Salt Spring Island Archives

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David and Clara Maxwell

Mr. David Maxwell recalls early memories of Saltspring Island. His father, John Maxwell, settled at Burgoyne Bay in the 1860s. David Maxwell discusses farming; cattle rustlers; his family background; wildlife; Indians; early settlers and settlement; hotels; stores; roads; Black and Kanaka settlers. Mrs. Clara Maxwell recalls her father, Theodore Trage, who came to Salt Spring Island in the 1860s, and settled at Beaver Point. More on early settlers and agriculture on Saltspring Island; domestic life.

Accession Number Interviewer Imbert Orchard
Date Oct 7, 1965 Location
Media mp3




Unknown Speaker 0:00
How long have you lived in this house here?

Unknown Speaker 0:04
Who told you 50 years? Was the house built? No, you know, log house you come here.

Unknown Speaker 0:14
You built this house.

Unknown Speaker 0:16
And if Allah help us

Unknown Speaker 0:20
tell me about your Where did you live? Where did your dad live? Where did he settled?

Unknown Speaker 0:27
We settled on Don burger and we're right Grohmann ahead of the bay. He walked across a plane to lose a kid do come over to California gold excitement. Then the cool Peter Fraser over in the Fraser River. Gold excitement started and used to be so cold I couldn't stop in the wintertime. And they came down and got a slope of Rajan from zoom and they used to cook kilo and around here and that's how they got well known we get through locate here it liked it. That's how they settled we're going Weber's?

Unknown Speaker 1:09
Was he the first scepter down this part? Maybe Burton? Was he the first settler in this part? No.

Unknown Speaker 1:16
You in right here. Well, in this end of the island, Paul, no, no, no, no, no. There were people before him. Yeah, no. Yeah. They bought a man out by the name of Michel, Rona cozy. My dad and his partner had a sloop they live all around these islands. They thought that would be a good place when they settled down. That didn't. Water we're in somewhere in the 60s. I

Unknown Speaker 1:46
was there any other settlers in the valley there? When he came in? When he came here? Was there anybody already here? At that time?

Unknown Speaker 1:55
No, he was amongst the first there was a few co workers I don't remember them coming across

Unknown Speaker 2:06
what was your dad's name?

Unknown Speaker 2:07
Maxwell? John Maxwell.

Unknown Speaker 2:12
And then he located here? What did he want to do? And he located here? Did he What did he do with his land?

Unknown Speaker 2:20
Well, here's the starting right you're used to really quite a lot of cattle when they first come here and I can remember when I had over 100 head of cattle

Unknown Speaker 2:34
What year were you born?

Unknown Speaker 2:36
I was born in 73 I guess.

Unknown Speaker 2:42
Was your dad married when he came here? Or was it no I

Unknown Speaker 2:47
think is our free come

Unknown Speaker 2:52
tell me anything about him. Didn't he have some kind of an adventure when he first came here? I beg your pardon? I was thinking I was ready we had some kind of adventure when he first came here didn't hear your dad could you tell me about the things that happened you know to him when he was here first

Unknown Speaker 3:14
there's about four or five ahead of me born ahead of us because when all I can remember that a bunch of cattle learn will farming this father taught him anything

Unknown Speaker 3:28
Did your father tell you anything about the early days when he first came?

Unknown Speaker 3:32
No one really had a partner was a quite a talker he used to tell us all the trouble of handling some of the neighbors shooting their cattle and

Unknown Speaker 3:41
what was that what happened? War learned

Unknown Speaker 3:45
another good happened we just shoot them take them down and I won't sell him not all good. canoes catch him.

Unknown Speaker 3:54
Didn't they have a big party to try and catch them on one occasion? The cattle used to be stolen and shot and they did I think they had quite a quite a time to catch the people that were doing that

Unknown Speaker 4:07
I don't grab a car No no no the guy ever caught him or no her cows come home with a dumbbell board and holding a Bellway shot too low

Unknown Speaker 4:23
What do you remember what some of your first memories when you were growing up on the farm?

