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James Seed Company

Dorothy James

Mrs. Dorothy James (b.1900) is talking about the James Seed Co.
interviewed by Ruth Sandwell at her home 133 Langley Rd., Vesuvius

See also:
Dorothy James - James Seed Co.
James Seed Company
James Seed Company (photos)

Accession Number Interviewer Ruth Sandwell
Date August 22, 1990 Location 133 Langley Road, Vesuvius
Media tape cassette Audio CD mp3
ID 82 Topic




Unknown Speaker 0:00
Today is August 22 1990. And today I'm talking to Mrs. Dorothy James at her home in Vesuvius on Salt Spring Island. My name is Ruth sandwich

Unknown Speaker 0:17
now, Mrs. James, why don't you tell me about how the seed company first first got started?

Unknown Speaker 0:28
This makes me nervous.

Unknown Speaker 0:31
Don't worry about it.

Unknown Speaker 0:34
It just started in you during the First War, the James family were living. They had lived on James Island. And then they bought Parker Island.

Unknown Speaker 0:51
Can I just back you up a little bit? Did they first cut? Where do they first come from before they came to BC?

Unknown Speaker 0:58
From England from England? That is Mr. Mrs. James and seniors.

Unknown Speaker 1:04
What were their names?

Unknown Speaker 1:08
First of all, first of all, Thomas James and his wife, Annie

Unknown Speaker 1:24
Do you know what year they came out to James Island?

Unknown Speaker 1:27
Well, they didn't cut they came to Victoria. Yes. They actually, they were married in Toronto after after they had both been come up to Canada. Did they come out separately? Yes. Because Mrs. James came out when she was a girl. And then I ended I don't know.

Unknown Speaker 2:07
They were married in Toronto. And then they came to Victoria in we're not long after the first train. And they lived in Victoria. And then he was in the he joined the the BC government in the and that's where my father had been with the one of the original members of the Agriculture Department of BC. He came there in 19, five

Unknown Speaker 3:00
from California after his experience down there. He was also from England. And

Unknown Speaker 3:12
what was your father's name?

Unknown Speaker 3:14
William line, LA and II. And he was there until he retired in 1940. But that it's so this is where I first met my husband when I was 10 years old, because of the association with our fathers both being in the Department of Agriculture. And I was living we were living in Vancouver where I lived until I went to UBC

Unknown Speaker 4:02
and what did you study?

Unknown Speaker 4:05
Well as as my father was an agriculturist. I was naturally interested in that. So I took up all the scientific studies at UBC that that would enhance our relationship. And

Unknown Speaker 4:37
can I just back you up a little bit more. And ask you what Percival James what his background was in England. Before he came out to Toronto and then to BC. It was

Unknown Speaker 4:51
in no agriculture. His father had been a horticulturist in in England And he'd he was trained in.

Unknown Speaker 5:02
So did he go to University in England?

Unknown Speaker 5:04
Now this? I don't know. He didn't say too much about that. But anyway he was trained on. It was obviously, he was very well trained. And

Unknown Speaker 5:28
so how did he moved from Victoria then to James Island, then

Unknown Speaker 5:34
he moved to James Island, the, the St. James club. But the this club in Victoria, but James Island, and it was called St. James Island at that time. And it was just a coincidence. Oh, I was gonna ask, wasn't named after the family.

Unknown Speaker 6:02
What was the St. James Club?

Unknown Speaker 6:05
Well, it was a club of businessmen of Victoria. And what they did, I don't know. Anyway, they had the old James Island and

Unknown Speaker 6:24
my father in law set up, developed it as an agricultural. So they had there was a big orchard there. And they had the various agricultural pursuits. I think I have there. Well, I have pictures I can show you. Okay. And

Unknown Speaker 6:51
did he do this like as a private venture? Or was it in cooperation with other businessmen or with the government? Oh, it

Unknown Speaker 6:57
was with the St. James club. Okay, so

Unknown Speaker 7:01
they kind of financed it? Oh, yes.

