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The Changing Faces of Salt Spring Island

Charles Kahn

Burgoyne Valley animation




Unknown Speaker 0:00
First of all, I think we should have a few credits to get big ones in front Newman, as usual. It was his idea to do this particular program. And Fred and I couldn't do this without Fred. It's all his doing. And I'm sure you will enjoy the photographs he's, we've put together together. But he's he's really been the ones who's done all the good work. Also, we have a few photographers I should mention, we have some photographs by John camera that we're using. And we want to thank John for those. Gail Newman, a friend's wife has taken a number of photographs, and Julia Watson has taken a few as well. So I want to thank those people for for that. Couple of things. When we look at these photographs, we've decided to start by looking at the rural side of Saltspring. First and ended up with Ganges we have an awful lot of pictures of Ganges because there's a lot of changes and things that have happened in Ganges. As most of you know, Ganges really started, you know, just after 19, early 1900s. It really isn't the oldest part of Saltspring. It wasn't here all the time. And in the very first 50 or 60 years of our Saltspring history. Ganges wasn't important at all. But now of course, it's the center of the island in many ways, most ways, despite what people unfulfilled The other thing I was going to mention was, when we started thinking about this, it was kind of photographic show. But the more I thought of it, the more I thought, it really is interesting how this island has changed. It was a farming community to begin with. And it's it's now become really a tourist destination. In many ways. Some of the farming is still exists, you know, the agricultural community is quite strong, but small. But the big. The big impetus here is tourism. And keep that in mind as you're looking at the pictures. Well, we'll probably talk about more of that as we go along. So I guess we could start do we want to turn the laser I have a flashlight. So if I have to read something and see. So here we are down and filtered. The whole shirt in most a lot of these pictures show Maxwell in the background gives you a bit of a background. You can see that where we are. footprint has changed quite a bit over the years. And we'll see see that and some of the historical pictures. We can go on.

Unknown Speaker 3:06
Now, this is an interesting photograph. In the early days, there weren't a lot of roads. One of the reasons why there weren't a lot of roads was because they didn't have a character until the 1930s And so there's this big bridge that went across the Fulford estuary. And that's how you you went across from where you come down to where Isabel point meets meets the Fulford Ganges road and where the ferry is, and I always thought this was really interesting. I wish that I had been able to see it, but it was long gone by the time I got here. So we included this picture. Now this is one of the early Fulford ins. There were three in on that location. The first one was called Roger saloon. And it was kind of interesting because it was the only place you could get a drink on the island at that point. And Reverend Wilson, it was a real, really something he hated because he was a teetotaler and he didn't believe people should drink. So when it burned down in 1901, Reverend Lawson was overjoyed. And he thought that the island had really improved. The this one was called the white Lodge. One time it was the White House and another time it was the white Lodge. And it was built in 1913. This picture is from about 1930. And this would have been the when the site tech started the site that was Salt Springs first ferry and there were a lot of there was a lot of celebration from it as a result of that. And this is what was happening here at the White White House with large

Unknown Speaker 4:51
which is very close to the ferry and this is another picture of the This was the same the same area, the same buildings in the same hotel. But I think a different building

Unknown Speaker 5:11
and this is Fulford pier. That's the aircon, which was a boat that became Saltspring went to Sydney. And it it was, as you can see, it's a very top heavy boat, and it wasn't very seaworthy, eventually sank in 1911. And put a lot of salt sprinters lost their lives. You can see the the bridge that we saw in the earlier picture in the in the business on the in this picture. But you don't see, at this point. A footprint of any kind.

Unknown Speaker 5:57
So this, this is that Edward store, which was was was the one of the early stores the bridgeline. Valley, in the in the middle of the picture. Yeah, there you go. And we'll see, see another picture hybrid store. It's kind of interesting, because it doesn't exist anymore. And one of the things that I thought was interesting, as I as I went through these photographs, is how many things have quite a large substantial nature no longer exist. And these were they didn't exist, there wasn't anything. Which is interesting, because quite often, when something disappears, there's something bigger. This that was an instrument in the previous picture, and you're soon going to be an increment in this picture.

Unknown Speaker 6:51
And one was the first do they come in? What are their names? It was Molly, Molly and Lexi.