Unknown Speaker 4:33
first record we were picking home predators I guess you see there was three three bars older than me. Hurt in the middle of Lambeau three younger than me. They all boys No. Four or five boys and two girls

Unknown Speaker 5:03
Is there anything about your life then that you could tell us that anything that happened in those early days? That's what they were worth recalling

Unknown Speaker 5:14
who I don't know the only thing I can really remember what are you scared I used to get around here the wolves hold on long mountain going home in the evenings there are wolves here wolves and bears elk, too and I never saw any outcome there would have been several wolves out or killed bears Cougars but there was a don't move any elk been here Indian guard guns you seen you just follow them all around all the time they finally run them off

Unknown Speaker 5:54
Did you have any neighbors where you're settling with or you were all by yourself your family there was anybody near you

Unknown Speaker 6:00
who Oh yes yes Akka one family there were some of them ordered me and Jaya quite settled on Earth. I can I start a school record number kids gone school.

Unknown Speaker 6:17
Where was the school?

Unknown Speaker 6:19
The school was up there in Gurgaon valor get who lives there now on you know where the mother was churches will listen on the right hand side just past the church. That ain't old regular school back to the new one.

Unknown Speaker 6:38
What's the settlement up on Burgoyne Bay? Wait, was that there before there was a settlement in Fulford harbor?

Unknown Speaker 6:45
I couldn't remember that at all of us people scattered all over you be 1.2 V two O Lord by the time I started could remember take notice we've got loads of people here

Unknown Speaker 7:02
There used to be an old hotel or something at the head of the harbor here wasn't there you remember that hotel? It used to be here

Unknown Speaker 7:11
and yes we're the first hotel where you could stay here it is further up the valley where French lives now the man by name Ackerman had that needed her to be golden he took in borders and had his license

Unknown Speaker 7:32
and then there then what happened after that there'll be

Unknown Speaker 7:37
I don't know how he got out of business alone. It was a little place down for that got burned down and built known Never Done much business

Unknown Speaker 7:54
was there a settlement up here and those days round this part here?

Unknown Speaker 7:58
Oh yes it was a few people settled in whole beaver point when in fact all over far back as I can remember. Where was the first store the first door I remember was who Oh halfway up the valley who were French lives now as the first store I remember and I had another one done for her brother for a while because they had stores it this way before that I guess

Unknown Speaker 8:29
that was bitten cars

Unknown Speaker 8:30

Unknown Speaker 8:31
yeah. But there was no road through to Ganges was there is no road through to the north.

Unknown Speaker 8:39
Who I don't know I think it was It wasn't much of a road but I could drive a car to order and ride horseback over because you colored people here and they all had horses

Unknown Speaker 8:52
you remember them coming down here and then the colored people

Unknown Speaker 8:55
yes I can remember there's two three of them live down here. Down here to us. Man by Nima. Man by name a whims colored followed his brother had placed here they're just the two of them down here though.

Unknown Speaker 9:11
And the Hawaiians live divine islanders live down.

Unknown Speaker 9:15
Hold on the islands everyone assumes settled down on miserable a point two or three settled there

Unknown Speaker 9:27
Do you remember any incidents that you could tell us about any Can you tell us about any any stories about the old days here on the island?

Unknown Speaker 9:35
Who was a giver more interesting than the colored people out here who were pretty well behaved. They didn't live up to the north and he seemed to be never got caught at all us shooting someone has Gatlin bought them to Nanaimo.

Unknown Speaker 10:01
Remember that Maxwell knows anything. Stories. What was your father's name?

Unknown Speaker 10:10
Theodore? triggy. Tra GE he was a German.

Unknown Speaker 10:14
Where did he come to live?

Unknown Speaker 10:18
For a while he was in New York before he come here. He was a cook by you know he used to work in hotels and

Unknown Speaker 10:28
what brought him out here?

Unknown Speaker 10:31
Oh, I don't know. He had a partner with him. Harry. Harry, what is his name now? Oh, I forget. No no one knows all Harry's name. Spiker, mon my memories awful.

Unknown Speaker 10:58
What about about what time did he come and settle on the island? Oh,

Unknown Speaker 11:03
I don't know.

Unknown Speaker 11:07
Was he here before Mr. Max?

Unknown Speaker 11:09
I think so.

Unknown Speaker 11:13
And that will be in the 60s sometime.

Unknown Speaker 11:15
Oh, I think so. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 11:20
Where did you settle?