Unknown Speaker 7:03
They own the island and they financed the whole setup. And my, Mr. James was, was in charge of it, and the family lived there. From they were there, around 1912. And then this James wants to go on his own. So they bought Parker island. He bought it personally. And that's where they developed James Island, at least Parker Island. And my eldest brother, brother in law, Fred was he had been at the Arnold Arboretum studying horticulture. And it's in connection with Harvard University. So this was a James my, my eldest brother in law. What was his name? Fred? Fred James. Yes. And he was the one who started all the collection of the he was very clever botanist. And so he and his father This was during the war. My husband was in the Navy.

Unknown Speaker 8:35
And what what's your husband's name?

Unknown Speaker 8:37
Percival George,

Unknown Speaker 8:38
do a new person.

Unknown Speaker 8:42
The other was personable Thomas Okay. And

Unknown Speaker 8:52
the they lived the this is where they started their their first seed growing on Parker Island, and they got too big for the island there. So they moved over to Salt Springs. In 1972. What is now the golf club, it was called Barnsbury. Then owned by Norman Wilson.

Unknown Speaker 9:32
What did they do with Parker Island and all the work that they've done?

Unknown Speaker 9:36
They sold it, sold it for $4,500. And now they're asking me this was when there were hard times. And you know, after the, during the war, the first war and there weren't all the compensation Since the first war that they were later so anyway, they developed the their seed business Barnsbury and then in 1922 they had the Wilsons wanted the place back, it wasn't very satisfactory anyway because there was no water and everything was it was wells in those days. And the soil wasn't too good. So they moved out to the Lange farm at which is now the harcum was and that is where they really built the seed business

Unknown Speaker 10:55
with the leasing their did they buy.

Unknown Speaker 10:58
And there again, they it was a big undertaking, yeah, the hundreds of acres there. My husband had come back at that time from the from the Navy severed there were the four brothers

Unknown Speaker 11:25
there Harry, and Jim, are the two younger ones. And they, they all contributed their own ability to to carry on. So then in the developed a big mail order business which was with the boats in the winter, there were about three boats a week. And they talk about very troubles now. And so it made it hopeless for for the big male or their business they've worked up. So they they bought a farm over couch and Bay. And where they had about 300 acres under cultivation. And they they fall out that's when they formed the the James Canadian seeds limited when they took over that farm

Unknown Speaker 12:45
it was backed by the government and from then on until that was 1930 They moved there. Then when the ended they they developed the actory it was the largest seed seed growing company guaranteeing their seeds in Canada. And then when it came to the, to the other war in 1940. They they had the employment problem became quite a deal. And they were with the oil admin going away the mic jack, my husband joined the Air Force because all his friends were going back into services and they hate so and then he was invalid out of that not long after he joined with a complete breakdown. And so then he went over to to Vancouver and was joined the staff of Bucha fields as their agriculturist. And at that time, the they had big contracts with the British Ministry of Food and Jack was put in charge of Growing all the seeds for the for fire them. And it meant the whole of BC was his territory. And I used to go along with him to, to help drive because we had to go into the most outlandish places to find land suitable for seed growing for the different types of crops. And that meant all up into the caribou. In the Okanagan, the Kootenays and by this time the the St. James Seed Company had had just found it because of the conditions

Unknown Speaker 16:04
that quit because of the

Unknown Speaker 16:07
well economically it was and it was there certain things I don't want to say

Unknown Speaker 16:20
that's fine, that's fine, but I guess it was during the during the war, the shortage of

Unknown Speaker 16:25
labor shortage of labor and the competent and then when when the war was over the European seed people came back into the business and then prices dropped and labor was worthless. So, they just gave up as a company what year was that? Remember that was that was during the war with the enemy toward towards the end it was during the war

Unknown Speaker 17:05
Can I go back to to the Seed Farm when it was on salt spring after you left the Barnsbury Yes. What did you do for water there?

