Salt Spring Island Archives

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Barry Wilks

8 January 1998

Accession Number Interviewer Ruth Sandwell
Date Januay 8, 1998
Location Mayne Island
Media tape Audio CD 61.28 minutes mp3




Unknown Speaker 0:01
Today is January the eighth 1998. And today I'm speaking with Barry Wilks and his wife, Sally Manson, at their home on main island. My name is Ruth Sandra

Unknown Speaker 0:20
Okay, Barry, I wanted to ask you how your family first how and when and why your family first came to main island? And who? Well, that's a good question.

Unknown Speaker 0:38
I was a small child when they came here. And

Unknown Speaker 0:43
do you remember what year? Yeah. They literally moved over here back in baggage in June of 1945. When school was a before

Unknown Speaker 0:57
before V Day.

Unknown Speaker 1:00
Why did they come to me? Well, I'm not exactly sure. But they came

Unknown Speaker 1:06
at us my aunt

Unknown Speaker 1:08
and uncle, my aunt on my mother's side.

Unknown Speaker 1:11
Gladys, she's still alive. She lives in a normal

Unknown Speaker 1:16

Unknown Speaker 1:19
She has an extremely, very extreme memory problems nose.

Unknown Speaker 1:25
So they came over at the same time, they both came at the same time together. But we were sort of a close knit family. On my mother's side, the three sisters and we all lived in a little neighborhood in Capitol Hill.

Unknown Speaker 1:38
In those days, it was like, walk next door and their sister, husband and so on. But anyhow, they came over. The story I heard was,

Unknown Speaker 1:49
in order to escape the rat race, they were probably God knows why. Because there wasn't too many during that time before the war ended. But I sort of categorize them a little bit as original hippies

Unknown Speaker 2:03
and reasons wanting to get away from although they didn't resemble this, what we commonly call hippies, I guess. They were

Unknown Speaker 2:19
my actually, we got here, how we arrived at main island.

Unknown Speaker 2:25
My uncle Ted, who was my glasses, husband, he was a roofer. And I guess there was a time that he was shorter work. And he responded to an ad and one of the Vancouver newspapers to put a roof on a hotel on main island. And that's the old Grandview Lodge, which is still there that's renamed now Springwater Lodge, but that was, yeah, yeah. So that's, that's sort of how it was discovered.

Unknown Speaker 2:52
So did he come over and work here? He came over and put a roof on I guess he stayed.

Unknown Speaker 2:57
The old lady was Emma nailer. That only

Unknown Speaker 3:01
we the hotel and she wasn't running it. But I guess the roof was leaking. And I would imagine you stayed there and put the roof on dried roof and

Unknown Speaker 3:13
got familiar with what main island look like anyhow? Yeah. So when they when? When they came over here? Where did they live? Deer right here in this place? Well,

Unknown Speaker 3:26
it was quite different.

Unknown Speaker 3:30
Well, it hasn't changed a huge amount, but it was before the days of electricity and running water. And

Unknown Speaker 3:39
actually, we had a pretty nice house in North Vancouver. And we came over to this place. And Nick was like,

Unknown Speaker 3:47
no matter what you call it, my mother didn't like it very much. Did did it? What did the two sisters cover? Three of them?

Unknown Speaker 3:56
Are Sorry. Yeah. LC my mother and Gladys, her sister and her husband, Ted, my uncle Ted, and McCarthy, my father.

Unknown Speaker 4:06
And did they all live on this property? Yeah. But not for long. They didn't get along with each other. The two males didn't get along with each other. I don't know what the problem was. It wasn't. You know, it wasn't a

Unknown Speaker 4:20
total feud scenario, but they just discovered they couldn't live together, work together. So did did they all stay or did some go back to

Unknown Speaker 4:31
sleep? Whether my recollection is correct. It was about November of the same year that

Unknown Speaker 4:39
Gladys and Ted took off and went back to North Vancouver. Oh really? So that that shows the time? Yep.

