Salt Spring Island Archives

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Impression of Early Days on Gulf Islands

Imbert Orchard

Published by Aural History
Provincial Archives of British Columbia
Produced and narrated by Imbert Orchard

Accession Number Interviewer
Date Location
Media tape Audio CD mp3 √
ID 190 Duration




Unknown Speaker 0:11
To begin with, as we head out from the mainland they are no more than swellings in the sea. A pod of somnolent whale but we know that they are Island folded, faulted in counterpoint. And that the larger fall are larger islands. And from this distance, nothing has changed since the day the Spanish explorers first rounded Saturna Island and an inland sea open before them rimmed with mountains an enormous emptiness

Unknown Speaker 1:10

Unknown Speaker 1:13
it's Mary rattle across Sydney Kathy

Unknown Speaker 1:18
and there could be nothing there still on those Island. When we roll that we can see

Unknown Speaker 1:24
in the time I

Unknown Speaker 1:27
thought they were wonderful.

Unknown Speaker 1:29
No one well only and

Unknown Speaker 1:33
it was surrounded by Bush voices. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 1:36
bad boys. There's

Unknown Speaker 1:37
about 100

Unknown Speaker 1:38
Because many, even for myself of like,

Unknown Speaker 1:41
I can remember having memory. Oh, very

Unknown Speaker 1:45

Unknown Speaker 1:48
I'm so little beautiful spot. I really enjoy it.

Unknown Speaker 1:51
We first came over here in Arizona, a few families here

Unknown Speaker 1:56
straight ahead of us now. There's what looks to be a lighthouse right into the woods, obviously, at the entrance to the gap that will take us through the islands.

Unknown Speaker 2:08
They fished and hunted and saw each other play tennis and summer.

Unknown Speaker 2:16
Every person was seem so friendly and nice. And the Indians around the

Unknown Speaker 2:19
island was never there never suffered felt that we noticed any trends in life.

Unknown Speaker 2:30
Now, bit by bit as we draw close. The schmooze Whaleback are metamorphosed into fury tree tops and island escapes declare themselves in shades of green.

Unknown Speaker 2:45
I've heard people who've traveled all over the world say that on a beautiful day. These Gulf Islands The most beautiful things they've seen

Unknown Speaker 2:57
now we're heading into active the water swirls with the tide is it racist through on the left Georgina point on main island with its lighthouse and tidy white government buildings. On the right. Galliano Island Warford sturdy is Bay. Many people living there are already a pipe for both their houses appear and disappear along the shoreline flagpole with smoke among the Cree

Unknown Speaker 3:37
to say settlements really. One was along the waterfront round there, and the other in the belly.

Unknown Speaker 3:46
Active past lives up to its name. A lot was actually called out to the first steamboat to go through that hill American side Wheeler. It lies on the shortest route between Victoria and the BC mainland. And in fact is the halfway point for the BC Ferries. So they generally meet each other right in the past. But boats of all sizes use it freighters naval vessels tags, fish boats, all kinds of small craft everyone's squeezed into this narrow gap which is no more than a quarter of a mile wide at either end. And just to complicate matters, the tide raise sometimes reaches eight knots

Unknown Speaker 4:35
we used to roll up to the active pass catch hairy but there was very strong ties there and you have to know active pass before you can move around in it anyway.

Unknown Speaker 4:49
The south end of actor past the sea line one on the rocks down there. She was a big tug she's about 150 P Laurie is what she brought up on the rocks high and dried pulled Speed. No, they never reduced speeds. They used to go to your wide open all the time. Everybody would cuss. Even the Navy, the Navy used to go through around 2526 knots. They probably were what it was there on the beach at bottom line dry that's about all happen.

Unknown Speaker 5:22
According to an Indian legend, active paths was formed by a giant who stood on the mainland and hurled a great boulder across the water. And after several bounces, it came to rest on what we know as Vancouver Island. And wherever it bounced, it made a gap. This particular gap is about four miles long and shaped like an S and reverse. On the Galliano side there are rocky cliffs lightly wooded, exposed to sun and wind. Across on main island, the shore is lower and the woods appear to be sicker, except it miners bay where there's an old wharf and a cluster of buildings. Miners Bay is actually quite an old settlement and gets its name from the Gold Rush days when people were headed for the Fraser River and the caribou country from Fort Victoria, and skiffs and stoops and dugouts, just about anything that would float they'd put in there to rest before venturing on the open waters of the Gulf. Not very long after Maine came to have some of the first permanent settlers in this group of islands, just as it had the first store and post office and church, the first hotel and saloon all at miners Bay and all before the turn of the century.

Unknown Speaker 6:42
Well, Maine was the hub of the islands in those days, the old timers all went to mean

Unknown Speaker 6:49
there are a great number of cleared spaces on main island, very old farm places.

Unknown Speaker 6:55
Whereas Galliano doesn't lend itself so easily to farming, mainly to small private gardens and orchards. And most of its big long tail stretching out to the north is still a timber reserve. Only after the First World War was there any noticeable increase in settlement on Galliano.

