|SSI Historical Society Address
|May 12, 2004
Unknown Speaker 0:00
eventually going to be working, faltering Historical Society. I just going to quickly sort of outline some of the objectives that Bob actually gave me the the objectives he'd like me to talk to you about, and where we're going with it at a trust level. Under the policies under eye on heritage, the trust committee should create a community heritage commission, provide community advice and assistance for protecting the community's heritage. I completely agree. And in talking with my other trustee, it really Minitor we're going to be moving forward to do that. That will likely be in about October, as opposed to tomorrow, Bob suggested having ready by September, October is probably going to work better. As far as our timing, we're moving into one of the busiest times of the season right now with all of the planning staff. So what we're looking for now is do we head towards October for the establishment of the community heritage commission. And we would be advertising for members from the community to step forward to sit on that commission. And I would hope to see some of the happy smiling faces in the audience here coming forward for now. Further to trust committee should further develop its community heritage registry to identify like heritage buildings or other heritage features that the community believes are worth conserving. At the last meeting, I was here it was it was Robin, I would hear Rob Howard speaking on the idea of creating that registry for Saltspring. With the movement towards getting people to understand that this is not a typical heritage designation, it is a heritage registry. And within that heritage registry, as opposed to the limitations being placed on heritage sites, it could actually act as a benefit to the owner, because local government is in a position to offer tax incentives or other incentives to preserve the heritage agenda. It's interesting. In between that talk, and now I actually had somebody call me and say, we're living in this old farmhouse, it's built around the turn of the century. We want to build another house on the property, but we really don't want to take this one down. But we're only allowed to have one on this property. Is there anything that you can do so the I think the movement that we would like to move movement I would like to have is towards looking at those situations. And having decided that, yes, we could build another house on that property. If that current one is being preserved and being done under the trust, we should develop a heritage management plan in consultation with community members to identify other ways to protect the community's heritage. And this comes I'm assuming right out of the PC heritage site here, and I just kind of give a quick introduction as to what we're looking at and doing this. Local governments have formally appointed committees to advise them on a variety of policy issues. These advisory committees are made up of area residents volunteer their time and expertise to help their elected representatives make their best possible decisions. appointment to a committee is usually based on an individual's knowledge of a subject. A generalists perspective is important as well, to ensure a realistic view of the entire community's concerns, in addition to advisory committees provide an opportunity for direct public involvement in the decision making process, through committee members affiliations and contacts, elected officials can gain access to a wider constituency. Also, a number of policy conflicts can be dealt with through the committee structure, maybe elected representatives for you to deal with larger issues. And that's actually one of the questions that I was given here. What is your position on heritage on Saltspring? And why have you not stayed in your position prior to this time? 18 months goes by in the blink of an eye as an elected politician on Saltspring Island. And unfortunately, a lot of the times and actually stated this in a presentation was that yesterday, Monday, Monday, Monday to the ache heads that a lot of times because of the number of issues that we're facing on Saltspring Island, a lot of the times as an elected official, I feel like I'm skipping over the top of them because there's so many and you're trying to deal with them on a day to day basis. And they have a full gamut of range on a day to day basis. My first phone call this morning was coming out talking about one particular subject. So the problem is is that on some of the major issues then you have the time where you have to have the time to delve in deeper as a result. That expression I don't know who came up with it the squeaky wheel gets the oil is generally the case and it's an unfortunate situation but having three members elected members themselves perhaps one CRD director to tell Cities for a community of this size, but the number of issues that are going on, frankly, is not enough. And as many of you know, I, I firmly believe the number should be at least seven. visa vie a municipal council. I'm happy to be here now and moving this forward. But as to why haven't I done this before, it's primarily because it's all everything else going on. And Bob's invitation to today has offices. There are a number of advisory committees that could influence over policy as it relates to heritage conservation. The most important is the heritage advisory committee. But some communication coordination between the committee's is important to ensure consistency and advice given we have on the software now the advisory design panel which takes a look at development permits in the design and development firms. We have the advisory Planning Commission, which is looking at broader issues within the community if we decide to send that to them. We have just recently decided to establish an environmental Advisory Committee as well. And now we're moving forward with the heritage advisory committee. So as local governments solely responsible for developing a heritage management plan, heritage management is a community wide responsibility. It is best undertaken as a partnership involving all interested groups and individuals. They should include everyone from business people to volunteer groups, professionals, property owners, any other group or individual interested in heritage conservation. While local government can