Unknown Speaker 4:51
So who did you know who they bought this property from? Yeah, so Mrs. Finborough.

Unknown Speaker 5:00
Okay, they both sold their homes. And I think they, the stories that I used to hear was that they had nothing left over when they bought this place because this was a large place and it was 220 acres. It shouldn't just be subdivided down, of course.

Unknown Speaker 5:18
So what did they do after that? How, how did they make a living? Well,

Unknown Speaker 5:25
with regard, I think my uncle Ted went back to roofing for a while and Northland and then he carried on with different things. And my father

Unknown Speaker 5:35
scrambled to figure out what to do. And

Unknown Speaker 5:40

Unknown Speaker 5:42
imported another

Unknown Speaker 5:44
friend of the family and her, his wife, and that was the Martians. And

Unknown Speaker 5:53
after the war was over, there was a lot of greenhouses on main island may or may not used to be the tomato capital of Canada for a period. But the greenhouses weren't worked, because they were

Unknown Speaker 6:06
Japanese Canadians at random. They were all over the place here. So they were available to rent. So what they did was rented

Unknown Speaker 6:15

Unknown Speaker 6:17
and that Horton Bay down at the end of the road,

Unknown Speaker 6:21
which is known as a Dibley place. And they grew tomatoes for a while.

Unknown Speaker 6:29
And they bought another property as more she was a veteran. And those properties were sold on VLA act or whatever it was.

Unknown Speaker 6:42
sold your settlement. And they bought one in a worked out one for a while. And then I guess it Oh, what happened was apparently, according to my father, anyhow, I said that nobody could compete here anymore. That was shortly thereafter, there was an incursion of California tomatoes up into DC it was cheaper to have their lesser product delivered up to Safeway was moving in at that time and other things. So

Unknown Speaker 7:10
the tomato business pretty well went into the two peer companies down into at the end of the 40s.

Unknown Speaker 7:19
Yeah, it would be the end of the 40s Maybe just shortly before that.

Unknown Speaker 7:24
That had happened here.

Unknown Speaker 7:27
And there were quite a few of them started up and a lot of them became loggers and just couldn't make a go, but

Unknown Speaker 7:33
there's a lot of logging

Unknown Speaker 7:37
in So did your dad do any logging? Yeah, not at that time. He

Unknown Speaker 7:44
the next thing he did was

Unknown Speaker 7:47

Unknown Speaker 7:49
leaves the store and

Unknown Speaker 7:54
they've been since torn down but it was the purely historical store that doesn't miners Bay at the head of the dark across from what is now the spring water law. It was right there. And

Unknown Speaker 8:08
it had been it was owned by Emma Naylor who owned the

Unknown Speaker 8:14
spring water I guess.

Unknown Speaker 8:16
Grand July and she rented it out. And he ran it. And his brother

Unknown Speaker 8:23
then again was a returned veteran. It took him a while to get back. I don't quite know now but he came over.

Unknown Speaker 8:32
And they worked here together for a while and then after that Bob discovered it was easier to go more profitable to go with logging so he did but my father ran that for quite a few years. Did he love your uncle? Yes. Did he log here on on Maine he started out here on Maine they went which was a fairly large as it goes you know logging operation of the day, you know may not

Unknown Speaker 9:00
know what logging company Yeah, it was what was known as

Unknown Speaker 9:07
well as some commonly known here as B and H and H and that was

Unknown Speaker 9:12
brought in Paul and I don't know who the other H was maybe something some form of exploding or something.

Unknown Speaker 9:21

Unknown Speaker 9:23
next best thing to I don't know what you call them rugs or towel Western. Maybe I shouldn't say

Unknown Speaker 9:30
gypo lagers were all characters. But Bob was an employee.

Unknown Speaker 9:37
He's locked here and he went over to Samuel they looked good trucker, Samuel Island. Never know what No. Yeah, no, it's the same on salt screen.

Unknown Speaker 9:46
All of that in the late 40s. Early 50s. Yeah, it was a lot of people. Quite good employment.

