Salt Spring Island Archives

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The Creation of Ruckle Park

Harry Burton

Ruckle.mp4 (video)



Speaker 1 0:31
Welcome to Rachael Provincial Park one of the true treasures of Saltspring Island British Columbia?

Speaker 1 4:27
This is Henry Tanner record sitting on their porch right beside the Henry Rocco hosts with their family. This house was built by Henry Rocco prior to bringing his bride Hannah and her son Alfred here in 1877. There are three children Ella, Agnes and Daniel Henry. We're all born here. When the house was new, it was square, one and a half stories high, and consisted of a front parlor, two bedrooms on the ground floor, and four bedrooms upstairs until Henry added the kitchen in 1884, Mrs. Rocco cooked in a separate building, which no longer exists. In 1931, Gordon Rocco, grandson of Henry, Henry and Ella inherited the house and lived in it with his wife lotus and their children Glen and Henry. In 1967. Shortly after electricity was installed, they moved to the Queen ends house, which was built by Alfred reco.

Speaker 1 5:33
This Henry Rocco house which still contains no interior plumbing, has remained uninhabited since 1967.

Speaker 1 6:06
By the time of his death, Henry Rachael had clear 200 acres from this incredible forest that you see, especially the forest bottom land that were sitting on this choice farmland. The powerful forest is visible behind the house. He did that mainly with the help of Japanese laborers, but that was an incredible task.

Speaker 1 7:00
We keen 93 Henry Rako had acquired 996 acres of land in this southeast corner of Saltspring island. He bought it mostly for $1 an acre. It turns out that most of the land he acquired was out of this farmland that you see in front of you or the shoreline. He acquired all of that. By 1893. This 996 acres includes all the shoreline and all the farmland of Rucker Park, and it is shown in pink in this diagram. When Henry ruckle died on July 4 1913, he willed the 996 acres to his two sons, Daniel Henry and Alfred Rucker on September 23 1913, the probated will have Henry Rocco officially left this landmass two sons, Daniel, and Alfred. But it wasn't until December 18 1923 that the 996 acres of land was officially transferred to Alfred and Daniel Henry Rako.

Speaker 2 8:34
I have never spent a day working for the past. I've lived my life on Saltspring Island, II repoint the sail carved out a home here with my family. Got our needs met close it all in home. It's been a good month and I'm grateful to this man.

Speaker 1 9:30
Lotus Fraser arrived on Saltspring Island February 2 1921. Her 10th birthday, landing at this old triggy Wharf. her stepfather quarryman Henyk had purchased a large parcel of farmland on Bridgman road, just down from the beaver point Hall. They and all their belongings arrived by rented scow from Sydney, British Columbia, landing at this pulled off. And the tricky wharf was completely gone by 1930. This homestead which Cory min and Nick had purchased was just a short distance up the road from record farm. Accord according to Lotus Corrie was a hopeless farmer. But he made the best cider on Saltspring island from his prized Gravenstein apples and the cider selling for 75 cents a gallon, put food on the table in the 1920s. Lourdes lived almost another 90 years on Saltspring Island rate in this same neighborhood.

Unknown Speaker 12:29
No matter what remote shot all that matters is your mind no matter what. Readership All that matters is your mind

Speaker 1 13:08
Wow. I love that picture of 1929 picture of you and Gordon. That is such a beautiful picture. I love it.

Unknown Speaker 13:21
I look good, but I should be in high school. You're pretty least you're pretty young. I don't know why I looked so childish, that they

Speaker 1 13:31
were young would have been what just 1919 or

Speaker 3 13:36
2928. That was I think, like that was the year before I graduated.

Speaker 1 13:44
And you were born 1811. So that would have made you about 18 or so. 1717? Yeah. Oh, you were just a kid. Really? And did Gordon bend down purposely to think

Speaker 3 13:57
because yes, he did that because I wouldn't I wouldn't have taken standing. will hold all this between us?

Unknown Speaker 14:06
Yeah. Oh,

Unknown Speaker 14:09
wow. He was pretty young. I was 1929

Speaker 3 14:11
because my brother in law took that. They'd been married in Toronto and never on the way to Alaska.

Unknown Speaker 14:19
Okay, it was that no, that took it.

Speaker 3 14:22
kolams Okay. Well, my sister Jean,

Unknown Speaker 14:28
okay. As her was Bill was

Unknown Speaker 14:32
29. Yes, it was 30 I was married.

Speaker 1 14:40
Which church were you married? In? Which church? Were you married in?

Unknown Speaker 14:45
St. John's Church, Victoria. Okay.

Speaker 1 14:49
And why Victoria? Why Victoria rather than Saltspring.

Speaker 3 14:54
Well, for one thing, we're partially related to dharma. Many people on Salt Spring and we didn't want a great big wedding and a great big reception. And I didn't like the idea of the registry office. And my mother and my sister have both been married in that church. And so I, for some unknown reason, I decided that that's where I wanted to be married. Oh, good. Gordon was very good. He gave into the idea as far as he was concerned, the registry office would have been quite sufficient. Just a cork of mine. It's kind of a family church. There's been another nephew married there. And another niece of mine married there.

Unknown Speaker 15:55
Wow. Which Street is it on in Victoria?

Speaker 3 15:58
Street on? I guess it's Quadra. It's a big, big stone church.