play a major role, it should not be an exclusive one. Isn't local governments solely responsible for implementing inheritance while the best programs tend to be those where there's a shared responsibility that reflects the strengths of the various participating groups, for example, a downtown Merchants Association would be the most appropriate group to meet a downtown or Heritage Area revitalization project. They are mostly do it most directly while and should have the most again in project proceeds, local government responsibilities on how they're handling would be ensure that the plans are in keeping with the social and economic needs of the community community to decide what public improvements are required to pass necessary bylaws. So when local government should take the lead Well, in this case, it's that's going to be doing. We want to create a vision and drive to develop the program. And that will be done in concert with the advisory group, the ability to work effectively with people who may have quite different desires and priorities, which I'm sure there are as we can go, well know that there are different priorities and desires when it comes to any particular issue and appreciation of community goals. So that's basically where we are headed with not only the heritage advisory committee, but in what you develop your management plan in conjunction with them. So just been going over the questions here. Are heritage designations procedures prohibited? They can be and I think probably generally the ask the average person on the street, if you had a heritage designation, is that going to allow you to do things? Or is that going to stop you from doing things? Most people would say? Well, I think that's going to stop me from doing things. Bob, Rob Howard brought up the point that under the heritage registry, the idea is it's a soft approach, which is to approach people with the idea that this is not going to be prohibitive, this can actually help you. But that's an educational process that has to go out into the community. And I think using the publicity surrounding the creation of the committee and everything that we can move that forward. What are the heritage destinations for the island? I'm taking it that that's the like, which properties are are designated. There is a list in the OCP. I don't have that list here with me. But if you got there
Unknown Speaker 8:59
I'll be back. It's just Kansas. It's just Ganges right now, maybe two or three. And there's landscape. Yeah, I was actually I was quite surprised when I went through it a while ago, because for 10 years, I lived in one of the old bullet houses, which was built in 1903. So it's over 100 years now. And I couldn't find it anywhere in any list, the nanny book on on heritage or the history of salts Brown, and here's yet 1600 square foot farmhouse that was built by bullet, and there's been lifting since then. Absolutely no mention of it. So I think it's important when we're looking at this to to not only look at what's there, but also to be looking at expanding that and that's the idea of decorators registered. I answered the other one, why haven't I stated my position prior to this? What is the process of Heritage Preservation? Can you have a designation removed? Again, I think that the seeds direction that we want to go when we're looking at the process for Heritage Preservation. It's to create that registry and really to get the people that have the homes into that mode of wanting to protect. And I, again believe it was Rob, that Rob Powell has said that owners generally who own heritage properties are interested in that preservation. So what is it as a community that can we do to help them encourage them to retain? Can you have a designation removed? I think there, in this case, I'm guessing what you're talking about is the specific heritage designation with like a provincial heritage designation? And I'm not sure what the process would be the because I think that's a provincial designation as a public event.
Unknown Speaker 10:45
I would think what that question was the two, if somebody gets the designation, whoever gives it, can that ever be taken out?
Unknown Speaker 10:55
Again, that's the difference between the designation and the registry. So if you're designated, I'm not sure that you can get that taken back. But on the registry, you are getting an audit back, can you have that?
Unknown Speaker 11:12
I know that you have a feel for counsel.
Unknown Speaker 11:31
Definitely, and that, again, I guess, in some regards, relates to ours. Like to get the message up in Canada, nobody owns the land and the Crown owns all the property. And so that gets into the how would that happen would happen as a matter of how our public properties designated and dealt with, and I'm guessing this public property, we're talking about Central Hall? Are we talking about those kinds of properties? Are they designated the development?
Unknown Speaker 12:07
I guess it's all part of how you would inventory them as to what? So until that's done, you wouldn't be able to probably answer that
Unknown Speaker 12:14
to get the the ones that are currently that would be designated in the official community plan. If we go beyond that, we're looking at creating a registry. And how do we go to the person? Again, I think that's part of the plant management plan that was put into place. So I think that's more of a future question here. I don't think I had anything. Much more to say than that, other than I'd be happy to answer questions that maybe come up many of this Charles,
Unknown Speaker 12:51
approach that you're suggesting with the registry is kind of a soft approach permissive approach. It doesn't really
Unknown Speaker 13:00
protect the property. The hard way.
Unknown Speaker 13:05
A few years back.
Unknown Speaker 13:10
Someone from provincial ministers spoke to it. He said that I remember correctly, he said that he couldn't really protest proxies. Unless you were.
Unknown Speaker 13:29
Yeah, I know you're feeling ready to me. And no, I don't know. Well, yes. I would love to know that that was in fact the case. I'm not I'm not sure. That's not
Unknown Speaker 13:39
so alien possible, then we could go with that partner approach. I'm not the only reason I'm saying that is because the the registry. While it's nice, it doesn't put any constraints on the homeowner to protect property.