Unknown Speaker 7:15
There are mostly English people, but they always more or less kept in their own little bunch. You know all the time. It seemed to have one little bunch. See main island, there wasn't any English people. Well, there was English people too, but I mean, they weren't what we'd call English people at all because they were, they've been here too long, the more or less got Canadian eyes.

Unknown Speaker 7:41
As the ferry moves westward through the paths, keeping to where the channel is deepest, it seems at one point to be no more than a stone's throw from the Galliano clips. So it's there that newcomers can get their first close up of the more intimate forms and colors of these islands. mottled grey sedimentary rocks splotched with mosses and lichens, ledges of green grass, shrubs and furs weathered into all sorts of shapes and smooth red limbed Arbutus trees leaning out over the water. On the other side of the pass, main island terminates in a thickly wooded point, which belongs to the Indians, who of course are the truly first settlers on these islands. And as we round it, we find ourselves leaving the paths and heading down abroad channel and on our writer islands of all shapes and sizes strike out like a regular beads as far as the eye can reach. But the voices we've been hearing come from islands that are now to the left of us from North Pender and South Pender from Samuel Island and so Turner hobo behind them, and of course from Galliano and Maine. The gap between Maine and North Pender is known as Navy channel, it opens onto plumper sound. And beyond that is a glimpse of one of the small mountains of Saturna island.

Unknown Speaker 9:07
There wasn't very many people on Saturnian actually,

Unknown Speaker 9:11
we as children didn't know them we'd go over sometimes and pick blackberries if we knew of a Blackberry patch roll over. And I think there was a store there in early days to that turn that had just a handful of people.

Unknown Speaker 9:27
The coast of the Penders falls away to the southeast and a number of bays and palm trees. It all looks to be one island, which it used to be until 1903 When they dug a canal across a narrow neck of land. Mainly it seems to that the ferry from Sydney have a shorter more sheltered route into Browning harbour and conquer South North Pender is much the larger and more important Island. It's to first settlers came in the 1870s they simply divided the northern part between them ants down the middle. By the end of the century, several moderately prosperous farms were cleared and in operation, raising sheep may men, for some reason or other most of these people came from Scotland. That little settlement there is called Port Washington. The first place on the island, they have a war. They built it in 1891. So the farmers could ship their lambs. bit later, they built another war across on the other side, Hope Bay on proper sound. And eventually, both places had stores and competed for the post office. So there was a terrific rivalry between them.

Unknown Speaker 10:36
They were more clicky than they were, I mean, they had an idea they wanted to be by themselves all the time. And we're better than that whole bay bunch and the whole bay bunch would say the same about Port Washington and also so Penner,

Unknown Speaker 10:51
North Pender and South Pender were quite different. They've since been joined by a bridge, so they may be more like each other now. But South Pender consisted the people I knew of more or less people with an English background, like this aterna people, like a lot of the people on Galliano.

Unknown Speaker 11:10
Oh, yes, they were all English down there, as far as I know.

Unknown Speaker 11:14
Well, they were they, some people used to say it was little England and that North Pender was little Scotland and I won't tell you what they said mean Ireland was.

Unknown Speaker 11:29
I came right straight from Glasgow. And I can remember very dimly he landed in a rowboat out of on big boats cpni supposed Princess Louise big sidewheel. Wonderful boat.

Unknown Speaker 12:00
We came on the audio segment. side we learn from New Westminster. We landed on Pender In April the 2018 93. I remember landing on Port Washington war if it was the only war on the island. And I guess I was about seven or eight. pouring down rain rain for three days steady. I didn't want to land I wanted to go back to the city. But the person said oh, you will be chopping down trees and after weeks.

Unknown Speaker 12:33
My father's name was Alexander Hamilton. And he was born near Karluk. In Scotland. His father was a farmer. And my father wanted a farm. But he wanted to be able to own his own farm, which he wouldn't have been able to do in the old country. So he learned to be a stone cutter, and bricklayer. And when he came out to his sister in Kansas, and had a very interesting time, and he fell in love with the Willamette Valley, a beautiful valley in Oregon. And he would have settled there. But he had to become an American citizen to own land. So he came on up to British Columbia, and went straight to the Mortimer stoneyard, to see if there was any work. And Mr. Mortimer said to him that Yes. But he said, I would like you to go up to Pender island with me to see a party that I own there. And tell me what you think of the stone. The stone was very hard sound stone. And they had to use the tools that they would ordinarily use for granite. So my father went with the tongue and scowl up to the Mortimer quarry, just at the mouth of the present Pender Island canal, to the Browning Harbor. And, and while he was there, he walked around over that rough ridge to the head of the harbor. And there he found a beautiful sight. And he said, This is where I'm going to have my home. But I don't know whether that was loud that he could get from the government, you know, there was land that you just settled on, and you paid $1 an acre or something like that for it. And then you made improvements. So much a year and the land was yours. But he went home to the old country. And that was when he met my mother. And she was a town girl. And he married her and brought her out to New Westminster, where he decided to set up in the marble business for the monumental business. He brought out wisdom at the same time his younger brother, and this younger brother with a friend settled on pounder, both took up lamb. And my dad grubstake, these two boys while lay cleared land. And each one of them had a certain amount of land. Well, then the Westminster power came along and swept everything that we owned a new estimate. stir, just raised it to the ground, and mother and the children. We were five children by that time, were on tender for the summer. So we just stayed there. And, uh, later, early in the century about 19. Two, we came to live on Pender. Definitely. And my father gave up his business and became a farmer.