Unknown Speaker 7:03
And they were about the same age except perhaps 100 years apart, maybe 75 years. Edward store and you can see the tree in front of it that weeping Helm. You may have spotted it on the on the road. And the next picture shows what it looks like today. And it's the same shirt. It's been there for close to 100 years. The trouble seeing my notes here. The restore was there, maybe 9612 as opposed observation 96 to 9018. I think it was there longer than that. But we went to the next picture. The post offices were very important. And there was one in Brooklyn Valley, there was one and there was one in in Brooklyn. Okay, we can go on. We have lots of pictures looking. Actually. So this is this is the Irvine Valley. And that's the bedspread going in a church. And that's a steal log school. That's right opposite. The there's an interesting collection of information and before but this is a good opportunity to mention that I think Lucia was largely responsible for putting together down in Mark's work wearhouse and windows, it's a really good display of the education on the schools or middle schools on the island before they became consolidated all the old one school houses. And that that one was replaced at some point with a bigger one in school. But that was the original one that I think was it was from 1872. Now there are a lot of people here who have a lot more information than I have. And as I get older, I find I forget a lot of these things. So if I'm making mistakes, please feel free to correct me. I have a very, very good self concept and you won't, you won't. He won't hurt me by telling by presenting the right information. And we won't call that revisionist history, it will just be getting it right. going okay, this is a modern picture of the church. This is one of those houses this that was no longer exists and it was quite substantial. It belonged to demolish John and Martin, John Carter Molly and his wife mine and he came from Ontario. In 1896. They were on fourth Lake, and then they moved here to the fourth Ganges roll that A thing on the right is called around and it was used to raise water and distributed for, for for irrigation to use pollen and garden. And I just want to meet you this is quite interesting. This one I'm going to read it was written by a fellow named Luke and Johnston, who wrote a book called Beyond the Rockies in 1929. And he was on a walking tour of Canada. He was he was on a walking tour of Canada and King's results screen for you know, for all I know, he was, might have been the first tourist. So you know, at least this is what started as a farming community and we're largely tourism now. You know, this guy was one of the first tours in here it came upon this incredible garden, near the end of my walk that came to a spot where arrested bridge crossed the babbling brook, looking down at grassy, grassy bank where woodland flowers poke their heads up to the sunshine. I saw a miniature spillway in a tiny pond. A few yards farther on through an island color gateway I caught a glimpse of the most lovely garden and blades with flowers. I heard a voice calling the chickens to suffer and it's so ancient in the game. I met John Carter was 81 years old in March last and still in love with every flower in his garden. He took me around the well kept beds. You seem to love your garden sit on my garden. It is my life. Honestly, I worked from five in the morning till dark and I never done with the flowers. Then his snow white hair and beard and his battered hat making him a pointable figure. He took me to see his water ran a simple device but which he controls all the water he needs from his never dry spring. We started chatting a while the game and he gave me he buttonhole pansies. Then he said, Well no man, I must go to my chickens. I'd be really all alone for 14 years you know, and I'm busy. Goodbye and come see the old man's garden if you pass this with me gold precious souls from this first tourist. And there's John and Mike in front of their house. And this no longer exists and we tried to duplicate the spot I'm not sure exactly where it is. I'm sure there are people here who do in in Sofia starting in Ireland i i wrote in the caption that all you can see is one of puppies but I couldn't find one father so either I was wrong or they'd be gone since that book was published. Anyway, there you go. Better speech. Isn't that interesting bit of speech if we couldn't take a photograph of this today. As you'll see as we move on, I had to go up my kayak and take a picture of a better speech and I still couldn't couldn't get this but that was the best homestead and I had another another thing I want to read you this is the only other thing I'm going to read you but I thought it was kind of fun and deals with with the medicines and quite a lot of these places together. In 1910 I fell in and I'm not sure I'm pronouncing his first name correctly but Heil Simons. He is a teacher at Beaver point school. He is he was trying to get his wife to the doctor by row when she was in labor. And he had no alternative but to row her to the bed is home where Emily does help deliver the baby. And here's here's his account of how he got home. The return home in December was in its way and Odyssey it was a bad day very wet and with a rising wind Mrs. Stairs sauce into a small rowboat I had borrowed hot drinks were put on the floor and the shape has been the rugs etc. That was my family was installed in the back. We wrote to the bone and so on in Cushing Cove now anymore, where the foreman boosted them up a steep ladder to a little cottage. Here a short rest and some hot cocoa did wonders. The next step was to board the old steamer aircraft, which not long after afterwards was lost with many good wives. Army we reach beaver point war again and delish. Here another good friend still my good friend Mr. Rucker that has a horse and buggy and we drove home, avoiding falling branches with more luck than skill. There Mrs. Mark had a nice fire going and took charge while I drove the carriage back in pitch darkness, finally returning to a little scene which I can only leave him to imagine. And the reason he had to do that was because tree falling across the road and couldn't he couldn't get to the hospital by by road so he he had to he had to go to bed as she delivered the baby. But that gives him kind of a feel for what life was like back then. So here's some of the photos I took from the water of Venice Beach because and there's the castle with on Venice Beach. It's quite a different place today. And one of the things that you'll notice as we go through these pictures is and it was funny because when when when I wrote that book has always been sort of I remember maths and Toynbee coming up to me and saying, you know, I can't understand why people are complaining whenever people cut down trees here because it was covered with trees. When I grew up, there were no trees. And that's what these old pictures showed there are no trees on the island. And today, it's all true. So I guess those alternatives are right, the trees to grow back. Now we're pushing code. So you see I read that quote, because it pulled together the year this is Christian Cove because this is where that steamer steamer saw and it's kind of strange to look at this picture of Chris Prince in his house there and think that a steamer actually stopped there. There was a big dog there. And big war mill as an this this is what was there in Cushing, coal back in the early 1900s. So you know, that's a huge change something really really big that was there is no longer there. Hello, Chris has houses for pretty big.