Unknown Speaker 11:21
A beaver point. I don't know what they call the plate now. It's been sold you know? And he's got he had a big orchard. He had an awful big orchard. And he first started to sit with the strawberries. He grew a lot of strawberries and then took them to Canberra Bay. That was the first place in near Victoria, you know. They had a skiff they built themselves him and his partner. And they used to take things then after a while. The nearest store was a Saanich brakeman and Kurt

Unknown Speaker 12:15
you grew up in a beaver

Unknown Speaker 12:16
point. Yes. Yes. I went to school there.

Unknown Speaker 12:22
What was your first name?

Unknown Speaker 12:24
Clara. This was part of my dad's place. They went up that whole mountain there. Oh, yes. He had sheep grew sheep there and

Unknown Speaker 12:42
can you tell me something some incident that happened when you were young berries there? I

Unknown Speaker 12:49
couldn't remember. What was

Unknown Speaker 12:51
like like them? I mean, did you Oh,

Unknown Speaker 12:55
we didn't seem to mind you know, walking doing a lot of walking. I had to walk about a mile to school and we bought groceries by the barrels those days. Sugarcane and barrels.

Unknown Speaker 13:16
You went by water? I said

Unknown Speaker 13:17
yes. We went by water Saanich was well it didn't just cadboro Bay before I was born I guess.

Unknown Speaker 13:29
Was your father there before the records came?

Unknown Speaker 13:33
I think several buddies they come representing comm little while after because they kind of work together been getting the groceries you know I used to get a lot of coffee beans and get 100 pounds at a time and divide up

Unknown Speaker 13:58
were there many other settlers around Fulford harbour in those days?

Unknown Speaker 14:03
Well as after there was a king family at Beaver point and there was a there was a novel Hawaii I need to call them connect a bill. He lived out that near Rocco. So there there was the Stevens out there. Yes, yes. The vs Stevens there too.

Unknown Speaker 14:28
We have been we were talking to Nick

Unknown Speaker 14:31
next, Stephen. Oh, yes. The oldest Yes. You remember. Oh, I know. Yes. I know him.

Unknown Speaker 14:40
I believe their mother used to take them all over the place. And

Unknown Speaker 14:43
yes, yes. I think his mother still living Yes.

Unknown Speaker 14:57
Anything you could tell us about those those what they were Like you know,

Unknown Speaker 15:01
well the king he had a slew peers to take take our things when my father sold things like apples and sheep and all that, you know, he took he took so many sloop away to Victoria.

Unknown Speaker 15:20
Did you know the Maxwell's in those days? Oh

Unknown Speaker 15:22
yes. harder though anyway he had a partner to Mr. Maxwell. Jim Jim Maloney was his partner. What was his name? Jim LUNNEY.

Unknown Speaker 15:42
And what were the partners they just sort of helped each other? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 15:46
yes. Yes, my father's partner went away but I can remember when he went away my father's kind of sold him. Give him so much you know

Unknown Speaker 16:07
anything happened on this part of the valley in those days, anything that'd be worth talking about?

Unknown Speaker 16:13
I don't think so. My father said that. He thinks before he come here, there was an awful fire here. Because he said the trees were all black and at the bottom, you know, you said that went all over the island. I don't know what. My memories bad.

Unknown Speaker 16:38
Yes. When were you born?

Unknown Speaker 16:42
What's your in 1879?

Unknown Speaker 16:52
Yeah, that's good. It's very nice.

Unknown Speaker 16:55
And my sister older sister, she was 13 years older than me. But between her and me, there was five children died from whooping cough and other things like that, because they didn't have a doctor here those days.

Unknown Speaker 17:12
30 years old. 13 years.

Unknown Speaker 17:14
Yes. She was 13 years older than me. So you could almost figure out 1879 And she was 13 years older. And I guess before she was born that might have he might have come then. You know, just

Unknown Speaker 17:37
now they didn't have 1866? Yes. He the early 60s. Yeah. Is he married when he came here? No, I

Unknown Speaker 17:50
don't think so.

Unknown Speaker 17:53
He was married. He was married. We Yes. Yes. Yeah. Was there a sister born there? Was your sister was born here? Yes. Yeah, she

Unknown Speaker 18:00
was. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 18:06
Where would you take the produce of the farm and those days where would you sell things?

Unknown Speaker 18:12
Well to my father, he's at first it took them to cadboro Bay, you know Nene winter after Wilde was a little closer to Saanich. Then of course there were stores here afterwards

Unknown Speaker 18:35
Yeah. Yeah, pretty good. We're collecting