Unknown Speaker 15:26
Mother said she would far rather have had a piece of good land than the view. But my dad was all for the view.

Unknown Speaker 15:38
All the islands have a different character from each other. And I suppose it's the people that make it I don't know. Not that they're different in kind, but the different personalities. They have different interests, different backgrounds.

Unknown Speaker 15:53
But they had at least one thing in common. There had come a moment in their lives, where they turned their backs on whatever the old country had to offer, and struck out for themselves in a new world. Many of them had already acquired skills as farmers, sailors, carpenters, stonemasons and so on. And these were the kinds of people who settled on Maine and North Pender. It didn't bring much money with them, but they were used to working hard for their living. By contrast, the original settlers on South Penders ambulance aterna Almost all of them came from wealthy and privileged families who kept horses and carriages and servants, and they themselves had been sent to English public schools. But they'd come a time when they too had found the old life and attractive, even stifling, and gladly and deliberately left much of it behind. It was in their nature to look for some kind of wilderness to live in, where they could hunt and fish and sailboats to their heart's content and have all sorts of adventures. Most of them had a private income, so any farming they did was not too crucial. So very first set Ron's a Turner was a Welshman. But in 1884, he sold his farm to two young Englishmen, Warburton pike and Charles Payne. Pike was a particularly interesting individual, a reticent bachelor, who was also a big game hunter and explorer of note 1989. He travelled through relatively unknown parts of the Northwest Territories, then wrote a book about it. Later, he traveled with Gerald painter, brother Charles, up to sticking River and over to the Yukon and Alaska as far as the Bering Sea. In other words, they were typical of the adventurous upper class Englishmen of those days with a talent for being at ease with all kinds of people in all kinds of unlikely circumstances.

Unknown Speaker 17:49
Dad was a

Unknown Speaker 17:49
Rugby School in England, and he was about 16. And he came home to Bedford, the village of Sandy was where they lived. And for holidays from school, he hadn't been doing very well at school. And so he was called up for sort of lecture before grandfather and dad complained about his eyes. And the story is we always were told it was the grandfather said, Come over to the window and look out across the meadows and tell me how many cows you can see. And Dad said, the window cubs, and they were close about half a dozen cows. And so then he was taken to an eye specialist and so forth. And, and he said that he must leave school, and that he should go somewhere where he lived an outdoor life, of course, suited dad down to the ground. And his older brother, Charles Payne, and Warburton Pike, had come out here before. And they were all just sort of exploring around Warburton Pike was interested in exploring and, and traveling up north and that kind of thing. And so dad came on his own. And of course, it was before there was no CPR. So he had to come through the states. He came to New York. This was in 1885. And he was 16 years old. And he got to the Turner Summit. Well, I mean, they rode or they sailed from, either from telegraph bay or from they'd get up to Sydney or some and they go across from there. And the night that he arrived, it's a Turnham they were all living in a funny little old shaggy house with a simply splendid Indian, called Billy true worthy, and Billy true worthy was just part of our history when we were young. I think that he was one of my favorite people for years and years. And he ran the sheep for my uncle Charlie and for Mr. Pike and took care of the old ranch when they were away and that sort of thing. Well, anyway, a dad arrived at the shack and they were there, Mr. Pike and Uncle Charlie, and after a while, someone said, well, where's Jarrell going to sleep? That didn't seem to be any particular place for him to sleep. So Billy said he should go out and sleep in the root house in the where they kept the apples. And so they took dad out, and they scraped the rotten apples off the shelf and they spread dad's blankets on the shelf in the root house, and that was where it swept the person it was answered.

Unknown Speaker 20:52
Shortly after that, another young Englishman, Arthur Spalding, became the first permanent settler on South Pender. He'd been sheep farming in Oregon and was staying with friends and Saanich when he came under the spell of the island, which in those days, of course, we're in a state of primeval grace, practically uninhabited, the sort of Arcadian landscape on season pictures or green. When he returned home to England, he couldn't get them out of his mind. Anyway, he always wanted to be some sort of a farmer.

Unknown Speaker 21:25
His father had a big paper mills in England and printers in London. They wanted him to go into the business and he tried it for a year and couldn't stand it. So he came back. And when he came back, oh, they've rolled him over in a flat bottom skip the bed will harbor he heard that the lounge was for sale it that that was rather interesting. The first owner of the land is about 1100 acres. I think, that my father both was John Todd of Hudson Bay fame. And his son and the son in law about 100 sheep here. And they sold it and father bought it, and lived here for several years before he was married. And he met my mother arms of Turner. And they were married. And they had an Indian walk and those bring them from Saturn itself, which I always think is very romantic. My mother in US white South in dress bought specially for the occasion, I still have parts of it. And they land there the walk through the woods. And their home was built up on the hill quite above the valley, which wasn't very sensible, but it was very nice.