Unknown Speaker 16:37
Now, of course, there's lots more trees today. But now we're in pursuit of this. And we liked these fixtures because they they kind of show how things have changed in the schoolroom. We have a few of those multi class multi level classes. You know, we still have multi grades but not nearly quite as many grades as they did back then. You can see the class from the shortcuts to the tall kids are all there in the same one room schoolhouse. And this is what school looks like. Please don't fall for it. I've never been in before for school. But it's it's quite it's quite pretty, isn't it

Unknown Speaker 17:24
and here we are in the CVS and you can see what I meant by the more cheese I couldn't get a picture like this I tried going into strength properties just overlook it all I could see were trees I tried going down on the work I tried to take some pictures from the theory I just couldn't get a picture like this. But those are the big court cottages in the middle of the one of them came the museum I'm not sure which one it was one of those one court card it's still there it's it was a chapel women still chapel chapel it's still a house but you can see it down near the ferry dock and the large which the CVS wide which was there till 75 with a broom now is not in this picture. Probably taking pictures probably came from there. You can see the old dirt road and there's the lawn I'm probably talking too much in the once I get started heartstopping bashing car you can see again how there's no trees there. That would have been the amphitheater for the city as in if the facility as is the proprietor of this CCN which is no longer functioning history. There would have been concept of that hill I guess. But there's still a lot more trees there now than there were then. And that was the old your Vesuvius it was called the city flag that burned down making 75 Yeah Bittencourt store and then he turned it into a hotel. There was a hotel and store there's no I should mention there's an interesting website called Who Killed William Robinson that relates to this because bitcore who is a Portuguese immigrants to Salisbury and have a lot of land and put a lot of money when he got he and eel the area around the dog. So you know he'll he'll know what you're looking at. But originally had been owned by a black man named Willie Robinson. They always said that Willie Robinson had been had been killed by the by Native people. But Ruth, Sandwell and John what's in their website and Robinson make a case for being in court. In me the murderer for the land which would have been very valuable because it was placed in the dark and so here you got the old dog and the previous picture you have the new dog giving you an idea of before and after we're gonna see how the newer Heather is that's kind of interesting in the juxtaposition there maybe one day the in will open again another picture of the CVS looking down from the clear cup another big gap can't eat