Unknown Speaker 13:55
There's a you can get voluntary approaches that are mashed in with tax incentives. Were one of the things that's just happening right now. Not so much in heritage conservation, but certainly in environmental conservation. We're going through the natural areas protection exemption tax proposal with the CRD. And we should probably have some, some read on that within this next month, which would allow as an example, if there are environmentally sensitive areas on your property 70, that's 20% of your property, you would actually get an exemption if you are prepared to register a covenant on that. So there's a potential for covenants to be used in that process to look for incentives as to why would I grant a covenant on this? What would that covenant restrict me to do? And that's again, I would think that provincially there are probably a number of guidelines that are that are set up for the use of in small communities. That's something that the heritage advisory committee would be looking at. How can we To use the incentives to make it a little bit harder, because what you're saying instead of just saying, well, on a handshake, please do that. You put it into a covenant thing and say, okay, great, we will grant for that for you for protecting us voluntarily, which perhaps, you know, again, restrictive covenant, you can put virtually anything you want in an agreement, because it's the person that's granting it, who's going to be giving up their rights, so they can, they can couch it in such a way that they can protect their interest.
Unknown Speaker 15:32
I think that would work, particularly well repair to soundscapes. The state references. It works in with the environmental group, but
Unknown Speaker 15:42
the huge fruit trees are protected in Ganges. The trees are not to be touched, unless it's a certified arborist, and all that stuff.
Unknown Speaker 15:50
So they're protected there. But I think the last week throughout the island is very important.
Unknown Speaker 15:54
And until they're identified, then I mean that nobody knows. I mean, it's the turnover property and everything that we have going on, somebody buys a property, they don't have any idea. What are you there to tell them? And that's where I think that as a group, looking at this, the major project you're talking about, because the size of the island is huge. It's a lot bigger than we normally
Unknown Speaker 16:20
do. We're interested when you said somebody had bought an old farmhouse that they didn't want to live in that wanted to build a new house? What would he have found asking
Unknown Speaker 16:30
for it? Well, it could actually be a second residence. And that's the question is, in their perspective, from their perspective, and they've, as an example, say the old farmhouse is 800 square feet, they've got a growing family that can't house the growing family, they want to build another house, they have the right currently to demo the old one, build a new one, they don't want to do that. So they're coming forward then to to the trust in that case, to say, Listen, this is what we'd like to do. In that case, I'd be looking for something in the way of a covenant, to protect that property in order to give them additional rights, massive taxes, and possibly a tax exemption to them. And that's, it's at that point you're talking about. Well, I know that wheeling and dealing and trying to find out what's going to make it work, Bob suggested or whatever comes up as well. I'd also like to have six slots. You can ask for anything, what will what we will permit or what we will grant is another another matter.
Unknown Speaker 17:30
Actually, we didn't go into all the sections, but there are some sections in there that do provide some incentives, if you wanted to, we just sort of chose three areas to talk about. Right in the actual policy. There are sentences question America
Unknown Speaker 17:47
the heart broken, springs is not reproductive very often, people get alarmed, they get their backs up. Why are you telling me what to do with my property?
Unknown Speaker 17:58
And the educational informational, cooperative approach?
Unknown Speaker 18:09
That's That's my understanding as well. And to me, it makes sense as well, that it's it's more of a community way of doing things as opposed to let's start with a regulation and guess what that now applies to you. So, yeah, I believe it's, it's extremely workable, and you can always it's done right in such a way it's, it's promoting the benefit to the environment. Very often, then it gives you
Unknown Speaker 18:41
a nice little officer. Yes. No.
Unknown Speaker 18:48
Yeah, I know that. Yes. No, get lost boxes.
Unknown Speaker 18:50
We have time for one more question is, Charles's got one. Does anybody else want to ask when? I'll let, I'll let Charles wrap it up, then. Okay, Charles, but
Unknown Speaker 18:58
I have two things. One example, an example
Unknown Speaker 19:03
of what we're talking
Unknown Speaker 19:04
about, I think, with the travel dress,
Unknown Speaker 19:06
I guess, wanting to build a new building on that
Unknown Speaker 19:10
property, I thought was right. And he had to, he thought he was going to have to destroy the old traveler dress in order to build a new building. I think that process was stopped. But, but I think that was an example of what you were saying you're not definite heritage will
Unknown Speaker 19:34
I'll be able to repair
Unknown Speaker 19:37
that couldn't be saved because you were willing to dance. But the question I had was, there are as well as the buildings that are mentioned, you can find there are also some robots on the island. For example, I think what is what is the what protection, legal protection. Just just just just window dressing up to some
Unknown Speaker 20:06
legal? That's that's a good question as far as the old Scott road is an example, because who has control rules got road, it's not the community, its Ministry of Transportation and highways, they decided that they want to do something with that matter, you know how much I wouldn't maybe jump up and down and show? I don't know whether I would have any impact on now. They may say, okay, great, but they were actually in control of that, of that roadway. In that regard.