Unknown Speaker 22:47
In those days, if you wanted a house build, the carpenters came up from Victoria with a skull containing all the materials they'd need for the complete house. And they just worked from dawn till dark until the job was completed. Our house which had about eight bedrooms, and a veranda, two sides of it took two weeks to build and cost $1,800 That included at least three chimneys fireplaces in two of the bedrooms, and of course, a large one in the sitting room. As a matter of fact, while dad was having his house built, he went off for a cruise. He never saw it started and when he came back in two weeks a man had gone was finished, painted, ready to walk in. And that said that his land, including the mineral rights only cost him 25 cents an acre. And he must have bought that just before the turn of the century.

Unknown Speaker 23:57
You see, it was just timber does heavy timber

Unknown Speaker 24:01
trees Bush solid right to the water's edge. It was he shot a deer here at the edge and ran in to the 100 feet. You didn't find it to the bones next year if it was wounded.

Unknown Speaker 24:13
I remember seeing the terrible devastation when the trees were all failed. And then they set fire to them. And a fire just rushed up the valley. And wherever there was a tree left that just went right up the tree. And everything was a blackened mass when the fire stopped, and it didn't stop until it rains you see them of course the man went in and saw the logs that were left, piled them in heaps and bring them and then there were greet stumps left. And that was before the days of stomping powder, you know, and they grabbed holes underneath and put fires underneath and bring them out and There were Japanese on the island at the time, quite a number of them who were brought there to solder on trees and make them into cordwood so that you could get Japanese help. And we had a little Japanese man who did a lot of work on the place, a very sturdy little chat very heavy but very small.

Unknown Speaker 25:22
The first settler on Samuel Island was Ralph Gray, who bought it in 1887. This little island is just off the northern tip of Atlanta. So he wasn't far from the other young Englishman of his background, and in fact, he married one of Arthur sparlings nieces. But at the same time, he was something of an exception and that in spite of being a cousin of Earl Grey, the one who became Governor General, he had not been sent to boarding school, but a trained instead for the Merchant Marine and gone to sea. And when he came to take up farming, he hadn't a means to treat it as a mere hobby.

Unknown Speaker 25:59
Dad learned to plow with oxen, or to hitch a team of oxen, a yoke of oxen, and take care of the plow and mend all these implements if anything broke down. And of course, he found wonderful arrowheads and artifacts while he was plowing. I think everyone did that in those days. They just plowed up these priceless collector's items. Of course, thinking about it, it seems to me to be madly romantic, but at the time, it was just blood, sweat and tears. You know, these young Englishmen they never done anything and they learned to split rails and make fences and a court boots and look after stock. And beachcombing was terrific. And these men would tell lugs and toe shingle boats and split the shingle boats or shakes or for picket fences. The first thing that would go up would be the ban. And there would be pigs died and rabbit hatches and chicken houses and chicken runs and anything like rabbits or chickens you couldn't have out or the mink got them they had to be totally enclosed in chicken wire. And digging wells was another thing well for the house. And then back father there wouldn't be a well for the cattle to drink at dad's diaries just make you realize that if someone had been a slave in the West Indies with someone standing over them and more than whip, he couldn't work any harder. He worked from the minute it was late in the morning till dark at night,

Unknown Speaker 27:36
never afraid of work. He always believed and even picking up a stone to make two blades of grass grow or one group before

Unknown Speaker 27:43
and I noticed in dance diaries quite often on a Sunday when the others would meet for games or picnics or whatever he stayed home because there was fencing to be done. My gosh, you

Unknown Speaker 27:54
can't you have a place like this up and go around a picnic.

Unknown Speaker 27:58
Everybody won't gumboots on the island. If you lost your boots or your boots had a hole in them or something, it was just a major tragedy. I'm telling you because I can't remember what they cost. We had to go to Corbett's to get new pair. There were no

Unknown Speaker 28:13
stores on the island.

Unknown Speaker 28:14
And my father he got his groceries once a month in New Westminster from TS Allendale.

Unknown Speaker 28:20
So ingenuity was used in every way to save bringing things from town. We had cooler oil for our lamps. But of course the cooler old hymns were converted into buckets. And they were used for a long time until they rusted through the man of the house would put a piece of wood across the top, you know fasteners each side of the top of they call out him and that would be your pail. flour sacks were wonderful. Nowadays, we use them for dish towels quite often, but they were used for all sorts of things. As some people said they even made underwear out of them. It's not a single flower sack was wasted.

Unknown Speaker 29:01
First we had 11 acres. And it was cleared.

Unknown Speaker 29:05
Yes gradually, you see the stumps were taken out clearing so that they could plow the land and raise crops, count orchards, and gardens. I think my father had an orchard planted right away at the very first property called The Old Orchard. He had trees that were brought from the east somewhere and they were soon bearing and there were potatoes put in in one field called Murphy land. And there were other crops grown crops with hay and oats and so on.

