primitive way, the cleanse we're paying for the toner. But with the World War one followed by the grading system and the high cost of farm necessities it was very difficult for the small farmer was left on the ground just for oil and the cost of God was prepared to take profit how those farmers still survive. It is clear that memory is the heritage of old. It was a diary written filled with the strange and unusual happenings of her past life. It was on those occasions but you seem to be living in the past. She would tell some of her early experiences, and I can't sign up for fear of breaking the spell. Although at that time I had no thought of preserving those memories. I was simply interested in listening to some of those tales were very sad relating to the condition of a slave. The blood of those poor souls cry to God from the ground. But the grim creator has a time center guilty of repressive and a new life for the oppressed. still use that name name with Sylvia as she was born in Clay County, Missouri, in 1837. She was the youngest of three children, with their mother Hannah as well. With a baker named Charles Leopold, their father, Howard has worked for a Scotsman named Comcast. So you see, they all took the names with their folders, and the slaves by the name of their masters. Sylvia's father considers himself lucky to be privileged to visit his family over the weekend. Incidentally, if, if an owner found a lot of any of the male workers on his farm, gave them the privilege to own his own slaves. So in those days, a black person can own slaves just as well. And his place now my great, great grandfather's slaves were his wife, and he has to adapt to daughters and children. And so he had to buy their freedom. He was their owner, but he still had to pay for their freedoms. To get away from Clay County. I'm getting ahead of myself, but anyway.

Unknown Speaker 11:18
With the evolution of movement sponsored by William Lloyd Garrison, they have been in operation since 1831. It was a menace to the slave owners, they tried to suppress it to no avail. Mr. Leopold was really impressed with the movement piece where he was against slavery, and would click the traffic eventually, but he could not return to Germany. He said all Germany's going Germans going into the US were under oath, if they ever knows waive the penalty with the death. So this vehicle was not in accord with her husband. She thought they should conform to the southern rules for handling slaves. It was one Christmas morning when little Sylvia had their first run away from them. The children were very agreeable, they were allowed to play their their active surpluses. While waiting for their troops to be arranged in another group. They challenged to be the first to see the Christmas tree, I will cry. And being small, she felt close to the door. When the door was open. She was the first one and suddenly she felt herself get roughly back. And this is vehicles golden loudly, cried. The white children come first. Never do that again. And yesterday, of course, he was very upset, because he was very, very kind man. But his wife was just the opposite. He had bought a dog for sale yet for Christmas. But she never surprised that she really didn't ever enjoy Christmas spirit much after that. She was thinking Finally, with the mind of a slave. What was happening to me to say that mom dies and where would I go? So the first draft of my recollection of her child was they were associated with work. She shared she must have been very small. She remember that her mother used to tie her big apron around her neck and standard up on a chair to drive this is for the white folks. And there were so many dishes the way she tells them to play with other children outside. Sometimes she would fight if your children were abused. But most of your time was spent learning to sew or knit. The first meeting was done on brooms drawers. When you learn to knit knit, her mother said I will get some knitting needles. She frantically taught target the little little child who used a marriage partner the opposite. And when the wife children did their homework, she was listening. When they went out to play and left the book, she would look at them and rehearse with yourself. This is Les Paul would have been very angry if he had known this was going on, as it was against a lot of this lady with these small beginnings. So to me, this is why there will still be a mother and father were the same line in raising the children. So at great disadvantage themselves, not being able to read the toxic children to pray and observe the static. Silvia never forgot the lesson her father taught her one Sunday morning their mother was working at the big house and then father to the children. Sylvia has a new clothes on and could hardly wait for her father to finish combing her hair. She was so happy she's fixing to the door, quickly reply the culture back saying this is Sunday. Now walk out with more modesty. Not like a horse bolting through a barn door. God and never forgot the lesson even after seeing her son a girl Oh, when he was out with pm on Sunday and the clouds and rain, she would wait until the next day anyway. fears or fearful of what might happen is the Lord knew he was out working on a Sunday. The emphasis family went to church, of course, collect people sat in the back when they were allowed to partake of a sacrament activist, wakeful camp, and the sermons especially for the slaves. Were was, servants obey your masters. Every slave knew that part of the Bible by heart. Mrs. S, this could not lead she was not asleep. She said no one could convince her that God was the author of slavery. Sylvia remembered on one occasion the taking of a sacrament became positively loathsome, changing her whole concept of the performance. The minister use the low language of a boss to display ending the sermon with God knows you are a pirate nation. So inflated like for the Liberals late with comparatively easy but for the nagging disposition of Miss Talia for she if she Perhaps you thought of her husband would not ruin their play. According to customer in a slave state she will listen to us this evening went through these erections Carmen is was still his mother. It although it made her angry, it came to a climax with her Mr. Mistress called her to make a fire when her hands were in the dome. So she explained to her mysteries which she could not make it at that moment, as she was making bread and didn't want this boy who apparently was his vehicle was out purposefully to start around. She said, How dare you disobey my orders. As this was not afraid of her awkward pass between them. A Quarrel was precipitated that nearly disastrous. When Charles vehicle came in, he heard his wife story, which was very much distorted. He was very angry is when he would be wrong if, if this went around that he allowed his slaves to talk back. He held a menacing whip in his hand, but Hannah would have thought is, with all the strength she possessed, possessed, immediately attempted to flog her. For wild Madagascar blood was aroused, it was stemmed last, with Assam led to both many vehicles bobbing the whole time, because there seems to have handled that considerable risk to himself Mr. vehicle ahead on one occasion for all the race riots. It made him very unpopular with the slaveholders these erections worried Silvia, what troubles your mother's culture ever since that business learning life for them was surrounded with terrorism, it was not safe for black children to place outside of their own home. They usually kidnap black children and sold them down south to the cotton fields, but me were never returned and they were never seen again. Sometimes a stranger would offer some candy to Silvia, but she always refused it ran home. Sylvia remembered Harriet Tubman as one of the vehicles slaves. I don't know if any of you have heard of Harriet Tubman, but she was one of the great emancipator, she brought three or 400 black slaves from Missouri and all the southern states smuggle them into Canada. The east coast freight train coming on her finger and anyway she happened to be in the same the owner, oh my my grandmother as well. But anyway, she was one of the slaves and she appeared to be young, only a teenage girl but she was stalking and strong and a good worker. She found it hard to work under Mrs. Vehicle. She was finally sold to a slave Fraser in business was making the slaves submissive to their masters. Often they retreat with a David philosophy but When he tried to carry it, to his surprise, he blocked him, scratched his face toys, clothing and found those who dearly. He abandoned the cowhide and threatened to shoulder. She bury her boys without flinching and say, shoot, and I'd rather die than live such a life. If he did shooter, he shot her in the foot. And she ran away again from the farm, and after that she got away for good. And she was able to bring off hundreds of people, black people up from the south, to Canada to save them from all of this. So anyway, I cut off some