Unknown Speaker 17:16
Wells and Fernwood they on the wells were contaminated with salt and that was when I gave up drinking water. Because the then it was later on that the event and Mr. Lang who owned the property eventually

Unknown Speaker 17:53
or know what preceded it was the people that bought the Mackenzies who bought from Mr. Lang after we had left. He developed he got water from the lake over because they various like St. Mary's Lake because Fernwood farm went from the lake to the sea. And so it was all in their own property because later on the they developed it into the into one of the North End water companies.

Unknown Speaker 18:35
How many how many acres do you think they they used for seed production? At Fernwood?

Unknown Speaker 18:42
There must have been a couple of 100 acres.

Unknown Speaker 18:48
What kind of seeds

Unknown Speaker 18:50
all eras a full line of well now according to the 1940 catalog, well that supporting in the 1919 catalog, which was one of the first one of the first they were 21 vegetables, six flowers 20, sweet peas, three Gladiolus and 25 dalias. them in the Night's Dream 40 It went to a complete catalogue of 56 vegetable varieties, 79 Flower varieties and 32 Sweet Peas, varieties they were famous for their sweet peas

Unknown Speaker 19:58
How How did it work? work what what would it look like? The Seed Farm if we were to just to stand and look at it was it a beautiful cycle

Unknown Speaker 20:06
and everything was in bloom used to be quite a showplace we had a lot of visitors

Unknown Speaker 20:19
and it was a family found the business similar to burpees. And bodger, who was one of the big seed companies in California used to come up visit very often. And wanted to they had contracts with

Unknown Speaker 20:45
how many people worked was there at the time when you were on salt spring

Unknown Speaker 20:52
would depend on what crops they were doing because they had forage crops as well. They had, they had

Unknown Speaker 21:01
12 head of cattle milking cattle. And they were guarantees. They were, we had special men to look after that. They were

Unknown Speaker 21:22
Why do they have the cows? I mean, why did they have the cattle?

Unknown Speaker 21:28
Well, it was originally a cattle farm. Well, I see. So it was it. And they they kept kept it. I mean, it was a it was a moneymaker because there wasn't much money out of the seed business when it was young.

Unknown Speaker 21:44
Yeah. So what would they do? They would sell the milk and the cream.

Unknown Speaker 21:48
Yes, there was there was the creamery in Downing Ganges, which was famous for its Saltspring butter.

Unknown Speaker 22:00
And the and then they had they used to ship flower they had grew a lot of anemones. And they shipped those over to as flowers over to Vancouver,

Unknown Speaker 22:21
just for sale for sale.

Unknown Speaker 22:26
Used to ship first vegetables they had one year they ship 50 tons of potatoes, which were grown on the marsh back of the farm they had to have spare special tractor to go on that type of soil because there were big cracks in it. Say clay. Well, no, we'll link boffin and it shook as you walked over it, Oh really. But with the they had to have what they call a key track which so the wheels couldn't sink into the cracks. But when that was all cultivated, it was beautiful soil and the screw a lot of crops on

Unknown Speaker 23:24
there. How are the seeds planted? I mean, how were the you know, the seeds planted to raise for

Unknown Speaker 23:32
that would depend on the type of seed. My this is where my father in law's expertise came in because he knew he knew greenhouse work and all the flowers and some of the vegetables were all started in the greenhouse.

Unknown Speaker 23:58
How big was the greenhouse

Unknown Speaker 24:03
while the greenhouse Fernwood was I forgotten it's not

Unknown Speaker 24:14
must have been quite large was it?