Unknown Speaker 9:54
Must have created quite a boom.

Unknown Speaker 9:57
Well, as I told you, when I

Unknown Speaker 9:59

Unknown Speaker 10:00
To the school here, they were 14 in little one little room that had been there since 19 or sooner. And

Unknown Speaker 10:10
I think it was the second year. It was a second classroom.

Unknown Speaker 10:14
Yeah, there was a huge influx of younger people. You know, it was making a buck. Yeah. What?

Unknown Speaker 10:24
Well, I want to ask you about the school a little bit more very soon. They'll just ask you now, you'd come from a school in North Vancouver? Yeah. So what did you notice about the school with 14 kids? Well, I think I told you earlier. I used to be dressed sort of fairly well to go to school every day of the Capitol. I know when when I first went to school on main island when it started when September I can't remember the dates in those days. There were 14 kids there and I was dressed in short pants and that's the last time I ever wore shorts.

Unknown Speaker 10:56
I could remember kids

Unknown Speaker 10:59
was one one guy that was there. So it's a little bit tragic, but he was 16 years old in grade two

Unknown Speaker 11:08
several the kids used to say seven years old or so and no one always had a poacher ballgames tobacco in the shirt pocket

Unknown Speaker 11:19
it seems kind of wild to you these kids when he first came

Unknown Speaker 11:25
I don't know if that's the right word.

Unknown Speaker 11:27
It's wild is no I think they were sort of Mercy they knew knew more than the ones that were more from say tone they knew more about the feet on the ground.

Unknown Speaker 11:42
I think that's how I could sort of put it

Unknown Speaker 11:46
you know I mean heck I just watching how old are they be nine years old? I didn't I wasn't really out there critically assessing no

Unknown Speaker 11:56

Unknown Speaker 11:57
well, I didn't quite

Unknown Speaker 12:01
there. But right here we were here we were in this house for long but I walk from here to school and back to school party how far

Unknown Speaker 12:13
I have my couple miles

Unknown Speaker 12:17
the roads had

Unknown Speaker 12:21
well, let's put it this way. There weren't any

Unknown Speaker 12:24
wasn't any telephone or hydro here power?

Unknown Speaker 12:28
Was it there? Was there were telephones on the island where there was there were two when we got here? Oh, yeah. Yeah. And one was

Unknown Speaker 12:37
there was some retired mate BC tell maintenance man had a phone of his own. And then there was the telephone office at miners bay that was in the garret close. And I can remember we used to go down to make a long distance call that was

Unknown Speaker 12:55
but there was a cable that went across here. I'm not sure when that was set up. But it was the main cable that crossed from point Roberts over to Vancouver island somewhere I would assume around Swartz Bay, but incoming island, so therefore they had a repeater station here to power it up. And I guess that's why main had a phone then.

Unknown Speaker 13:17
Otherwise, it wouldn't be. But anyhow, further to walk into school there was there weren't any wires. And most of the roads, there wasn't any blacktop and most of the roads had the grass strip down the middle.

Unknown Speaker 13:31
Did a lot of people have cars? Yeah. It was.

Unknown Speaker 13:35
Not to the extent now but percentage wise, but the other quite a few quarters. Do people use horses at all that time? The 40s? Yeah. I can remember a little bit of it, but not much old. Billy Deacon it was called William Deacon. The

Unknown Speaker 13:53
he died not too long after we got here. But he's just sitting right around on a horse.

Unknown Speaker 13:59
Maybe didn't have a vehicle. That was his ways of getting around. But no, there wasn't really that much of it. There was a little bit there's still a few workhorses around plows and things. So basically, for for transportation on the island, people would use a card and I'll check the user car and

Unknown Speaker 14:18
there wasn't ever a time when there was anybody that went along in the car and saw somebody walking if they didn't stop and pick them up. Period. That was the norm.

Unknown Speaker 14:29
Without question. There wasn't any question about taking a ride.

Unknown Speaker 14:34
You just did it.