Unknown Speaker 20:50
hair when she was laid up sick, and she just took a long time to heal up a foot in Charlotte. But she could walk on that foot and her spirit remained unbroken. And as her life shows many for many years after that, that was not the only role to see, while trying to rescue her race. She was knocked unconscious while trying to protect a slave. She was called the Moses of her race. $40,000 was offered for her capture, never going to allow those days. So they really wanted to get her because she was dealing and taking them. She and Harriet Tubman saved your parents and hundreds of slaves through the underground were assisted by both white and colored people who took part in the underground work. The Underground Railway was a network of secret routes operated by land and water. She'd been a woman of great strength and endurance climbing escape through this system. Many times her life was in danger. But she always followed the noise while fleeing north at night with the band of refugees that she lived through the Civil War and served as a scout in the northern army and built a home in New York. For the ages, they heard the parents and she they heard she was a black woman. But she was able to marry in her own home for the age people in New York and later years. The dawn of freedom came to the Estes family in 1849. The Gold Rush was on and my stock was in great demand. So Tom Esther's Howard's boss was sending federal power is still the father was sending cattle to California. Tom's two sons power now they're all named as webcast herders. The boss made a contract with power, agreeing to give Howard his freedom favorite seat of $1,000 align him the privilege of making the money in California, how it worked in the gold mines, laid the money and send it to Tom and care for his sons. According to contract. Tom received the money but refused to give Howard with three papers. I'm willing to be for Florida, he made another $1,000 and send it directly to Charles vehicle. It was carried safely in the profit of a German friend and delivered to Charles Leopold, when Tom s was heard about it. He claimed that money was used to on the ground the power was his slave. Leopold contended the power was a free man, and therefore he was living in a state. Tom sued Les Paul and was awarded $800 but was forced to relate to his college be favors. This time seeing the long while waiting for her father's return. Silvia saw a strain on her mother's face, and she frequently live alone to the chair and always went there just to read her Bible and, and get on her knees and pray. It made me think of a freshman long story or something she would remember when she too became a mother. So Mrs. destas I don't know if you want to hear the rest of this because we are getting to sleep Saltspring very fast. But I will pick up a few things that you might be interested in. They're still had a lot of toil, and they their deepest problem was coming across the country. It took them six months when they left Missouri to get to California. And in that time they had bought in the They were, they were people killed all around them. And it wasn't a very, it wasn't very nice at all. So, so they have like, by the time she got here, she had seen everything. And he was still a young woman. In fact, she had her babies and he was very painful for first one, she must admit, when she was about 16. Then when she got here, she had seven more. And working in clearing the fields, clearing all this land. And when they first landed, the landed in the service, because that was the closest to Vancouver Island. They landed there and came over in rural books. And they brought their catalog. But the Indians were waiting for them. And they gave them such a bad time. But my grandmother said, Well, we got to stay here. They didn't know any other part of Saltspring island. So they stopped in Vesuvius and stayed, I believe, Oh, I think, a year or two, but the Indians were so menacing that they decided to move in closer. So they moved out of town to Gamgee where there was still water, and there's still more parties coming in from downtown. To us downtown. There must have been miles and miles because they love to do and plow and everything to get there. But anyway, they built another house here include fail from momentum through fail. It's right here on Scott. Scott, between Scott point this and my grandmother was born in that house. Marie was the one that wrote all of this. Then the same thing happened there. So they you know, they declared land and build another place of unscarred road. That was the last one on Salzman. So they had three places that tried to get your child to live in and be comfortable. When they got to up to start Road, then they started having trouble. Because their home was just a little log cabin with stacks, flower size to the windows, there were no windows and we just squares. And the Indians were always pushing those flower sacks back looking in. And they were very menacing. They wanted to steal, they were taking things. And they resented for coming in the first place because there was this was their land. And these people came with all these big things. They have father aids, and somebody stole these things because they were hungry, they didn't have very much. But when they came up to the stock Road area, my grandmother really felt more. She felt like she was in land. And they were today took care of the farm. And her husband's best friend's two best friends. Robinson Robinson rode from he was black. He was killed by an Indian. And then another friend of his of Giles Curtis was killed by the Indian. So that gave us pause, we started thinking now I'm not using the sake of here, my family's not saying here. Now these men were shot through windows sat in the back. They were sitting in chairs and meals and they were shot. And so it was easy for him to realize that he had been a big strong man that he was not gonna lift, but they were about ready to go in at some time or another. So that wasn't the reason he left Saltspring and went to Nanaimo. He made an arrangement with the transportation company in Victoria, to get a road and they told him that they would pay him make a road to the main road. I don't know which one of these roads it must be the one going to Vesuvius that was the main road anyway, then we're going to pay him preparing trees come down this way. So my grandfather does A customer wrote, all the way, all the way down. And he wrote back to the client and say he is finished, and he would like to be paid. And also, we would like to have permission to have a road built for all the other farmers on his road to get to the main road. They wrote back and told him that they had sent someone out to inspect. And he hasn't done the proper job after taking out all of the trees and building the world. Well, he was so disappointed. He wrote four or five letters back and forth.