Unknown Speaker 24:17
Yes. And then they did a lot in in frame cold frames. And then they've been transplanted out. This is where they were they would have more labor when it came to planting. They were

Unknown Speaker 24:44
trying to remember how is the it was I say a family affair we all helped in the in the seed beds in the in the with the mail order I used to. I had charge of the mailing list and And the

Unknown Speaker 25:13
how many about how many people would you mail out to? Or would you you'd mail out to individuals would you rather than two stores or

Unknown Speaker 25:22
my my husband was the salesman and he went around the province and got agents to sell the seeds and had the seed cases and fill them with

Unknown Speaker 25:50

Unknown Speaker 25:51
well he will have the they filled the same cases with the different types of seen which we thought would be popular and then otherwise they back it up with a mail order

Unknown Speaker 26:06
so with the mail order to individuals then more than

Unknown Speaker 26:10
yes and I've forgotten how many at that at that time we had agents in

Unknown Speaker 26:36
Are you wondering

Unknown Speaker 26:36
where they were in BC?

Unknown Speaker 26:39
Yeah, well they were mostly on the mainland the like the Hudson Bay. Scott and peds in Victoria Vancouver they would be here I'd have to go through my my husband's list to find out exactly where they were all over BC and mail order was we had a great many in right across Canada all through the states and in England and some in Australia but that most of it

Unknown Speaker 27:22
so you you were working in the mail order side of things yes, that's what

Unknown Speaker 27:31
and then with packaging we had to do our own packaging

Unknown Speaker 27:38
that was a bit of business with some of those little seats yes it all done by hand

Unknown Speaker 27:42
it was all done man no no machinery

Unknown Speaker 27:48
How many of you would would work doing that?

Unknown Speaker 27:51
There would be

Unknown Speaker 27:59
perhaps six of us we'd have more s when they when the when the volume went up March and April were very heavy

Unknown Speaker 28:28
so would they be mostly family people or would you hire people?

Unknown Speaker 28:32
Yes well the family helped we had two objects were living with us the the help

Unknown Speaker 28:58
would you hire people here on the island to

Unknown Speaker 29:00
say well yes there were certain times when it came closer to the time that we left we'd have

Unknown Speaker 29:23

Unknown Speaker 29:31
catalog from 1917. So you'd hire people on seasonally I guess would you during the busy time?

Unknown Speaker 29:41
Yes. And then of course in the in the harvest time we had many more

Unknown Speaker 30:00
Now Now this would be through the what? When did you leave you? You moved in 1930 to go to Cowichan Bay? Yes. So it would be really through the through the 20s. Really that you would be doing the work here at Saltspring? Yes

Unknown Speaker 30:20
here's the

Unknown Speaker 30:36
No, it's just true. Is it true that you that you imported the first tractor onto salt spray?

Unknown Speaker 30:41

Unknown Speaker 30:43
What year was that?

Unknown Speaker 30:45
Yeah. Oh, when did they get that tractor?

Unknown Speaker 30:51
Was it while they were still

Unknown Speaker 30:52
oversized? Yes. Yes, I've just here is a summary

Unknown Speaker 31:12
of some facts and figures on

Unknown Speaker 31:16
another thing. Fred, the took all the photographs for the winch I have. There are some on the glass plates. Oh, wonderful hand. He took all the photographs for the catalog.

Unknown Speaker 31:39
Really? So you have those?

Unknown Speaker 31:41
Yes. That's wonderful.

Unknown Speaker 31:52
Now, Mrs. James, can you tell me how you met your husband through your family? They were involved together so you've known him for

Unknown Speaker 32:01
since I was 10. We used to go and stay with them and Victoria

Unknown Speaker 32:12
Jack was was in the Navy during the first war. And he after we were, we were married in 1922.

Unknown Speaker 32:38
I will agree with that. How old were you when you got married?

Unknown Speaker 32:42
2222 Yes, I'm 90.

Unknown Speaker 32:50
So were you had you been living in Victoria?

Unknown Speaker 32:54
Vancouver at all my education, everything.

Unknown Speaker 32:59
Okay, so then you What did you do after you got married? Did you came over to Salt Spring right away?

Unknown Speaker 33:08
Yes. Yes, it was in the summertime. And they had just moved out to Finland. And Jack and I were in what was the known as The Turner House? It's one of the Heritage houses on the edge. Not not far from

Unknown Speaker 33:32
is it? That White House? It's a bit down the hill?