Unknown Speaker 14:36
I guess you probably knew who most people were. Yeah, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 14:44
Do you have any idea how many people left on me when you first 20 120

Unknown Speaker 14:50
That was a big change for

Unknown Speaker 14:54
me, you know, you think about it. That's what

Unknown Speaker 14:58
880 People have

Unknown Speaker 15:00
Not that many, much difference in numbers. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Especially compared to

Unknown Speaker 15:07
now there's population jumps way up from, you know, weekends and holidays of courses 1000s to millions. Yeah. What, how's the ferry service in those days?

Unknown Speaker 15:22
It was, came out of downtown Vancouver, it was a CPR. And

Unknown Speaker 15:29
it ran

Unknown Speaker 15:33
three or four days a week. And it took a big, long winded milk group where you could, it came, you know, start starting with Galliano stopped at me and went through the islands and all of the southern islands and made the loop back to Vancouver if you wanted to go to Vancouver.

Unknown Speaker 15:52
Get there late at night, from here as the bulk left.

Unknown Speaker 15:57
They left the room.

Unknown Speaker 15:59
But did people travel off the island a lot in those days. There was reasonable access. So

Unknown Speaker 16:07
fares were cheap, and the service was great. You know, they had snazzy service on the CPR books and

Unknown Speaker 16:15
well, there

Unknown Speaker 16:16
just are facilities where luxury and their dining facilities where sterling silver and

Unknown Speaker 16:24
uniformed waiters. Oh, yes, it was first class. It was done in the style of the old British luxury liner and all the CPR boats with Novick for that.

Unknown Speaker 16:34
Part of the reason why they went broke, I guess.

Unknown Speaker 16:37
But it was a treat to do that. Yeah. So would you go did you do would you found it off and go into Victoria say? No, it was very hard to get to Victoria. I think there was one day a weekend and of course, then most of a most people on Main aisles were Vancouver oriented.

Unknown Speaker 16:54
But there wasn't much Victoria travel recall how often toxic visit the CPR boats come with visit three times a week or was it more often?

Unknown Speaker 17:04
Was it Monday?

Unknown Speaker 17:06
It did a dumb number on Monday, I think it went to Victoria.

Unknown Speaker 17:11
Tuesdays Thursdays and Saturdays were mean days and that's when mail came and freight groceries and a new name and the stuff got shipped out and it was quite a lot of stuff shipped out.

Unknown Speaker 17:26
The summer there was a Sunday sailing of the motor Princess, which used to run between Sydney and Steve Austin or Sydney yesterday and

Unknown Speaker 17:37
Steve did an odd job over to Bellingham. But there was an act and egress on that one on a Sunday night to to the mainland to

Unknown Speaker 17:47
it wasn't actually bad.

Unknown Speaker 17:50
Transportation Service. Yeah, if you look at dig up some of the old schedules, you'll see what the Princess Mary used to do. And it essentially was Gulf Islands and then Southern Ireland. And then

Unknown Speaker 18:02
at night, when he got back into Vancouver, it would load up and take off up to Powell River and co pilot stops. Not the union stops, you know, they had their area, and then it went over to Denman and Hornby and union Bay

Unknown Speaker 18:18
was your boat was busy for many, many years. I think they they must have made something on it for a very lengthy time.

Unknown Speaker 18:27
Do people have their own boats? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 18:31
There's quite a bit of fishing around here. And it was actually there's a lot of fish boats here. When I first got here, there were four fish camps and there's your buying camps and servicing camps and minor Bay. So how would they work?

Unknown Speaker 18:44
They were on floats, like Scout barges, and they slide gas or bought fish and they had supplies and ice

Unknown Speaker 18:54
for them. So they wish they weren't home by the cameras or anything? I don't know. You know for sure there. I remember there was one that was a co op. Yeah, there was one that was Canadian Fish Company. That was an Indian Bay just around the side of miners Bay. Another one called Western fish and I don't know what that was. They may have been sort of offshoots. And then the last one I don't remember what it was.