Unknown Speaker 30:43
So he decided to move to Nanaimo. And he went to Nanaimo and cleared land and build another farm, took all of his family, and left Willis here to take care of the house and stuff. Well, when they got up there, I think she had two more babies. She was gonna do this every year. Anyway, she had decided, I believe, to come back to stop. She was just tired of moving back and forth. I believe she was tired. She just had to get away. No one knows what happened or how they separated. But they did. And so anyway, he divorced her. And, and no, he didn't divorce her. But when he died, he left this letter saying that he was going to leave he left Sylvia $1 Because she had left his cannon board without them. And left all of the all of his holdings in Nanaimo. were left to his to one daughter, and silted up the dollar. But what he didn't realize is the CEO, his father had come here and he was in Victoria with his wife. And he came over to help Sylvia when the split when they both split up, so he helped her build the house there. And he'd come back and forth happy. And when he came over, he decided to create 150 acres, which he did. And Willis, when he realized his mother was by herself, he preempted 100 acres. So that left Sylvia with 250 acres planted when her husband died. So that was Sylvia's hers alone. And people today ask where did she get it when he had lived in just $1. But that's how she acquired her property. But anyway, that was that part of the story. It's not a I think we have an idea of the hardships and the food and the things we had to do in the bad winters part. And it was just not an easy, it wasn't an easy life at all. And it would have been a good buy selling all that vegetables and pigs and chickens. And I think when they were in it when they were in Missouri, they were threatened by the Ku Klux Klan. And on their trip, they decided that they were going to try and get as far away so they thought when they got to California, they would get enough money to stay in California. They had a ranch in California. And they found out that when they left Missouri, there were about there were about 600 people in this covered wagon this train. And when they got to Salt Lake City was a Mormon country at that time.