Unknown Speaker 33:35
Yes. That's where we are. We were first married. And then we moved out to when the Turner's came we were. We were there while attorneys were up in the Windermere and they they came back naturally wanted their home. So

Unknown Speaker 34:03
how long were you? were you living at the Turner's?

Unknown Speaker 34:11
For about, I guess it was two or three years. Three years. My eldest daughter was born when we were at The Turner House. What's her

Unknown Speaker 34:23

Unknown Speaker 34:25
Mary. And she is now Mary Hogg. She's, she's just moved back to the island

Unknown Speaker 34:37
and other daughters. Valerie is now living here. Up here on Joanne drive. So I'm very lucky having them here because they're the ones that look after the garden for me. Oh, isn't that nice? I

Unknown Speaker 34:54
know it's

Unknown Speaker 35:00
As long as I can I will live in my own home

Unknown Speaker 35:06
so So you moved from the Turner's

Unknown Speaker 35:13
we built a house out on the out on the framework

Unknown Speaker 35:18
but you built when

Unknown Speaker 35:23
we lived there until we moved over to college and

Unknown Speaker 35:27
did the House have running water in it and no electricity there

Unknown Speaker 35:33
was no electricity on the

Unknown Speaker 35:39
and so did you have your other two girls while you were living there and

Unknown Speaker 35:43
then my third daughter was born

Unknown Speaker 35:54
Can you tell me a little bit about what Saltspring was like when you first came here in 1922

Unknown Speaker 36:01
Well it was a little different from what it is now the transportation we didn't we had the first transportation we had was horse and buggy and and then the first car we I was a Maxwell truck with hard tires

Unknown Speaker 36:41
I learned I had learned to drive in Vancouver so I used to drive the max of trucks sometimes it had to be cranked but we didn't do you know you didn't go visiting and doing the things you do today? We walked a lot of places which was good for us.

Unknown Speaker 37:12
Did you have a lot to do with your neighbors?

Unknown Speaker 37:17
We knew the neighbors here and there they weren't just depend on naturally the people you have a lot in common with are the ones you see the

Unknown Speaker 37:40
so I guess for you it'd be you'd have a lot to do with your husband's family.

Unknown Speaker 37:44
Yes, we made are made a lot of our own funds

Unknown Speaker 37:51
what would you do for for recreation say when your family was was young and

Unknown Speaker 37:57
well we had a boat. And we used to go out from Fernwood on the boat is the sailboat. No, no, no sailboat. We're not took my husband and I had one when we came back he retired and then we went to sail which he had to give up because for physical reasons, because it meant that I had to do all the hauling of the anchor and the sails and everything. i j love but that was much.

Unknown Speaker 38:35
Yeah, yeah. So you used to go boating on the weekends and

Unknown Speaker 38:41
yes, we did a lot as a family together. And And when a Saturday nights we it was one time we could all relax. We'd have card gamers friends but there was no radio the course no free TV. But we had a gramophone good record city

Unknown Speaker 39:12
and I guess there was you would have had to crank that would you there was no electricity,

Unknown Speaker 39:17
no electricity we didn't have electricity

Unknown Speaker 39:30
over a car the electricity came through our place at college. And the it was there higher the high tension line came across our property, but we couldn't tap it

Unknown Speaker 39:54
so what would you do? Would you go on picnics and things as a family

Unknown Speaker 40:01
And then we had lots of visitors visiting the island from the

Unknown Speaker 40:14
people did you have any of your family here like any of your brothers or sisters? So

Unknown Speaker 40:20
no, I just have one sister, she lived in Vancouver. She still does.

Unknown Speaker 40:26
And your parents were in Vancouver still Vancouver.

Unknown Speaker 40:29
So they used to visit

Unknown Speaker 40:37
did you used to go off Island very much in those days.

Unknown Speaker 40:41
I went over to I went over to Vancouver more often. But it had meant going on the and when I had the children it was it's not so easy traveling on those boats when they smart like it is today because it would take all day to go on the the one boat they had on the on the winter run was the otter which was a road sealing vessel originally. And that would come over, it would come over from Vancouver one day and go right through to Victoria. And then the next day it would come back and go back to Vancouver.