Unknown Speaker 20:38
There's no protocol and could think that
Unknown Speaker 20:41
there was and perhaps to list his heritage legislation that will override that. Such as Dennis road, you can't move the ball straight in the road?
Unknown Speaker 20:51
I would I would be, I wouldn't be surprised if in the extreme push given to show that we would actually count a Trump over Minister of Transportation. It's just not the right question. Now, the travel stress and and that's a good example of what basically that the other person that had phoned me talking Well, that's a it's a perfect example. Now, as far as I understand, or at least to my knowledge, that never came forward to the trust as a as a possibility. If it had come forward, that would have been a perfect time to, to look at that entire issue. But I'm not aware of that that actually came forward to the trust. But I'm guessing that the owner was probably operating under that assumption, a longer one density. So it'd be nice.
Unknown Speaker 21:41
I just gave this map in the community plan, there are many maps. And this particular map is called the heritage and scenic road segments of preservation. They're here, some interesting roads on there, for instance, Walker, Silk Road, sunset drive, and some of those are on here. But if you haven't had a copy of that chance, look, this, this is in the library. And you can go through it, it's got lots of interesting things that you'll find related to history and in the heritage. Thanks very much. Appreciate. And we'll get our squeaky wheels working. If not, we'll send we'll send Jonathan Yardley. We are interested in this. And as I indicated to Eric that psaltery on a historical society would like to have a member on that committee and if we could find somebody that would be willing to serve it. Like every other committee on the island. We're all lots of committees but there are people who would be very interested in that particular Avenue and so not forgetting us will apply when when the word comes out. So thanks very much Jerry. Second part of the program and our wrap up for this year is a friend of our society who has been a speaker in our group before and has written a book and been a member of our executive. And that is very keen on the history of Saltspring Island. And I asked him to come forward today and just give us an overview program of some of his thoughts or reflections or looks at the history of Saltspring so I'd like to introduce to you today Charles.
Unknown Speaker 23:31
Never go anywhere without my map of Salzburg.
Unknown Speaker 23:47
We can probably profit
Unknown Speaker 23:49
on a chair against the screen.
Unknown Speaker 24:13
August just lift it up
Unknown Speaker 24:33
thanks. When Bobby where you're asking me to speak today, I have no idea where I'm going to talk about. However, my problem was solved when I returned from a trip in March was reading back issues of the driftwood. I came across a notice informing me that I was addressing the Historical Society on Saltspring reflections. And that's the theme of my short talk today was inspired by that I began to reflect. I reflected on our wonderful island and all the places that hold special significance for me. I also reflected on the fact that there was a bit of history connected with most of these places. In fact, I'm always hearing we're seeing fragments of Salt Springs history wherever I am on the island, or in the waters around Saltspring. It's in the buildings that remain from earlier days. In the names of street signs in the stories I've read or been told by old timers, and in secrets of the islands landscape that I've been privileged to experience, like the wonderful weeping elm on fourth of January roadsides, which Dave Harris pointed out to me some years ago, are the old road buried near rock crusher corner that process Blackbird Road, which John Bennett showed, I'd like to share with you four of my favorite places on Saltspring and the history connectible. One of the things I I've done is I've written as you know, a book on hiking golf violence. I've written a book on the history of Saltspring. And in a way this kind of combines the two, the physical aspect of the landscape and the hiking book and the more people oriented aspects in the history. When I first started exploring the Saltspring history, I had a compulsive need to know the history of individual properties. One of the most interesting is Springwood forum on the northeast side of the island. So here we are up here, Fernwood farm don't know if you can you see the little yellow stickers I shouldn't be having. On this property, you'll find some of the Salt Springs for which the islanders name the list of the owners of this large two to 300 acre property reads like the who's who a violent movers and shakers Jonathan bag one of the first settlers preempted the land in 1859. Beck was a very busy fellow starting the ball moral store in the Beaumont nursery on the property. In 1860, the British colonists reported that the nursery was quote the largest in the whole colony of Vancouver Island. Dad was also heavily involved in politics on the islands serving as returning officer in 1860 elections as a road Commissioner, and as a director of the Saltspring Island agricultural Association. However, he only stayed on Saltspring until 1863 When he sold the land to Richard grin to Thomas Griffiths who continued to run the nursery. John Paton booth took over for him with one when he married widowed Elizabeth Griffiths. Booth was Salt Springs read or merit in today's terms when the island was a municipality, between 1873 and 1883. One of