Unknown Speaker 29:37
We had chickens, a tremendous garden, quite a big orchard fruit and vegetables, 11 cans of apples and a lot of Bartlett pears, young trees, and we had cherries and raspberries. You could grow everything except sugar and flour.

Unknown Speaker 29:54
My brother and I used to have to go out and get boatloads of starfish to use fertilizer. There wasn't any, you know, chemical fertilizer then

Unknown Speaker 30:05
they had built a very, very high fence to keep the deer out because they do seem to be able to if God is big enough, they'll take a running jump and go over anything if they have no fear of being trapped on the other side, and he just couldn't build a fence high enough it keep adding different stories to it and the deer still got endless. They're still doing some nights you'd have to go down and spend in the root house with a gun and shoot some of them as they came over. He didn't like doing it but he had to, we had to have vegetables.

Unknown Speaker 30:36
We had our own chickens. And of course, lots of eggs. No problem with cakes and things like that.

Unknown Speaker 30:43
We would have boughs of salt pork, we had a smokehouse, where we had hams and bacon,

Unknown Speaker 30:49
and once a week they used to kill a sheep or a lamb or a calf and cut it in half and hang it up in a great big meat safe.

Unknown Speaker 30:57
We didn't have any way of freezing it in those days no electricity, and one

Unknown Speaker 31:01
family would have one half the other would have the other half

Unknown Speaker 31:04
the cost of all this fish birds.

Unknown Speaker 31:07
There were no pheasants at first, just grouse.

Unknown Speaker 31:10
Deer. Oh, the

Unknown Speaker 31:12
place was thick with

Unknown Speaker 31:13
which we put up in bottles three and 400 bottles put away for the winter.

Unknown Speaker 31:17
There was lots of deals that people put in there lived out in the summertime, they would get the deer when they come into the fields at night. Wait up, shoot

Unknown Speaker 31:28
there when you have drives over the different islands, Saturn and mainland Samuel, they'd get together and have a drive and try to get some bends in that way mileage or they called it it was the Indian name, I suppose. And that helped the bearers tremendously.

Unknown Speaker 31:45
Sometimes there was nothing much to make a meal in the way of meat. And sometimes we had a lot of fall, somebody would have shot a deer. And perhaps we'd been out fishing, come home with a bucket full of herrings. And we're

Unknown Speaker 31:59
clams on the beach,

Unknown Speaker 32:00
there used to be a run of smelt sometimes in the bay, and we'd all have to go out late at night and the smells come up on the beach in the high tide. You know, we used to catch them in nets and get buckets full of them and then salt.

Unknown Speaker 32:13
And then we catch a cod perhaps, or buy a salmon for very little. The Indian fishermen who used to come around with salmon, I think it was his wife brought it really, we would buy a beautiful large salmon for 25 cents in those days. And of course, that meant a dozen bottles of canned salmon.

Unknown Speaker 32:33
The only time that I can remember that we really live off the island was during the 14th 18th war. That was when we really farmed on the farm and raised enough pigs and chickens and cows. And we had a little mill that ground our own flour and we grew our own wheat. I learned to plow and harness the horse. And we worked awfully hard because you couldn't get money from England and you know how they cut it off. And we were all rather proud of it. You know, it was sort of our wife at the time that we could live actually live off the lab.

Unknown Speaker 33:20
The market was always very difficult because of the transportation. When we first went there, there were two boats a week, one going between New Westminster and Victoria went down in one day. And the next day came back from Victoria to New Westminster. And it would carry anything one way or the other. You see

Unknown Speaker 33:42
some people ship fruit, and some I think veal

Unknown Speaker 33:46
we raise quite a lot of pork, sheep, very potatoes, get $20 a ton you're doing very well.

Unknown Speaker 33:53
I remember one year my father's selling about $100 worth of apples off the trees.

Unknown Speaker 33:59
We used to send fruit to Victoria sometimes Vancouver

Unknown Speaker 34:03
and some of the fruit went to the Hastings meal in Vancouver and they distributed to the lumber camps.

Unknown Speaker 34:10
In those days they weren't so particular about grading there now.

Unknown Speaker 34:14
But of course the prices were very little. I remember once a neighbor and her daughter came and helped us to pick pairs for a whole day. Beautiful bath pairs. Some of them large but all of them very fine pairs. The boys I think they charted a launch we didn't have one then father made up the boxes. We bought the word of course and he made them up. The mother pack them all in paper and we sent them to the jam factory in Sydney. And when all the expenses were taken out of it we made $3

Unknown Speaker 34:51
In those days you could ship cream to Ganges it was a creamery Ganges and there was a regular rain and for shipping.

Unknown Speaker 34:58
They paid a good price for it. And

Unknown Speaker 35:01
after the First World War, quite a few new settlers came in. And if they had the old, probably five or 10 acres of land cleared up, they kept the car too and they shipped cream over to Salt Spring.