Unknown Speaker 34:22
At Brigham Young Brigham Young was a religious leader in Salt Lake City. And he was trying to tempt them to stay there. And he would take care of them. It was a beautiful country that bread, green flowers everywhere is lovely. Anyone would have wanted to stay because a very beautiful, so little is not with us but soon as Colorado is known, I still want to go to California. So half of the people stay in aren't they? Well, they went on to California and encourage years later, every one of those people disappeared. And those were the days when people were slaughtered and murdered, you know, for any reason. But anyway, that was part of her history in those days, but now I wanted to tell you about some of my grandmother's feelings about coming here. She thought it was the greatest place in the world. But it was just one of those things, you have to be alert all the time. And she couldn't they couldn't relax. I think they all said that they didn't have a Bible to read and, and get encouragement from their Bible. He was never able to survive. But other than that, I feel like they just enjoy. It wasn't because of any. There were no problems. There were a few people, but they all got along together. My grandmother, finally she was nursing. She delivered several babies here. She wasn't she just was a real grandmother. She was a grandmother to everybody. And it was not an unhappy life for her. We always think about her and all the work that she did. Just kept on going all the time. So anyway, now here I am again, I'm off again.

Unknown Speaker 36:57
Oh, yes, that Brigham Young people reflect all over the city getting away from this group of religious fanatics, I guess it was. All of these are stories about people they met on the way here, across country. Lines in California was good, though. When he got to California, this is where Silvia met her husband, Louis. And they married in Placerville Placerville, California, and some of the things that they ate. When they got to California. The Indians had showed them how to make fires. And when the fire burned low, they throw grasshoppers into the hot embers. And when they were roasted, they ate the grasshoppers. And this was supposed to be a very savory dish. And then they killed squirrels. They pounded them two o'clock with stones. They send them and then roast them in the hot embers. And when they recoup the income dawns at all, so it must have been good. Their brand was a coin. Their brand was acreages pounded to meal. The Indians were very poor also. So Mrs. Estes learned this when an aged and destitute Indian woman came to their house, and they always gave her a meal and fruit and vegetables to carry home.

Unknown Speaker 38:41
Mr asked this was a good church man, often the family walk to church to give their horses and rest. Slowly and her brothers always had issues polish and shine for Sunday. But when they walk to church, they went most of the ways there's been gearing issues, to put them off before entering the church, keeping them clean and Friday, wherever you may go, you will always find the gossip for at least the essence family, we're proud because it didn't go to dances. But Sylvia and her brother were not guided by the thinking public. They blame their parents they were following the higher precepts of moral, they had faith in their parents, just as we may have childlike faith in God's word and faith in the Gospel. Silvia love to walk through the red trails gathering flowers, and this was where she met her husband in California. And they married and they decided that they had a meeting in San Francisco and decided that this was the best possible place to call that New Caledonia, which is what they call British Columbia in those days and they thought it would be the best place to go. So they went through all of the The business of finding and getting trips that was $25 per person on the boat. And they went as far as still a column in Washington. They got to Washington, the men came with the horse. The women came by boat. And they waited there for their families that came on in Victoria. I can't remember, in fact, off the top of my head, I can't remember. But I know that came in at 58 to Victoria, and came to Salt Spring in 1860. I wondered if I had told you all that I want to tell you, I really just wanted to give you a little bit of her history and what she went through getting here. There was no problems living here, none whatsoever. Everyone got along everyone. barging, they bargained for food because everyone was poor. There were seven black families on assaults, and a handful of white people. When they got here, and there was the commander's and the Portuguese and different phrases, they all came together. And they work together, just like one big happy family. And when this place was built, I think inconsiderate this was the hub of Salt Springs Central Hall was. And they did they trade in here because all of the traveling was done here at the service. And when they went through Victoria, to get their groceries, they went to one and a half to three and a half days to get the service to Vancouver Island. And that's where they bought their bar supplies. The