the things Bob suggested to me when he asked me to speak today was that I could say talk about who was the first mayor of Salt Spring and that would have been John Booth. A lot of people don't realize that Telestream has already been incorporated and unincorporated. Booth was also one of the two representatives from the constituency of Cowichan in the first provincial legislature. The next corner is a friend would fun with the leg family who bought the farm after booth death in 1902. In 1910, the farm was bought by John Charles Lane, the man who started the Ganges water power company, the ancestor of Northern Saltspring waterworks, land paid the princely sum of $15,000 to 300 acre property, I think two or 300 acre because I am not sure exactly how big the property was. When people preempted property, they were allowed to preempt 100 acres if there was single and 280 acres if they were if they were married. But I am reading the Hamilton's history, which is not always correct. She did speak about this property as being 300 acres. And while I had thought of it as 200 acres, I thought I would hedge that say two to 300 acres so that I would at least be part of the writing. That's something I'm going to talk about at the end of this, you know, accuracy and history. It's an interesting question. The property became the home of the James brothers Seed Company from 1920 to 1930, when the James brothers leased the land from John Charles land, until fairly recently, the land was owned and farmed by John Harper. My tenuous connection with this piece of land is related to the Salt Springs. These were mentioned in the 1853 letter by James Douglas before settlers even came here. Douglas believed that the springs would be quote, of the greatest importance and become a wealth to the country. Here's an eloquent description of the springs from be Hamilton's history of Salisbury There are 14 of these springs of various sizes scattered in several locations around the north end. They cover anything from a few feet in size to the largest, which covers about 90 feet either way. salt crystals cover the ground at times of sparkle in the sunlight like frost and snow. The soils favor a reddish clay mixture with an underlay of young play and pebbles. Nothing grows in the immediate vicinity of the salt with the exception of a little pink flower called see blush and attractive little plant which crowd the edges a strange species of grass grows nearby. This is often covered with salt crystals. Unexpected bubbles appear sometimes to transform it looks like a rather dingy mud hole into a source of mystery and all. The occasional Earth trim will increase the bubble action. But the salt action is not and with the Salt Springs where there is an even more astonishing aspect to the mystery. A mineral floating island of salts that actually moves this fence or flows in the Lord Marsh lands of the oldest foreign lands on the island, Brentwood farms. The movement of this phenomenon is a distinct key every so often for no apparent reason. It is surrounded by solid lands of some 40 acres of fields and bush land on a 300 acre estate owned by young and Louise Harker, and their seven children. Bee goes on to describe how this floating island actually moved when she visited the farm some decades ago. Her description made me determined to see the springs even though the photo in these books is not very impressive. So when I was researching Alan's history in 1997, I called Dan Harkin and asked him if I could come to see the springs. He immediately said no. Which surprised me because most other people had been very agreeable to things I requested, especially when I when I mentioned that sumo had suggested I call them I always practice an ending approach to an old timer by mentioning Sue, or sometimes it and found that their names open the tightest doors. However, my opensesame Didn't work with young. Still, I pursued the matter asking him whether he knew of any other places where I might see the famous springs. Finally, yes, suggested that I contact him Samsung. So I called kin and he agreed to show me some of the springs. On the appointed day, I arrived at Cannes home on Fernwood road, and we walk from there down to North Beach Road and then north to of all places for him with fun, which we ended by a trail off North Beach. Ironically, I ended up on Yen's farm, even though he wouldn't show me the springs himself. For some reason, not only to yam, he wanted Ken to show it. And after all that trouble, I saw a few losing puddles, which when you taste it, the water were salty. I don't remember any see blush. But maybe it was the wrong time here. And I certainly didn't see or feel your move. As be very disappointed. I don't recommend that you repeat my visit. Many of my favorite places are in the southern end of Salzburg in an area once known as Musgrave now. Now we're over here, we've jumped from the top to the bottom. And we're in the middle farm. The male client is probably at the top of the list because I feel a special connection with him. For those of you who don't know, the male Farm is a 160 acre CRV Park Reserve on Musgrave Road, about a kilometer from Musgrave blanket. The mill farm is named after the ponderous yet whimsical mill, built on Lancashire born on Smith's property, but probably designed by his brother friend. For miles meeting the neighbor of the Smiths almost 30 years later, this mill wheel was symptomatic of its designer. This is a quote from miles Smith's book, change of jungles, which is really interesting about his experiences in Burma during the war and then his experiences on Saltspring.