Unknown Speaker 35:14
And it was about that time that the tomato business on main island was really a big business. There was dozens of large glass greenhouses where most of the Japanese raised tomatoes and shipped them over to Vancouver. The CPL boat would be two hours tied up at the dock loading tomatoes during the shipping season.

Unknown Speaker 35:33
Now they used to ship daffodils assists, and primroses, two florists, on Granville street. They loved her primroses, because they were a special brand who were very beautiful.

Unknown Speaker 35:47
The only thing that ever we had on the ranch that really wouldn't made any money with the sheep. And those you could you could sell the lambs. And that was a source of income, we had about 40 or 50 sheep. And the wool was usually got a fairly good price for wool.

Unknown Speaker 36:07
Well, the world was taken over by Mr. Burke, smuggler from the states who came once a year with his little dark bolt and his patio doors and our locks. And he would take all the wool and people would let him have and roll it back. But the authorities got a little suspicious because his little island on the other side had the biggest rural crop in Washington. It was just a rock. So they came to South Pender, and they put some markers in some bales of wool, I think that were waiting in the watershed for them. And, of course, he was traced them and was a great pity, he was a very nice little man.

Unknown Speaker 36:53
There was some terrific great cliffs on old point. And very early in the spring, there would be lovely patches of green grass. And the sheep used to get out on these cliffs in the sun after this green grass. And quite often they'd have their lands on these little, tiny little patches of Cliff, you see, and they'd be stuck, and they couldn't get up and they couldn't get down. And then we'd have to go out, we'd either have to go out in the boat, and struggle up these cliffs with rope. And, um, Dad would have to tie the sheep and hand the lambs down. And we weren't, you know, not so very big, but we always had to be in there helping, or else we had to come over the top of the cliff on a rope and come down and get the old sheep and tire up and haul her up getting over the edge of the bluff. There was always a great danger about the sheep and the lambs. And then, of course, we had to gather the sheep off the mountains. And it was a terrific deal because we children all had to go out and run sheep for miles and miles. We'd get them all gathered into her herd and we'd getting them down into the valley off the hill, you know. And then suddenly, one of the old sheep would turn around and come leaping back and jump right clean over us, you know, there was no way to stop her. And then all the rest of them would just turn around and leave. And then we'd all have to go again and run and run. And that was where all Billy to where the who was still very spry and alive, used to save our lives,

Unknown Speaker 38:36
he come along with his dog, you know, and what sold the sheep whistle at the dog. He ran, bending over a little bit, and you could almost see him with a spear in his hand going into battle which of course he never did. And he had a wild Indian yell that he used only when things got desperate. It must have been an old war cry from way back. And it was high and wild and fierce. It scared the daylights out of me. The dogs with all crouch on the ground, they couldn't stand it. And sometimes it would stop the sheep. Not surprised that it did.

Unknown Speaker 39:16
And eventually we'd get them in but all the rest of the year the sheep ran wild on the hills who seeds so that they were really quite wild sheep but all belly to where they seemed lived in the same little shack all his life. The shacks Mr. Pike built and it was painted white. But I can always remember dad saying well, tomorrow we'll go over the mountain see Billy and that was the greatest joy to us that we would go over and see Billy tree worthy. And we just sit in a I can remember sitting in a ditch under some big walnut trees that grew there. And you know he'd just sit there just faded old blue denim shirt. Whole pair of tattered old pants and apparent gumboots

Unknown Speaker 40:11
any talk,

Unknown Speaker 40:12
can we talk about the weapon he talked about the sheep and, and it was just something away he taught. And he had this soft Indian voice that just went up and down and on and on, you know. And he had the most beautiful brown eyes, just like brown velvet, with kind of a sparkle in them, you know. And he always looked, he could see an eagle long before you could ever see it, you know, need to look up on the mountainside. And he said, this needle looking for Lambs, because they used to take the lambs, sometimes the big eagles. And he had a lot of relations around San Juan and Lummi Island. And I think perhaps they used to come over. And well, actually, he bootlegged that's what he did. But he did it in the nicest kind of way. And he had a funny old gas boat. And he helped other people, you know, and look after their any question, he was V Shearer. You see, he went around and shared everybody's sheep. But he was just so much a part of our lives. And if anybody later on I can remember at school, you know, people talking about bad Indians and good Indians and that kind of thing. And I thought, Well, why did they make such a difference about Indians, but he was an Indian. But he, he was just a sort of a friend of ours, and a part of our life.

Unknown Speaker 41:51
Indians used to come and counted our back beach quite often when we were just a family of them. And we used to watch them washing the baby in the cold salt Chuck must have made them quite hearty. But, you know, we didn't have any feeling that we were replacing those people, or that we were displacing them. I don't know why. But they must have felt you know that that place belongs to them, because they've known it long before we were there.