Unknown Speaker 20:40
these are pictures we and now we're now we're getting to Ganges and this was not in the previous store before the knowledge brought in 1904 I think this picture bits from and I like this picture because of the oxygen and the courses and different means of motor transparents addiction but it was can always continue to be a focal point from from that time before before Malcolm and permisson was there store from Central where we are to Ganges Ganges we were given there wasn't much guarantees, but from the time they moved the store as they saw the writing on the wall in invoice so even more writing on the wall bought the store from Malkin and built a new store and that you know 70 next year again, Jesus became the center of the island so the original stories on the left and in the new store we still have today is on the right. The building on the left doesn't exist anymore was a store for a while and it became grannies boarding house. People like lotus well who when she went to high school and it was too far for her to go so she she bought a Granny's boarding house. Kind of odd to think that was too far to come from Rucker Park to Ganges and go back in his in dead but in those days you couldn't do it. So she bought Monday through Friday or whatever it was town and my home for the weekend. Mods today so one of the interesting things about Ganges is that it really didn't look much like it does today even without the buildings because a lot of Ganges was water. And a lot of Ganges has been created to landfill. And so where Moses was on as you can see this photograph was really a peninsula and you can't really see that anymore because the land is filled on both sides and we've got a lot of photographs. And we go back and forth and jump around the Batum in this but you'll see how it's changed about one of the early photographs the magic of France photography of drones

Unknown Speaker 23:41
almost makes you feel like you're dead

Unknown Speaker 23:57
that's the trading company building from the back. The Trading Company was just about that time there was still no restaurant across the road but it was on water. And of course all the parking lot didn't exist. There was there was a lot of water, not much land back then. is driven company on the right and the old gas station on the left. Kind of an interesting now when you see some of these old photographs, some of the later ones that you'll see in a couple of minutes. When you see your gas station that no longer just sitting there kind of makes it look a bit like your base and you'll see what I mean I think that's a new picture of the company. And modes from the back from the water and loaded your votes from the back still have the same sign I think it's the same sign

Unknown Speaker 25:19
maybe it's getting asked

Unknown Speaker 25:26
anybody know what that is? And where does it

Unknown Speaker 25:37
fit on to building but you can still see the building in the middle of the original building

Unknown Speaker 25:47
now we're back to the peninsula and the water around that this was sort of adopted photograph but it kind of shows you know what it looked like and of course it's all landfill around it now

Unknown Speaker 26:09
we have some aerial photos that show how changed over the years we considered growing up in our culture taking some aerial photographs but the historical society didn't think they could afford it so then beginning of Centennial Park the create the boat bass and when we took the when they dragged through the boat that is the soil onto the onto the area that's that's now standing apart and I believe was John's parents who worked for the higher risk department in those days who have access to a caterpillar bulldozer he loves it all off and eventually begins to heal park so Centennial Park was created from from the stuff he took out of the boat this to make the harbor there which is now the government there you see the trailer park developing I think that's the Senate and it was I think we have a few photographs of it where when it was in the middle of the road but then it actually got me got moved to Centennial Park yeah

Unknown Speaker 27:43
Daniel Park getting much like it is closer so there is more up to date for for this point

Unknown Speaker 28:09
think this was just one of the photographs I took on the we found gal and I found a spot on Mel Belcher that I think I think they're building on and now we've just found it in time before they started building a lot of fun Milky Way and we've got these wonderful photographs it's amazing what you can do with digital digital camera cameras

Unknown Speaker 28:43
now we have a field showing change your position on what the field is in the middle of the road

Unknown Speaker 29:08
that's an earlier one earlier version of this and we think it probably started Nike 20 because Susan photograph was identified as when it was dedicated

Unknown Speaker 29:24
before the end of the war so explain that but what's risky second world war also not just the people who died

Unknown Speaker 29:37
okay, that explains it 17 Okay, I thought it was just at the end of the war for the people who died because now it's just people died. So this is really a different thing from the from the other one

Unknown Speaker 29:58
I didn't think there'd be anybody you know what, what was what happened by way back then.

Unknown Speaker 30:08
So this was the dedication of the dedication was dated is that 17 to 20?