Unknown Speaker 34:34
Frankly, take more pleasure in designing his waterwheel than in constructing it and more pleasure in constructing it than and making it work. Indeed, it could only work in winter when the stream was running. And it was really a tremendous and impractical construction for the amount of work that was required for it was only used for sign up an occasional plank or a few shingles for the roof. He should really have been score and a mathematician would have been on the right opportunity if the right opportunities had been available. Now I did talk to Johnny Bennett put me on to Arno Smith, wealth funds daughter. She lived in White Rock five or six years ago, and she said that the mail will mail actually did work, and that it was more much more practical. So take it for what it's worth. This is what else need to say. Let brother Frank and many of the others who tried homesteading at Musgrave Arnold and Walter Smith was somewhat eccentric. Here's miles means long, Putterman description of them. Arnold was the older and really the Farmer of the family. He had kept more of the homely accent of his birthplace than the others. He had a great long nose, deep for a minute on his cheeks, and clear blue eyes that always kept something of childhoods wondering. He was tall and stare with huge 20 Hands has achieved wonders of work and healing out of the woods, the small primitive form. Now that his hands were resting, the forest was coming back again, rather slower than in Frank's place because it had been attacked more savagely in the first place. But the split cedar red fence rails were down, and the young furs back in the field aren't on at all always been fond of painting, now that occupied all his time. But other than self portraits, he believed in no original inspiration and prefer to always to copy other pictures. The walls of his house were covered with his picture signed on Smith, after constable and other great landscape painters, and they were interspersed with pictures for face and profile of himself. So the small nose which dominated the center of the room seems to be reflected on every wall. Apart from his pictures, he was as original as he could be. His car was an old Model T Ford, but he had removed the body and built a wooden box on the chassis and in a soda water bottle box on the back and kept bottles of petrol. His usual trip down to the work was a one bottle run the bottle of being held in a special fastening over the carburetor. A long run demanded a bottom change on route, which could be affected without getting out. Get a feeling of driving in a rocket car, with successive rockets being ignited. Walter, the youngest of the CF bros, gray haired, leading haggard intensive features with what always with a friendly smile and salt in North Country humor was the one we knew best. He was the reader and the philosopher of China. Extremely well read and up to date and all that was going on. One day barrel, a barrel was miles meet his wife handing him back some huge volume of 20s that he had lent her. What are you reading now? She asked. Oh, I'm onto something serious mountain relativity. The Smiths came to softening in 1919, the last of about 60 homesteaders in the muscle Musgrave area. This means arrived in 1946 but only stayed three years. The Musgrave post office was established in 1923 and lasted until 1957. During that time, Walter and then Frank Smith were the only two postmasters in 1957 there would have been fewer people to deliver mail to in Musgrave than there are today. Arnold Smith built several guest cabins on his Milk Farm, which were rented out to visitors from Victoria in the summer. Mrs. Arnold Smith was a school teacher and supervised Correspondence Education for some of the children. In 19, one Arnold Smith mill farm property was purchased by eight individuals who were investing in a communal dream. At that time, the land contained about 65 acres of old growth for freshwater springs, the old mill and the remains of the original Smith farmhouse. The buyers idea was to have privately owned homes, but to share the land in common. While the land was subdividable into 820 acre parcels, the eight partners had 10 shares because they I had not all invested in Koi. Fish started out well with several of the partners building cabins and a few of them living on the site full time. By the early 1990s. However, the sale of shares had upped the number of partners to Kin, including some new owners who had brought out original investors. discussions were underway to try to change the zoning on the property to allow for 10 homes under the existing communal ownership, but something went wrong In 1996, a minority of the owners of the precedent a court ordered to sell the property, and the mill farm was listed for sale. With its own growth firm and proximity to adjacent Crown land on Mount Bruce, the male farm had a special place in islanders hearts and the fledgling Saltspring Island conservancy began drive to raise money to buy the property and preserve it as part. Eventually, the community contributed $150,000 towards the purchase price of $800,000. With the remainder provided by the CRD and the Pacific heritage legacy plan, a joint federal provincial project that requires all filing Heartland to protect the property from logging in development, the mill farm owners accepted the government's offer, at the same time turning down a private logging company hierarchy. Because