Unknown Speaker 42:16
other thing, I have a cousin here I told you about her. And she has a lot of things she's she's written up in my Bible. Family is written up in my Bible. And so we discovered the recordings about seven years ago, six or seven years ago. So now he has a Bible from her side of the family and put the two Bibles together and we find that they correspond in some instances. So she may have something to tell you. If you like to say something. She belongs to the first black settlers that arrived in Victoria. At the time. They all came up together. And she's the offspring of some of those that arrived in Victoria. Hello, do they know this?

Unknown Speaker 43:27
He's had a very she's got a very interesting history as well.

Unknown Speaker 43:34
My memories not that good. I mean, a couple of notes.

Unknown Speaker 43:39
This in case my cousin did this to me

Unknown Speaker 43:59
you hear me now?

Unknown Speaker 44:03
Can you hear me? Okay? Actually, maybe tonight we discovered that I started doing a family tree. And I knew that. This is I've always referred to this as my ancestral home. Because that's where my grandmother was. Came up here when she was three years old. So for all intents and purposes, she she attended school here and basically retired to Victoria because she lived here for 50 years. They're all my aunts and uncles for that period as well. So I knew that granny had cousins, and I was referred to you know, your cousins on Saltspring. But when I started the family tree, I was trying to figure out where the connection was because I knew that maybe in the Start family were relatives and where was the common thread and going through my grandfather, my great grandfather's Kobe, Howard. So his was his administrator. And when asked why he was asked to be administrator, and well, he said, I was married to the widow of the deceased father. So my husband and I darling wife are some of you would know the monocot family. So we started to figure this out, and it turned out that Hannah Estes was having Quinn before she married our Anestis. And she had the one son, Alexander Gwynn, who is my great great grandfather, and Howard. So this is Nadine is great, great grandfather. So we have the same common great, great grandma. So I'm from the less less known side of the family. My great grandfather, they came up in about 1876. As far as I can tell, Granny said she was three years old when they came up. They were born in Clay County, Missouri. And I have one great aunt, who was born on Saltspring here and he do. So that's basically the Saltspring connection and the family connection. Whereas they these families tend to do dispersed over to Vancouver and down to the States. My family stayed in Canada. We married into the women's family, which is a well known family here. And my ancestor Elma married Robbie. And they stayed up here and they've actually moved to Victoria but their children were born on Saltspring. All my aunts and uncles were born here attend school here, and ultimately moved to Victoria, I think primarily for work. Otherwise, they'd likely all still be here. The only test left is Bob and his father, you marry your witnesses. Well. Alexander Graham created 107 acres here in Des Moines, I can understand it's just across the road from the start. In seven acres went from the this road up here is it Central. It went from there back towards Ganges. And when he passed away in 1882, he left the land to his daughters. At that time, it was just the three girls left. And the two sons, they got the livestock and the equipment. In other words, go plant girl. So the girls at least had a dowry. So that was the property that my grandmother lived on. And so I'd like to talk to you about our society, which is basically our Navy and I came across each other we these severs that she referred to coming up from California, there was a bulk load, and I think it was something like 400 They were all the same congregation of this church. And so James Douglas said, you know, come up, it's free, you realize you can own land. And so basically, this 90% of this church came up who was called Vancouver's Island at that time, because they go out to the land. And the exam family, they settled up and sat each Howard ESPYS. He also settled in Saanich. That's where he had his fun. And of course, the reason so we start moving to Charleston here. So it was quite a few, the black families that came in, in savage and Victoria. And we got together and formed this society of all the descendants. And we have a reunion every three years. And our last one was in 2000. And we had three descendents from across Canada and the states. And we're all related to these few people that came up. So it's been quite an experience because now we're all becoming very aware of our moods doing our family trees, which is what I've been doing and thoroughly enjoying all this interrelationship. And we're having another reunion this summer, and it's always held on with the sanitary grounds. So we're hoping to talk by the end of last year. If you want to ask me questions, but you know, it's just not I shared this heritage and I'm very proud. And he was certainly hard to delegate because it's so easy to say I'm the Canadian cousin. Then she reverted to the American cousin.