Unknown Speaker 42:23
Of course, for the Native people, who had long been islands of plenty. Naturally, during the winter, they kept close to their home villages on Vancouver Island. It was the season for singing and dancing, feasting and storytelling. But when the geese appeared overhead flying northward, my frogs began to sing. That it was time to make ready canoes and paddles and all the implements of hunting and fishing. And around about me, whole families moved out to the islands in the summer camping grounds, where they put up light shelters of bark or rushes. Of fasten seat apply planks, they brought out wisdom to frames that were already there. It was the season for food gathering. And what a variety that was on the beaches, edible seaweeds, sea urchins, sea and enemies sea cucumbers, to say nothing of cockles, mussels, crabs, oysters and clams. The waters around there were teeming with halibut, flounders being cod dog fish, herring. They could dig wild onions and the roots of the blue Camus flower or gather huckleberries, salmon, berries and blackberries. There was an abundance of deer and gross and various waterfowl. And those with certain hereditary rates could hunt sea lions on the rocks in Parlier paths at the north end of Galliano island. But above all, they were salmon, all five varieties surging through the islands and succession from May to December, on their way to their spawning grounds and the streams and lakes of the interior. Most of them were heading for the Fraser River, and certainly the island people would follow them all the way to the canyon. These were the collections. The Saanich people on the other hand, could find their salmon fishing to the coast of South Pender and so Tiana and he was to kind of reef net made a willow branches sewn together. Nate string this out between two canoes, and the salmon would be caught when they brought the clues together. Later, of course, they used the white man's nets but still in their own special way.

Unknown Speaker 44:35
For canoes would be placed in a square and they would let down a net that was called a blanket net. It would be weighted so this would go down quite far in the water. And the Indians would stay there in their canoes and wait until the fish came over the top of the net and then they would raise the corners and they would have a good catch.

Unknown Speaker 45:03
One wonders how long these islands have echoed to the voices of men, women and children, and the sound of their paddles. There's a beautiful bay near the southwest corner of Galliano Island, which the Europeans have named Montague Harbour. It's dominated by high rocky slopes, and there's a sheltering island across its mouth. In fact, it's just a sort of peaceful haven, where humans ancient or modern like to spend their days. And sure enough, there are several mittens they're made out of discarded seashells and artifacts, layers of native culture. The earliest layer so far uncovered goes back over 3000 years. Compared with that, Europeans have hardly been here at all. In fact, they didn't turn up until 7091. When some Spaniards in two little schooners, sailed up boundary paths, rounded East Point on the Turner and came upon the Gulf. The following year, they were joined in their explorations by Captain Vancouver. And from then on, bit by bit, all this part of the coast got to be claimed, named and charted by people from the other side of the world. But for some time, none of the newcomers thought of settling on the islands. Although they lay right across the direct route between Fort Victoria and the Fraser River, people traveled through them interested only infer or gold. You're someone did happen to be a farmer. Obviously, there were better places to homestead than these wooded rocks. It is thought that the first cabin on Galliano was built in 1863. Is it significant that the man who built it was already an Islander, his name was Henry Georgeson, and he came from the Shetland. In 1885, he became the keeper of the active pest light on main island, which had just been built. And a few years later, his brother James took over the lighthouse at East Point. At any rate, the environment called for amphibians. So almost all islanders acquired webbed feet, no matter where they came from. Here's a question of evolution.

Unknown Speaker 47:20
We won the water, I would say almost as much as we want. Because we used to play on the beach, you throw we used to fish.

Unknown Speaker 47:30
We rode all over the place. We just love to row

Unknown Speaker 47:33
we had a 16 foot think about we hadn't sail in.

Unknown Speaker 47:39
And then my brother and I used to spend hours making rafts. And of course, we used to trade apples with the Indians grow leaky canoes, which we used to patch up with. And then we put a sail in them.

Unknown Speaker 47:54
We used to wheel everything on a wheelbarrow from our house to the water. And there we had a 14 foot Skiff because you could get into the shallow water out of the strong tides. And it was holed up a winch up to the top of a rock. And we used to put the things in the boat from the wheelbarrow, let the boat down into the water get in. And then row. We wrote to Pender on an island to grow the church.

Unknown Speaker 48:20
People thought nothing of growing to Sydney. I know we always looked on that as about the West crossing. I've had some terrible crossings. But Bala had no foul to see I've ever never seen the way he got in any storm at all.

Unknown Speaker 48:37
As soon as we could swim, we could use the launch. We had a small launch. And of course dad never told us not to do anything. Because it was dangerous. And my brother and I he was 12 and I was 10 used to salvage logs out in the Gulf in January. That was the month when there were bad storms and the bumps used to break up. We take the small launch and we go out the Gulf and we corral these logs and we wrestle them down the beach and pull them back sometimes we'd have to pull them by hand through the past when the tide was running first. Get back long after dark. Dad never told us we couldn't. I remember one month we each made $40 which in those days was a fortune. But I'm hearing me say much to our fury dad made us put it in the bank, which to us was just the same as throwing it away.

Unknown Speaker 49:37
We'd never seen it again.