I'm a volunteer parkour for the CRD, I visit the middle of farming every month. I'm going tomorrow. Whenever I'm there, I feel like an empowered us the lush vegetation, vegetation, the sound of the water in the streams and ponds, not so much this year, dry the many old growth trees, the remains of the Smiths, homestead and cotton owners greens all combined to make this a very special place. This is especially true in view of the changes on the Musgrave road as a result of the textainer land company's extensive logging a few years ago. I do a lot of tapping along so for insurers and one of the things I most enjoy and proud of is the great view of the island that you get from the water. Aside from its great natural beauty, the shoreline from Venice Beach to Russell product resonates with Saltspring history. For example, it's hard to pass by venice beach without thinking of the various family tenting here in 1884 while we cleared the land, built their first house and planted their garden and orchard. So here is that is speech. They're here and next week I'm going to talk about is pushing code just a little bit beyond perhaps the largest industry to an ever offering it on Saltspring the Bowman sawmill at Cushing co south of Venice Beach, was established between 1906 and 1908. Its bunkhouse eventually accommodated about 150 men, many of them Norwegians and Swedes. A big sweetening Magnusson apparently ran mill with an iron fist bullying men get what he wanted. Because often timber was considered inferior most of the mills timber came from off Island. Although small scale independent hand loggers worked around pushing coal. also supplied. After milling the lumber went to market and large ships that came to the company for the bone health had more than its share of problems including the lack of road connection to bear this road. When a Japanese employee lost three fingers in a plane machine in 1911, the male had the phone Captain good to bring his launch from his beaver point store take the accident victim to Dr. Beech Ganges in 1911. The company closed temporarily when its manager Mr. Profit round, when the steamboat that supplied the golf file in the airport St. Later the same year, the mail burned but was quickly rebuilt since the demand for lumber was increasing rapidly at that time. The final blow was the 1926 collapse of the mills dilapidated work when it was overloaded with lumber waiting to ship estimates of the world would vary from one to 3,000,014. Most of the woods was lost and the company soon cease operations. Okay, guess a footnote to that is that the first data point hall I believe was built with Windows salvage. That would that was last accident. It's kind of interesting. Today the Christian code site is the home of Saltspring Paco forms and ordered Chris Hadfield has been doing some very interesting archaeological work. They're written accounts of logging and milling on Saltspring mentioned the use of East Indian Scandinavian and Japanese labor. But Chris has discovered a huge menu of Chinese artifacts. I'm using the word related to do it to your
Unknown Speaker 44:38
left or to the many Chinese workers who obviously had their own bunkhouse lifestyle in garbage dump at the mill. Chris has opened a small museum on the site to display his findings and is quite keen to share his discoveries with visitors. I'd like to see in the Historical Society shedule one a multitude of meetings on this site to see an example of the history that conceivably really beneath the soil all over this from both the water the length the Christian Cove site is very beautiful. The addition of this historical perspective has another intriguing dimension. The conservancies new Andrea's boat nature reserve unsterile way off Jasper avenue you asked your road, there's another piece of land that has a fascinating history. That's over here. That's in the new development, big paved road. That's why I said mentioned all these names because it means keep changing as it goes. Along with the adjoining property owned by Bernie Reynolds, it was once owned by Colonel Jasper and Dr. Anita Bryant, and was commonly referred to as Brian Hill. Jasper Brian had retired to Saltspring from military service in India during the 1920s and perhaps right into the 1950s. They kept the herd of goats making cheese each day and aging in a cave on their property. They developed the price moving Rockford type cheese which they shipped to Spencer's the story is larger story at that time. It's interesting to note that Frank and Arnold Smith and Musgrave mountain also produce goat's milk cheese during the years between the worst the brightest lifestyle was spare. Electricity didn't extend to their hilltop home above the repoint road, but they had a generator and eventually obtained the telephone. During the war, they gave up their car to save gas and use bicycles to get around the island. Although supposedly retired Dr. meter Brian did locums and was still administering anesthetics in the hospital in the late 1940s. Through the property was acquired by McNaughton to avail in the 1950s and walked by others in the 1980s, after which it was bought by quarter the vote and her mother, older Nora. Last year Cordilla and Oda donated this piece of land to the Saltspring Island conservancy be protected as nature reserve. Today is another sanctuary like the mill farm, where you can go to walk and enjoy the breathtaking views out over the Gary covered land.