Unknown Speaker 30:22
So this is the lock haven't rested cafe, later beginning readers in and what is it today and this was built by bullet for one of his, one of his boys. And so he had people who worked for him to be brought in from an orphanage in Victoria, he had two ones cooked and one was his chauffeur. And this guy, he actually helped them after they left, and get get started in business, and he built he built this this restaurant for for this particular boy. And here's another picture of it. The building to the right of it is the first bank, which I think it's the 1913 and still exists. It's got quite a facelift a few years ago, and some of us were a little premature, because the doesn't look like it back then. But it was the Merchants Bank and making 13. Making 13 was a it was an interesting year because some some people seem to think that this place was going to erupt. And adults, a huge hotel. We actually had a picture at some point of the hotel burning down somehow it's not even in the sequence anymore. But it was it was sort of on the waterfront, I think across from those buildings. So they built that hotel down and then they built the bank and the bank went out of business about a year and a half after it opened. But the building is still there.

Unknown Speaker 32:03
Charles United Church. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 32:09
When did that go up?

Unknown Speaker 32:13
When they did what?

Unknown Speaker 32:15
When did when was it built?

Unknown Speaker 32:17
Oh, well, we originally United Church was built quite early. Methodist Church. Yeah. central central. Yeah, it was right here at Central. And it got moved to town. And it's it's now I guess it's sports traders. But it went through a whole lot of incarnations. But that was the original United Church. I can't remember the date it was you. But yeah. Well, this one.

Unknown Speaker 32:54
Well, when was this photograph taken? 1964.

Unknown Speaker 33:07
is probably a reference in salt. If you want to check where it was built. You know, I wrote that book a long time ago, and I forgotten most of it. So that's why I was pleased to see so many faces of old timers here because I knew that there was going to be a lot of help. It was the walrus, is it still the Wallace Gold Exchange? I think it's Yeah, we all notice the world. So Frank, that this picture of 50s, because you used to be able to see the train company is right across from it. But of course it was all water. So that's gives you an idea. Of course, here's the Saltspring in today. Major changes in did major upgrading when they when they add on, but still see a doubling. And this is kind of fun. Anybody know what that is? And it was a movie theater. And I remember when I when I first published that book, I call it the gardener, because everybody called the gardener has. And then lo and behold, people would say to me, I wasn't the gardener has any and actually was one of the hands who gave me this photograph. I think either that or similar because I got a lot of photographs from Sequoia as well as a lot of information. But when I met the hands, you know the grinders never actually finished the house the Henson used to house and they were quite upset. So when the first edition was so bad with the hardcover, the publisher allowed me to make some changes as well. With the changes I made was to introduce the handling and so now we can call the handles rather. But it was interesting because there was a movie theater there so this was the first movie that you're sitting in now that was

Unknown Speaker 35:17
and this is what it looks like today the movie theater parts not there anymore and now we're looking at man Hall see what happened there was

Unknown Speaker 35:34
it was built we originally it was one of the was the first one of the one of the early places for the first for the early fall fairs this this was the location central location of the episode first of all, and it moved into town for a while well still in town, but not on this location. So what are these pictures are think are fall fair pictures from early days and this shows you how it's changed over the years. So basically, this MLB had a recent upgrading recently. Some people like and some people don't. So

Unknown Speaker 36:26
now we did the school the school today in school and it was the first consolidated school when all those one room schoolhouses they do she does so much more than I do about were closed and consolidated the school

Unknown Speaker 36:54
40 April 1 1940

Unknown Speaker 37:02
probably tell from the course your car your car

Unknown Speaker 37:37
might have some questions for Charles

Unknown Speaker 37:43
yeah there's lots of experts here so if you have questions I'm sure there'll be somebody that

Unknown Speaker 37:53
all thank you I wasn't you're not going to pronounce this correctly but whether somebody

Unknown Speaker 38:07
any other comments or questions reminisces?

Unknown Speaker 38:20
Nobody knows when it

Unknown Speaker 38:26
will disappear the money here yeah

Unknown Speaker 38:34

Unknown Speaker 38:37
disappeared in the

Unknown Speaker 38:51

Unknown Speaker 39:11
that's on the corner of the elementary school it's an oak tree at the corner of elementary school. That's also one that he can pull through for the coronation of George

Unknown Speaker 39:39
I think you're right. You're right.