Unknown Speaker 50:29
I just want to have a chat with you for a minute. I never finished telling you about Louis, start up in Nanaimo, he killed Lewis build his last house. He builds his last house on a very rich coal mine in Nanaimo. And several people had asked him to sell it, he didn't want to sell it. But coal mining tycoon from the Doria owned all of that property there, and he wanted to procure. Anyway, I don't mention the name. Anyway, he had a man working for Hudson. And Hudson became good friends with my great grandfather. And so my grandfather was playing career for him one night in Nanaimo, and she left in the evening, and how he said, Well, what do you home? And he said, No, I'm fine. He knew the country backwards and forwards, then he could walk through there in the dark. And anyways, he left, my grandfather left. And the next thing I knew, my grandfather was laying at the bottom of a cliff, he had been murdered. And so this was still reaffirmed that he was murdered. And when they found him, the man that that was supposed to get him done, it was the one who found him and brought him up off the cliff bang up the cliff, they had a trial. And they claim that there wasn't enough evidence to convict him. And so he got off scot free. But everything all the evidence showed that he had been killed and then driven in a truck or a wagon and tossed over the cliff. But anyway, that sounds so silly, $1 $1, I can't think of anything else that I want to say, oh, other than these are pictures of our family, and my fourth is gone. This is Willie, start here. And this is Willis with John Williams, who you all know, are very lucky to see the big picture down in the moment of this lovely picture of John. And this is my father, if you're on a truck. This is Uncle Willis and his cruiser he would eat that $25 A cobra, he was the founding. And there's my grandmother. I don't know what kind of bird feathers that he is definitely a fan. And this is a house that is still standing on staff. And here's one of the stuff is gonna start with Dr. Baker. Here's her. She was quite young. And here's the barn up on the corner side of the shop. And here are the two grandmothers were users at Apple that are grown on the side. I also found out that there was an apple called a stark apple in the Okanagan Valley. And they it was in their horticultural book or magazine I believe. And this apple was very prominent. It was interesting, it was a winter apple. They call it a stark apple and it was still available in the 19 early 1950s. So what has happened since I have no idea but anything I asked I think I said all I need to say yes. Would you like to hear? Oh yeah, I'll get all right. I brought along the team your team many times with my grandmother in pictures. She's always leaning on a cane. And she was only four feet 11 COVID She She is just

Unknown Speaker 55:19
a neat that became there and he also and this was really I don't know what kind of lumber or wood this was really heavy, and she was always just like this. And I don't think she was much taller than her

Unknown Speaker 55:46
to where it was on her

Unknown Speaker 55:55
and here is her Derringer. She found a pistol all the time. She had to carry a pistol because she gifted her apron pocket look at the hole in it though. And this little purse. This is the this is the case. We found a little velvet nice with all the bells that worn off of it and little piece of string to fold it up. Anyway this is what's her done. And there are a few things in her body that she always paid me to work on there on that vaccine and all of her books and her Bible and if you might take a look at some of them the Bible is very interesting. And I think that concludes my story. I know there are a lot of things I could say

Unknown Speaker 56:55
to the service desk as well and opera star which is next door is connected.

Unknown Speaker 57:02
I saw my mother's note and in New York Simon is an opera singer yes he is related to this so

Unknown Speaker 57:16
you know we're gonna have two speakers today

Unknown Speaker 57:32
child's gotten out of something that was in the way of the back of the room. And Charles was going to thank the Speaker Oh, I

Unknown Speaker 57:43
was able to late I didn't realize you bring this audio all the time and I had to I had a lot of trouble finding the place before but it was really working for you are wonderful. Oh

Unknown Speaker 58:05
yes, I thought you would like to know that. I have a cousin and I'll tell you the truth I have about 100 More

Unknown Speaker 58:26
right well we'll probably get knocked down

Unknown Speaker 58:36
and it was my

Unknown Speaker 58:46
gonna take a couple of minutes to move some of the furniture aside and there are some goodies up front or even get a cup of coffee or some cookies.