Unknown Speaker 16:07
On the east side, I think. Wow,

Unknown Speaker 16:10
sir, right in downtown Victoria.

Speaker 1 16:13
Yeah. So how many of the family went over for your wedding?

Speaker 3 16:17
Only the two mothers okay. My mother and Gordon's mother. Okay.

Speaker 1 16:22
Wow. And they must have been both tickled pink that were they? They must have been pretty happy. I'm sure.

Unknown Speaker 16:29
Oh, I don't think either one where

Unknown Speaker 16:32
they were? You're kidding.

Speaker 3 16:37
I know Gordon's mother was. My mother thought I was too young. And she was quite right. I probably was too young. But she had to give her her permission for me to be married because then you had to be 21 to be married on your own home.

Unknown Speaker 16:57
Okay. Wow. And Gordon's mother just thought you were too young to

Speaker 3 17:05
Oh, she had nothing against me. She just hated the idea of losing her son. Having him leave home a quarter of a mile away from her.

Speaker 1 17:20
And eventually she must have been quite happy with you though. I mean, I'm sure it didn't take her long to become

Speaker 3 17:26
Oh yes, she got used to it. She only had to go through it once. Okay, because he had a brother and two sisters but there was no more marriages.

Speaker 1 18:07
Alfred Russel was never really a farmer. He was always much more interested in carpentry. And we have this beautiful queen Anne house, the Alfred rucklehaus that he built in 1908. As a reminder of his great skills, he also was a quite proficient instrument builder. He built many violins. As you can see in this clip. Alfred ruckle, was also one of the main builders of this beaver point Hall, which opened in 1937. This is actually the second beaver point off an interesting note is that the windows in Beaver point Hall were obtained by Alfred reco. They came from a decommission do convert colony on Pierce Island, and Alfred got them for a greenhouse on record farm. But it turns out that there was a big need for windows at the beaver point Hall at this time. And so Alfred brought the windows up here and they got used in the beaver point Hall. So the windows that you see here actually came from a Duke of our colony on piers island. So it wasn't a surprise in 1943 on December 17, Alfred Russel sold his interest in record farm to his brother, Daniel Henry. Daniel Henry became the sole owner then of this record land. Daniel Henry then took his two sons into the partnership as well, so that the three of them then split the land equally so that each had one share that would be Daniel Henry and his two sons, Gordon and Norman each having one share. In 1948, Daniel Henry acquires an additional 200 acres of forested land in behind this view, which he adds to the reco farm landmass, to give a total land of 11 196 acres, the same amount of acres as ruckle. Park is today. The two parcels of land totaling 200 acres that Daniel Henry bought in 1948 are shown in blue. And on June 16 1952, Alfred reco died. Unfortunately, the total landmass of record farm is composed of 996 acres bought by Henry Rocco by 1893, and those five parcels are shown in pink. And then, Daniel Henry acquired two parcels totaling 200 acres in 1948, and those are shown in blue. This was the Norman rucklehaus, also referred to as the potato house. Norman built this in 1938. But he didn't live very long. He died on April 26 1953. A young following the death of his son, Norman Rockwell in April of 1953. Daniel Henry then incorporated all the seven parcels into one parcel in August 21 1953. At that point, land ownership was transferred to Daniel Henry and son, Gordon ruckle, who each had half of an interest in record farm.

Speaker 1 23:44
This is the Daniel Henry house, and it was built about 1908 by Daniel Henry reco.

Speaker 1 24:11
Following the death of Daniel Henry, it was assumed that the lender automatically revert to Gordon reco, his son who was on title as owning one half of the land of record farm. The record firmly received a huge inheritance tax bill after the death of Daniel Henry and that really surprised them because they've never received one for any of the other transfers of land and it happened due to any deaths in the past.

Speaker 1 27:58
1974 farm property was acquired officially by the province of British Columbia for the creation of record Park.

Speaker 3 30:00
You? Morning Morning You 116 Corbett erode Saltspring Island BC, July the 18th 2008 to whom it may concern I loaded this ruffle would feel deeply regretful if Rocco far farm was ever closed down or ceased to function as a farm. You would never find a better farm manager than the President one might Lane, who is doing a fine job. I have no objection to the farm being turned over to a farm management trust as long as they're still farming on Runkel farm. My late husband Gordon and my late daughter Gwen, who are both instrumental in the creation of Rocco Park would be appalled as the thought of farming exists existing at Rockville farm, a century farm that has been operating since 1872. I am also sure the physical senses of the users or rural part that there will be a unanimous assertion that the presence of farming enriches the experience of being at a local bar. I trust you always keep Bronco farm operating as a working farm inside Bronco Park. Respectfully ours

Unknown Speaker 46:57

Unknown Speaker 47:04

Speaker 4 47:23
on the mainland, folks talk about BM born, an islander spelled the word Highlander under rap to me very bones. I prefer an island world and I prefer island girl. I'm Dr. Stern. She's a Merle we live on an island home we live.

Speaker 1 48:03
attributed to Henry Gordon ruckle his life deep rooted in the soil he held communion with both sun and rain. Revered his parents respected his fellow man, his ready smile expressing love all that he held dear. And in return he reaped the harvest greater than he knew Elma robot

Unknown Speaker 48:37
I believe I do

Unknown Speaker 48:52
forget to be here with you

Unknown Speaker 49:13
I believe I do

Unknown Speaker 49:30
I was to be here with you