Unknown Speaker 19:21
It was an affiliate. So there were some some people who fished much, but they have their own boats. Yes. But there's a lot of small boats to

Unknown Speaker 19:31
pee people had little mini little icon puppets clicker boats was a little inboard motor in where they could go to another island or go fishing. Go exploring. Yeah, there's quite a quite a bit of that. And then robots people rode along ways then even that

Unknown Speaker 19:50
was a lot of communication between these city outer Gulf Islands.

Unknown Speaker 19:57
I think It dwindled about that time. There were

Unknown Speaker 20:00
Some, but I think in the earlier days there were more when to get you know, there was I mean, I was the only one to have a post office in jail and

Unknown Speaker 20:13
doctor for a period

Unknown Speaker 20:18
so when you were growing up, was there a doctor on the

Unknown Speaker 20:23
doc Roberts

Unknown Speaker 20:26
whatever it was Sarah, because the health the health center was put in quite recently.

Unknown Speaker 20:33
That's what I did the school yard. We did that when there's that it must have been 17 years ago.

Unknown Speaker 20:39
The cell center was basically built voluntarily here. And then it was expanded too soon.

Unknown Speaker 20:46
But there

Unknown Speaker 20:49
for a great period there was a

Unknown Speaker 20:51
variety of different sort of

Unknown Speaker 20:54
attempts at community health facilities felt like a nurse, retired nurse she would have

Unknown Speaker 21:04
MSP history of that particular thing written down somewhere that the health

Unknown Speaker 21:10
center itself didn't seem to have too much about what it had replaced Euro

Unknown Speaker 21:19
although she wished

Unknown Speaker 21:22
she worked for years and years in town

Unknown Speaker 21:31
so when you were when you were a child growing up here you would go to school, obviously. What else were you did you have to work as well? When you were a child?

Unknown Speaker 21:44
Yeah, I had a few things that I had to do

Unknown Speaker 21:47

Unknown Speaker 21:50

Unknown Speaker 21:51
get firewood for stuff feed the sheep

Unknown Speaker 21:57
How many sheep did your family

Unknown Speaker 22:00
I know no.

Unknown Speaker 22:02

Unknown Speaker 22:04
my father had sheep everywhere. And

Unknown Speaker 22:09
I used to just love going out come on let's count the sheep they were forever counting the sheep because they just wandered everywhere

Unknown Speaker 22:20
he had variety different properties and

Unknown Speaker 22:24
we just go in there. What else did he What else did he do? He did

Unknown Speaker 22:32
sort of agricultural stuff.

Unknown Speaker 22:34
Oh well as I told him the Greenhouse on that dedicate property I think for one year I think the people who I'm not sure if I'm correct with that, but I think I am the Hebrew the field tomatoes in front of the house. When did they get that property?

Unknown Speaker 22:53
Again, I think it was 50 or 51 I'm not exactly sure about that one that you probably haven't seen the records there yet.

Unknown Speaker 23:02
We we moved from here

Unknown Speaker 23:06
not I'm not sure might have been here for a year and then we went back down to minus band left. And then they I guess discovered that property was up for sale and

Unknown Speaker 23:19
you my mother really liked it. I don't know how they scrounge did it but they bought it.

Unknown Speaker 23:26
How many kids do they have?

Unknown Speaker 23:28
Sister Sister

Unknown Speaker 23:31
Tracy Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 23:35
So when they moved there did things change a lot for you when they moved to that property or were to do that

Unknown Speaker 23:50
in a different house.

Unknown Speaker 23:52
speech in front and

Unknown Speaker 23:55
things like that.

Unknown Speaker 23:58
It's not very far from minor today.

Unknown Speaker 24:01
I recall walking there one morning at five in the morning and as fast as I could to to the dock at miners Bay and it took 28 minutes so that's not very far.

Unknown Speaker 24:13

Unknown Speaker 24:15
So you your family cat sheet there. Do they have any other livestock?