Unknown Speaker 41:38
How long would it take? Oh, they let it stop at all the islands on the way stop that they

Unknown Speaker 41:48
know this. This is why we eventually just when the mail order got to too much. We couldn't

Unknown Speaker 42:03
I guess that was just a really limiting factor to be on an island when you're dependent on it.

Unknown Speaker 42:08
Well we needed better land also

Unknown Speaker 42:11
did you was the soil How was the soil?

Unknown Speaker 42:16
Not very good. It was very gravelly and but they they had there was no water on the crops it was all done by cultivation with the horse horse and the cultivator they would pull and because that meant somebody had to guide the horse.

Unknown Speaker 42:46
So what would you do? I mean, would would you not have to water very often

Unknown Speaker 42:52
you can't water when you don't have water.

Unknown Speaker 42:56
So how did they live though? How

Unknown Speaker 42:57
did the waves do the dry cultivation? So the principle is that if you keep a mulch, dust mulch on the top, the soil the soil, the water from underneath will come to the surface. It's like a candle.

Unknown Speaker 43:15
Yeah. So would you have to do that liquid you have to cultivate at the time and again,

Unknown Speaker 43:21
the horses never stopped. We had two horses and they were going all the time

Unknown Speaker 43:28
really so it was just like watering only instead of watering you'd be

Unknown Speaker 43:34
good crowd we had good crops but not like we had when we moved over to college and they were we had well and there we were on the couch and Bay flats. So you had your water table was just underneath and so that as long as you had a dry mulch on top, the moisture came up to the roof.

Unknown Speaker 44:03
So the better you didn't have problem with with saltwater over there

Unknown Speaker 44:08
except when it flooded. We were on we were decked and when it came to high tides and storms, it would the dikes would break and then it was a case of repair them and it was always the low tide was always at night in the middle of the night. They had to go out and do this repairing. I think since then they have the government has done a lot more Diakon

Unknown Speaker 44:50
Yeah. When you when you did, did you work with the company at the time when you had small children at home

Unknown Speaker 45:02
and I did, I used to do the packets all in dummies down bought the packets and I used to stamp 1000s of packets.

Unknown Speaker 45:15
Did you do that at home? Or did

Unknown Speaker 45:18
Joe they'd bring me the packets over from the office, which was across the road and I would stamp the packet because then later on when it got so that they were enough to have the variety printed on

Unknown Speaker 45:45
so Did you have anyone to help you in the house with the children or with the

Unknown Speaker 45:49
I was when I was ill?

Unknown Speaker 45:56
They had, I had a nurse of three children through measles bordering on pneumonia because they didn't have the the medicines in those days to counteract the trouble

Unknown Speaker 46:16
when they were got through this measle epidemic I was when I had my first angina attack

Unknown Speaker 46:27
what tahu Did you have a doctor on the island then?

Unknown Speaker 46:31
On the island here? Yes, yes. Dr. Sutherland. She was she had been a skin specialist on Harley Street in England, in London. And she was a very clever doctor. She bet she was deaf. And I think this was against her work in England. So she came out here and Mr. Sutherland used to drive her around had one experience where when we were on the island here Mary got whooping cough and it turned to virus pneumonia. It was just nip and tuck as to where they should live. But the doctor needs to come out and keep me going. But I had to nurse her through it. Because there was no I couldn't put it there was a hospital here but she said that she would never get the proper care in the hospital.

Unknown Speaker 47:48
So it comes to you. How old was she at the time?

Unknown Speaker 47:52
She was she was about five six

Unknown Speaker 47:59
and how old how many years are there between did you have between the children?

Unknown Speaker 48:03
Val was four years younger and Audrey was four years younger again.