Unknown Speaker 47:35
property to the conservancy, I did offer a second connection to this wonderful piece of land. And perhaps when I'm through Kathleen might like to talk a little bit more about that property since she also knew it as a as a younger person when Brian was still here. Finally, I'd like to say a few words about Broadwell mountain because where I live and that of course is Joe Rich to a backup here. Bravo, bravo. Now channel Rich. Joe and Amanda Broadwell bought their 1260 acre farm in 1882 10 years later, they opened Salt Springs largest store in their home and central settlement at the corner of North End and facilities they rose where the fire hall stands today. The bride was great cheap on him for him for many years. Today the farm is known as channel rich. There are no buildings and Chantal needs to remind us of the Broadway house. The oldest building on the land is the farmhouse on the farm fronting on Sunset, which was which was built probably in the 1950s by Gavin Malloy, who owned the whole mountain and lock it extensively so that there is little any old growth left. Now this is your second row. The next corner is Maria Helen went home again the channel is properties now a major Island development. With the recent clear cutting of the village site it is very hard to imagine the human history of this area. Although the natural history and beauty of the area continues to shine through the debris of development. along the west side of the ridge along the west side west side of remains our beautiful moss covered Gharial in our view this meadows with the sand toward the sea. The southern most of these past ponds and areas filled with shells. These resemble mittens, but candidly business this high. Farther north there are views of Canton Cooper Island is crossing and the show while and beyond. Through the center, the trails past dramatic rocky outcrops it's for the sport gardens of Fern, cedar and wildflowers in the spring on Easter splendid views of St Mary Lake Wallace the Dalian islands and Trincomalee channel beyond a Lower trails through the watershed paths and seasonal ponds where you'll sometimes encountered ducks. In March 2 Grove cedar and for most of the 800 acres to the north of the property made untouched by the development of the village. With luck for many years to come, we'll be able to walk these trails were broad male sheep graze. Fernwood farm Musgrave mountain running Hill brightwells, mountain, alias, channel rich, all large pieces of our beautiful island with interesting connections to the early days of settlement on Saltspring. Still reflecting, I'd like to change topics at this point, and explore the idea of history for a few minutes. For many people, history is a record of what happened in the past. But how do we know what happened in the past. One source of information is written information which ranges from public records like census records, to written accounts like Churchill's books about the Second World War. Another source of information is oral history, which includes sources like specs, triples, interviews of people about their jobs, to the stories that have been passed down from generation to generation by Aboriginal people. It's easy to imagine how any of these sources of information about the past can be embellished embellished by imagination, or a desire by the teller to shape the story that is left behind. I think that some of the things we hear about Salisbury fall into this category. Perhaps this has resulted because we live in such a beautiful, magical place. Perhaps it's because the real history is a bit boring. The story of ordinary people living ordinary lives for the most part. So to conclude my little talk today, I'd like to share some of salterns interesting myths legends are what I call perish. One of the persistent stories we hear is its offspring began as a black colony making 57. The source of this is b Hamilton's eloquent account of the arrival of non black settlers in her book Saltspring Island. B was a very fun, entertaining and persuasive writer. And as as she admitted, her book is a record of growth the tales told me by the old timers. In fact, black settlers first came to Victoria in 1858, didn't read Saltspring until the following year, two years later to be tells us they did. They made up about half the first settlers on the island and cavemen as individuals not as quote with American liberal colony, as he says. Furthermore, none of them were slaves, although many of them had been slaves in the United States and had bought their freedom before immigrating to Canada. Still visa counted the arrival of nine settlers is very compelling meaning let's call stories like this New Romantics history. It's a lot more interesting than the real thing. As another example of a romantic history story of Granville in 1891 SKU Splinter Captain Edward Walker, business directory publisher Edward mound in and other Saltspring businessman tried to establish Grantsville soft springs first subdivision. Well, it didn't happen in the 1890s. The plan showing the quarter acre loss is the basis for the very small lots in the subdivision around Fourth Street today. And of course, there's still a street named grandpa, one of the many Saltspring Legends has it that the Empress Hotel was going to be built in this early subdivision. However, the idea of building an interest like hotels and Saltspring was probably no more than the developers ambitious magazines. And undernet that was passed down from early settlers was that gulf Island water came from Mount Baker in the cascade Ridge 160 kilometers east of us. It would be comforting to know that we had this kind of backup to our shallow aquifers on Salisbury. But I strongly doubt Aboriginal oral history may be the source of the following story. There's an old maple tree at Harbor husband has been protected from the development now taking place there, some court counsel tree and many believes that Aboriginal people make their genetic decisions. I have been unable to find any historical basis for this idea. It may have been passed down as oral history from Coast Salish people, or it may have come from the owner of the first harbor House Hotel. Who knows. Another story we hear we sometimes hear is about the large dock and a certain property on Samson narrows around home bluff. According to this story dock was built by the British Columbian government during World War Two so that the Cabinet could retreat to Beaubois and still receive supplies brought by large ships that would be accommodated by the oversized dock. There doesn't seem to be any evidence to back up the story and one can only guess at its origin. One of my favorite stories is about the special geological makeup of the divided area. According to some people, there are magnetic forces at work here, which explain the spurious happenings that have been reported in the area. This may help explain why there are more gumboot samples in Dubai, and there are north of it. There are many stories like many more stories like these, and they contribute to how we feel about where we live. They also contribute to the idea that we live on an island of eccentric individualists and its offspring has always been populated by intriguing people. Perhaps for these reasons, unsubstantiated and perhaps unsubstantiated accounts are as valuable part of our history as anything that can be documented and archived. I'd like to suggest that it's worth considering them and not like anybody have any questions? I think I put forward a very controversial spot there so I'll push it.
Unknown Speaker 56:17
Night very much Charles. Read the driftwood next year and you might say that you're coming back
Unknown Speaker 56:31
I would like to do