Unknown Speaker 24:21
Well, when they were here, or do you mean over there? Well, actually either.

Unknown Speaker 24:29
No, there was played around here with some pigs and geese and turkeys and chickens.

Unknown Speaker 24:36

Unknown Speaker 24:38
at Bennett Bay, actually I don't think there was any livestock on the benefit from it.

Unknown Speaker 24:46
I think that was the time when it when it was determined.

Unknown Speaker 24:52
The Wilkes family wasn't really into butchered animals and

Unknown Speaker 24:59

Unknown Speaker 25:00
I've been vegetarians ever

Unknown Speaker 25:05
so what else did people do on me in Ireland?

Unknown Speaker 25:10
They had a family. Oh gosh.

Unknown Speaker 25:13
Who knows pension slabs of them? Probably the odd remittance when we met this person. So we call

Unknown Speaker 25:22
logging sawmilling. Agriculture, flocks of sheep, cows.

Unknown Speaker 25:30
Pigs, do people export any, like off the island? Did they sell any farm projects? Yes. Yeah. So I can, I can recall, you know, the days of the CPR.

Unknown Speaker 25:44
Everybody was at the dock.

Unknown Speaker 25:46
That vote, except the kids wouldn't get a chance on that one

Unknown Speaker 25:53
this year.

Unknown Speaker 25:56
Because they were in school, but anyhow.

Unknown Speaker 25:59
It might have been Saturday. So that was I can tell you a little funny one there.

Unknown Speaker 26:07
Everybody was on that dock on main island, or practically everybody that was bedridden or something, it was a social event, and

Unknown Speaker 26:16
getting the mail and there was a lot of tea room when I when I first recall right miners that was operating and

Unknown Speaker 26:27
people would gather in our head or mourn. And then there's always an excuse of waiting for the meal. And so it was

Unknown Speaker 26:35
so I would get chance to see what came off and went on just as everybody else did around here. And there was lots of lots of stuff shipped out of here.

Unknown Speaker 26:48
off the island, dairy products, milk

Unknown Speaker 26:52
was shipped over to Salzburg.

Unknown Speaker 26:55
We had what they called a creamery over there made butter out of it. There was wool there were animals, live animals, cows and sheep. Pigs coming and going all the time.

Unknown Speaker 27:06
Boom, change.

Unknown Speaker 27:08

Unknown Speaker 27:10
What about chickens and eggs? Oh, yeah. chickens and eggs. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 27:15
Yeah, that's that sort of stuff was shipped out of here too. So what came on on here? Blue jeans,

Unknown Speaker 27:23
groceries. There was a cannery here then a small Catherine called Steele's Cannery and employed eight people. And they brought the can meat products mainly. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 27:36
That was in the 40s and 50s. Yeah, they were operating when we got here. 45 And I'm not sure when they wound up in the middle 50s It's all good and evil got tired, you sold the camera out.

Unknown Speaker 27:49
Another fella

Unknown Speaker 27:51
done CPR pulled out of here and that was the end of that things went bad.

Unknown Speaker 27:57
He they imported all their beef that they made Steel's all beef stew Steel's meatballs, their products were really in demand because they were first class products. And another specialty was

Unknown Speaker 28:13
plum pudding. Yeah, but you couldn't buy it locally. The product was not available because it was in such demand elsewhere.

Unknown Speaker 28:23
And it was in a communist little building and facilities now would be considered primitive they wouldn't permit it. But yet it was you know, regulation wise, but yet the product was probably second to none.

Unknown Speaker 28:36
That's another one that came here.

Unknown Speaker 28:40
There was throughout all my time here with a CP boats there was logging going on. So there was logging stuff coming all the time coming in

Unknown Speaker 28:51
to people so people would die there. Where exactly did the groceries come from?

Unknown Speaker 28:57
Do you know where?

Unknown Speaker 28:59
Well my father.