Unknown Speaker 49:41
I remember going to church on the Ireenie boat and being all put in start clothes and little stashed hats and white dresses and everlasting black boots placed up tight and away. We went to church and my uncle Hubert Payne Was the person and he'd had this little church, nade from a boathouse in winter Cove. And it was costing Christopher's, but it was never consecrated. So in the end, when he went away, someone just went and lived in it. And it would seat about 19 or 20 people, and he would preach to us. And if we've done something specially bad, I've always felt the text was slanted at us. And he used to go around the islands in boats. And he didn't know how the engines ran. And his idea of fixing an engine was to give it a good squat with a hammer and then his head would poke up through the the hatch and he'd shake his fist at the sky and say, Oh, Jerusalem, because he couldn't swear you see was a person. We had wonderful trips to Maine, Ireland on the 24th of May on the Ireenie still dressed up, you know, these awful boots on. There, we had all the ice cream we could eat. There was a parade, I don't suppose it was more than a few 100 yards long, but it was heaven to us. And all the men smoked cigars, great big cigars. The farmers came from all over the islands and we ran races in the dust. I don't know that we ever won any.

Unknown Speaker 51:21
Everybody took down a big picnic lunch on the lawn or wherever it might be.

Unknown Speaker 51:25
But he spent the whole day over there, you brought the children back, clean them up, put them to bed, sometimes we could get a babysitter, and then go back for a dance. And get back in the morning about three or four between stay at Murchison over the road because he would help with the chores. So I would sit in the hay in the ring dress all covered up rusty milk, the cow and then we'd come home have slipped

Unknown Speaker 51:51
may not have been was was the center of the Gulf Islands, we had a very good walk down the ships going to New Westminster or Vancouver or Victoria Hall used to call and there were these two bars, two hotels both had bars. So the people themselves bring and the other hours all used to come over there and spend weekends.

Unknown Speaker 52:10
As a matter of fact, galley Anna was called and what happened was called the opposite.

Unknown Speaker 52:20
When you look back and you realize that the character

Unknown Speaker 52:22
people follow go and fall alive, I

Unknown Speaker 52:24
mean, the human

Unknown Speaker 52:26
wasn't all I mean, I own people either. You take like Jerry pain, he'd be with a bunch of me and I on him and pike and gray and all employees to come up to me in all the time, you know, and for their role was always on the go home guys nowadays.

Unknown Speaker 52:43
But you know, people were very sociable in a way although it sounds funny, we would live at a distance from one another that we visited a lot.

Unknown Speaker 52:54
We used to go fishing at East Point. Mother never learned to swim. She was terrified of the sea and had to live on an island or life. So we were put in a dinghy and sent out to fish on our own because we were both rather nervous. And suddenly within six feet of the boat came huge school of killer whales. Now I've never forgotten that they divided and came upon each side of puffy morphine to propel, I can see mother's face now snow white grapes and roll me to the shore. So I wrote her and put her on a rock and spent the rest of the day there. We had wonderful fishing all these points catch up 3040 In a day used to love to go to the lighthouse to me was very, very interesting people. And they would let us go up to the light. We go up the circular staircase, climb up and up and stand on the top look. We thought all around the world

Unknown Speaker 54:08
it was a wonderful place to live.

Unknown Speaker 54:12
And we know cause wasn't a single car on the island.

Unknown Speaker 54:17
That actually, it was not a place where you could make money.

Unknown Speaker 54:21
I remember Mr. Murchison who was the first white boy to be born on Galliano, I believe. I remember him saying oh no, we must never have cars on Galliano because it's too frightening for the horses.

Unknown Speaker 54:33
They came of course, and by the early 20s, marble T 's were rumbling up and down the narrow lanes and horses and humans adjusted themselves and went on living much as before.

Unknown Speaker 54:46
It's a totally different life across the day for

Unknown Speaker 54:49
another 30 years.

Unknown Speaker 54:51
No one very rich. Everybody was more or less in the same boat.

Unknown Speaker 54:56
Well, naturally, the houses got to be a bit more comfortable with Electric Light generators and inside plumbing and so on, and the population slowly increased imperceptibly, as most of the new houses were swallowed up by the trees. Until in 1960, the dear old easygoing fairies gateway to an entirely new system owned and operated by the BC government, with bigger and faster boats and more efficient landing places.

Unknown Speaker 55:25
They have all the conveniences, so there's no reason for them to be out of the world,

Unknown Speaker 55:30
and cars and trucks have no longer to be hosted on to a war. Instead, they're spewed like Jonah from the whale's belly directly onto the tarmac lane.

Unknown Speaker 55:42
And now it's so easy to get to town you can buy what you like bulldozers and take it home

Unknown Speaker 55:48
have come and carved out subdivisions. So weekenders and senior citizens can buy a plot in Clem Haven

Unknown Speaker 56:02
thus it is that islands like children awake to the end of innocence and learn to dissemble behind the still horrible loveliness of wooded coal floating in and out to mist and rain and sunlight. Failing sleep

Unknown Speaker 56:28
Oh, I'd stay for another 100 years I could.

Unknown Speaker 56:32
Still boy between paradise

Unknown Speaker 56:38
just this really marvelous life

Unknown Speaker 56:42
and Paradise Lost