Unknown Speaker 48:12
So you had your hands oh that so you had help when you were sick? But otherwise to do you just did all the work of the household and the cleaning and did you do your own laundry

Unknown Speaker 48:24
course with four buckets of water

Unknown Speaker 48:29
and an old did you use one of those scrubbers?

Unknown Speaker 48:32
Yes. Well with the with the main wash I would domain big wash I would take it over there was a washing machine and the parents Jack's parents house

Unknown Speaker 48:47
was at work by hand didn't have one wouldn't want but then for just the regular laundry you just do it did you have to heat the water on the stove

Unknown Speaker 49:06
This must have been pretty busy years then.

Unknown Speaker 49:08
They were busy. There was no there wasn't much time for recreation, but we enjoy what we have. Yeah

Unknown Speaker 49:15

Unknown Speaker 49:20
no one had a lot of fun.

Unknown Speaker 49:23
When you did you when you moved over with you know over to Fern with did you have your own vegetable garden?

Unknown Speaker 49:33
Yes. I always had my own one where I could do but I liked except that I couldn't grow anything that would cross with one of the crops that was grown near me.

Unknown Speaker 49:51
We have to be very careful on that because this is where you need space in growing such a large number A lot of things that they don't cross because we had different varieties you see certain things

Unknown Speaker 50:12
like broccoli or sweet peas or or anything yeah

Unknown Speaker 50:16
all the sweet peas weren't so bad because they they are self pollinating are they

Unknown Speaker 50:34

Unknown Speaker 50:40
Can I ask you a little bit more about the community when when you first came to Salt Spring were you struck by anything about like the nature of the community here or

Unknown Speaker 50:53
I didn't think anything about it. It was it was an island it was certainly a contrast to what I was used to in the city. Having graduated from university meant that I had a very busy

Unknown Speaker 51:18
type of life there in Vancouver. And the island was it was a lovely, lovely place to have a holiday

Unknown Speaker 51:36
or should get caught up with your with your feelings for the marriage and that sort of thing. Changes the picture? Yeah. But there was everybody. There was a nice feeling of neighbors, neighbors. People did things for each other.

Unknown Speaker 52:06
So you didn't feel Nobody made you feel excluded because you came like as an adult to the island. She didn't get that? No,

Unknown Speaker 52:12
but I guess I had come here on holidays. She had spent holidays here for three or four years before I was married.

Unknown Speaker 52:24
Did you know people like people outside of your family when you came here?

Unknown Speaker 52:28
Oh, yes. We knew all the people around recipients here. inglis's. The bitten carts of course, they were the first people here. And there were five when we came here to spend the summer in 1917. I think there were about five permanent residents of Saltspring Vesuvius and we knew the law and we had a lot of fun. Who else

Unknown Speaker 53:03
lived here besides with the bitten quotes? We're still here then.

Unknown Speaker 53:06
Yes, well, they had moved to other parts of the island but well some of them were living down by the dam by the wharf press they were the indices down there. They own that point. And Captain Richmond who lived up the hill here and the chaplains live lived right behind here what is now that

Unknown Speaker 53:47
place where the the have handicapped. Oh yeah. That was the chaplain place and the chaplains had a big chicken ranch here. They had all of this park back here. And they had were the first ones to have what they call the ROP system. Raising Special chickens.

Unknown Speaker 54:22
What was our op?

Unknown Speaker 54:25

Unknown Speaker 54:30
Yeah, I can't remember I've actually heard of it before it I can't remember it either.

Unknown Speaker 54:38
But anyway, they had the bard rocks. And he was he was famous he had for his particular strain

Unknown Speaker 55:01
He sent eggs and chicken, young chicken and that sort of thing.

Unknown Speaker 55:08
Really, so he had to begin he had quite a business. And I guess the ROP was like some system of that they would like the government would kind of certify

Unknown Speaker 55:19
read registered order performance oh

Unknown Speaker 55:24
I think that

Unknown Speaker 55:32
and then this the we had this part here had been these this was all open field here. The we had grown we had grown certain crops of seed on this place. Do so that it would be segregated from the we used to from the main farm crash

Unknown Speaker 56:07
Did you did you own this? No, not this property, but you didn't. Did you own any property that did the James Farmer have a Seed Farm happening? No.