Unknown Speaker 39:58
often have to see as well calculations

Unknown Speaker 40:05

Unknown Speaker 40:11

Unknown Speaker 40:21
She's no but she remember her telling me

Unknown Speaker 40:26

Unknown Speaker 40:35
it's interesting when you when you look at some of the old photographs there's a lot of bridges like that because they didn't have caterpillars to level the land so they they just put bridges over things so for example I'm Johnny Bennett showed me where years ago where the where the foot for Ganges Rocos where some of you will know rock pushing like rover they call it rock crusher corner it went went off if you're heading towards both went off to the right and overbridge and then when they got to Caterpillar they were able to make a straight road that went straight down. But it's interesting just without having a character how many healthy things that

Unknown Speaker 41:28
I think I think it was for all transportation I don't think there was a road along the short

Unknown Speaker 41:33
for one guard

Unknown Speaker 41:35
one leverage there's actually a good chance that part of that is on our farm when I grew up in the driveway, the main host family story just made up in your original culture and it's one of those legends you believe and then we returned here in 2001 I had to go up to the attic of that building and workout and actually made our three like 12 points on edge and there's a massive ridge and there's no rafters or anything it's just three right up in there that obviously wouldn't work in Fulford village or when

Unknown Speaker 42:22
someone else tells stories of something on your property built from the branches

Unknown Speaker 42:32
you mentioned the center monuments a move during strikes I noticed their names were level 1979 showing the relative losses to

Unknown Speaker 42:57
the country as a whole to I mean the losses in the First World War were incredible

Unknown Speaker 43:13
with with a lot yeah, we always been logged several times actually. Yeah, everywhere. When I when I was working on that book I talked to somebody who's whose husband was a lover she lived in I should it should have been forefront and she could you could look over towards Musgrave and she said all you could see anytime there was smoke because they used to burn all the all the sludge so it was was just smoke all the time. They were logging in the 40s the people well, depending on what times you're talking about, they had donkeys and cable if you if you walk into the bush and a lot of places on your, your cable. I don't think I've ever found an old donkey. But these are single, it's not real. Think that's a term for it's actually interesting. I was talking to somebody recently who was talking about walking in Ontario. And they call it something else. And he's also an animal but it was a different animal. But it was obviously the same kind of kind of equipment to pull the logs out of the bush or using a cable and so

Unknown Speaker 44:30
yeah, the computer you go on the salt screen Archives website and there's quite a section there on the lunch results for large lots of pictures and lots of insight into it goes back all the way back. So logging was big, big business here. Actual stories of logging the horses, horses born and so it would have been 1920 and they had skid rows, quarter and previous youth logs stamp intubate them right on the road. Make around the hole by hand. There's so much wood you can also tell a funny story of trying to plow the farm with horses retrieved, walk get some lunch. Of course if you're plowing versus one

Unknown Speaker 45:36
block down the

Unknown Speaker 45:44
line here there's lockdowns all over the island every day.

Unknown Speaker 45:49
There are actually

Unknown Speaker 45:54
some of those photographs you could see the lockdown to

Unknown Speaker 45:59
the one Marina is to make your loved one different than the one beyond the fact you didn't have one halfway between Marina

Unknown Speaker 46:23
it's a little island off Churchill, outer island gunpowder there during the war

Unknown Speaker 46:38
i i don't know, actually. But there's martial. Interpol It wasn't your fault involved with blasting and not there. No, no, no, but I just wondered if they if they left left.

Unknown Speaker 46:59
Because there were places where I think they just stored power for blasting purposes. Rather not for workers. Dumping. Dumping dumping.

Unknown Speaker 47:27
So I guess we started on a little island off the shore, if anything happened, might not destroy too much.

Unknown Speaker 47:40
Question behind you there.

Unknown Speaker 47:41
You mentioned that one of the themes one of the topics that emerged while you're researching was the transition from farming and logging to tourists. I wonder if you picked up any other themes during your research

Unknown Speaker 47:56
probably last year I don't think I think I should I should talk about because there's

Unknown Speaker 48:06
a lot to bring the same

Unknown Speaker 48:15
getting back to agriculture Yeah. Well, there's certainly lots of full family still here. Good variety of people. There's always been terrific variety of people. Not quite as multicultural as it was at the beginning, which is kind of a

Unknown Speaker 48:32
huge variety of people from different categories people but there's a great variety of people anything you can imagine?

Unknown Speaker 49:12
Programs for this year.