Unknown Speaker 56:17
They, they

Unknown Speaker 56:24
they, they rented different parts of plots through over the the eyes, the whole island so that they can segregate the crops. So they wouldn't cross Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 56:38
So you came here then as a teenager, I guess you'd be then. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 56:43
I was 17 The first time I came here.

Unknown Speaker 56:45
Did you come with your parents? Yes.

Unknown Speaker 56:49
My parents used to Well, the thing was we used to before that when they James were on Parker Island. We used to spend

Unknown Speaker 57:01
summers there and spend I think it was we spent a couple of summers there. Barker and and then when the James moved here, we stayed with them sometimes. But mother wants to be independent. So they

Unknown Speaker 57:26
rented this cottage which belonged to miss Mills at that time. And she was Bill Parmesan. Oh really? And she was the art superintendent of the Victoria schools. And for our wedding speech she painted this oh well I won't get up now. It's a picture up there that she gave me for a wedding present. But she was a wonderful artist

Unknown Speaker 58:02
and who else was here with the hiney keys they were in this there was a tiny little cottage down here which has been moved since it's up on the hill here Miss Richie will get up there and that's where I first saw Ruth Mrs. Roots parents came here she was a war bride and I can remember Ruth when she was just a load cop she was just cute

Unknown Speaker 58:46
and then they finally moved over to where they Ruth is living now on that property

Unknown Speaker 59:00
what was Ganges like in those days

Unknown Speaker 59:03
well there wasn't much to have because there was just a road there was were mowed Czar was out on an island and there was just a road between two beaches join them because it's Ganges today never recognized. The the Trading Company was there and mods were there. And what came first and the Trading Company was Mr. Bullock was behind that.

Unknown Speaker 59:55
Did you know Mr. Bullock? Yes,

Unknown Speaker 59:57
I had dinner at his house and he You've I've given him dinner in my house. He was a he was a wonderful gentleman. There's been a lot of misrepresentation you know they tend to make fun of him and that sort of thing but he was a wonderful person. And when Mary was so ill with whooping cough, he it was during Prohibition days and he's send out he had a stock of brandy or whatever was needed. And he brought out a bottle of brandy so that I could give her in case of emergency. And he was he and my mother became great friends

Unknown Speaker 1:00:58
we had dinner at his house that the makes me sick when I think of what they did to that house

Unknown Speaker 1:01:15
because it had been you know, that was beautifully furnished

Unknown Speaker 1:01:25
Old English style cress arms and the in the drawing room after dinner, he had the the boys and with their button uniforms laid on the table and then afterward we'd go to the drawing room. And seven till about nine o'clock. The boys brought in a huge tray, the biggest round tray I've ever seen. And that was full of incense, instant coffee and tea. There was hot water and you could have what you wanted. And of course plates and plates of food. He loved his food.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:19
We had seen photographs. You can tell what happened to the house after it was after he died

Unknown Speaker 1:02:27
after he as he has his nephew. It was left to his nephew came out and he was there and I don't know we were away at that time way to be up in because we were we left here on 30 and didn't come back to 60 Well, a lot happened to 30 years to trade. And so I never knew the nephew.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:54
Did he live there?

Unknown Speaker 1:02:55
Yes. But then then the it was solely and they sold it and some people from California bought it and they wanted to turn it into they turned it into

Unknown Speaker 1:03:13
sort of a summer boarding place for children from California. And it was then that they just wrecked the house they

Unknown Speaker 1:03:26
they had put these great big white and black tiles about so big on the on the floor

Unknown Speaker 1:03:38
what had been on the floor before

Unknown Speaker 1:03:40
Well, carpet, oak proper board and and carpets, rugs. And then with that they put in chandelier that didn't didn't look right at all and then in the living room or the drawing the course all the lovely furniture had gone