Unknown Speaker 29:01
That's something I used to have to do is pack down groceries into a truck and unpack them into the store. Another one of my chores, but

Unknown Speaker 29:11
of course I got an allowance for that two bits a week.

Unknown Speaker 29:15
But like I said

Unknown Speaker 29:24
they gave for Vancouver and I recall the name of Kelly Douglas is one of the largest wholesale larger wholesalers that shipped stuff to my father's so did most people I know on Saltspring a lot of people ordered from Woodward's That's right. eton's. Yeah, he was was pretty good.

Unknown Speaker 29:44
That's right, the catalogs. That's true. But most of that stuff came in the mail, I would think are you talking people used to get

Unknown Speaker 29:55
Yeah, it does ring a bell.

Unknown Speaker 29:59
Well, then there were

Unknown Speaker 30:00
Two stores here. And they had just about, you know what? Most of what they supply to what people want? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 30:08
What do people were there? What would people go into into town into Vancouver to buy?

Unknown Speaker 30:17
I have no idea exactly. They might go and buy a

Unknown Speaker 30:20
vehicle or something. It's hard to say they, they didn't do like they do now, they didn't travel by vehicle. Now. People go and they load their vehicles up with signals they need.

Unknown Speaker 30:33
Maybe caveat here.

Unknown Speaker 30:35
But then you were you packed your own stuff pretty well and checked it in the baggage room?

Unknown Speaker 30:41

Unknown Speaker 30:43
I don't know

Unknown Speaker 30:44
if that's hard to say, because it's such a mixed bag. But

Unknown Speaker 30:51
I just want to ask you one more question, a sort of general question about about that time.

Unknown Speaker 30:57
And it's about the community on the island? How, how would you describe the community that were as everybody the same or different groups, if they were what made them different from each other?

Unknown Speaker 31:17
Community has pretty, pretty close together. I think there are maybe some

Unknown Speaker 31:24
historical fuses, I didn't have no idea that where they originated, whether it was disparaging remarks, set about individuals and so on, but the community I think, was in pretty good shape. In general, it

Unknown Speaker 31:40
seemed to work together to do things. Yeah, help each other out. It certainly was one of those communities, which I guess all rural communities have been saying.

Unknown Speaker 31:52
Good quality, small places is, no matter what when somebody needed help, they got it. We don't the house gets burned down or somebody falls in a well or something like that everybody's there to help. So I would say that it's a good community, it was a community of character. There's a lot of character. And

Unknown Speaker 32:12
I say this thing about the community here today, which is the same thing. And that is, generally speaking, it's the tolerant community, everybody has shot out guns that come from, from different sorts of degrees of lifestyle, and they end up on an island and they may not have the same interest totally, but they're tolerant in general of each other. And I think it was that way, then

Unknown Speaker 32:36
I find it consistent. That's my feeling and my assessment. Now.

Unknown Speaker 32:41
My reaction to that is, each island has its character. And as you see, it's etched in rocks.

Unknown Speaker 32:48
Words in the rocks. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 32:52
So you say people with different

Unknown Speaker 32:56
different epic time, I mean, heavens, think about it.

Unknown Speaker 33:01
If you're lucky, or battery radio,

Unknown Speaker 33:04
gas or gas lamp or something like that, and

Unknown Speaker 33:08
no television to guide us along this wonderful path.

Unknown Speaker 33:15
When did when did electricity come to me? When I think it was 5056 or 57.

Unknown Speaker 33:25
When busy it was busy Power Commission, and it was a predecessor, because he hired a hydro here. But it was

Unknown Speaker 33:35
there was a lot of work put together here to get it here. The islands work together with each other. And with various pressing committees. They got it took a lot of doing people had to sign up ahead of time that they take power for so many, such in such length of time and so on. So did you have to what do people have to pay for polls we put up and so the PC Power Commission was a branch of the province that was

Unknown Speaker 34:05
that that set up to establish I guess it's subsidized electrification in rural areas. So no, it didn't cost it at all. It took a commitment from people that they would get their places wired and they would some didn't there was a few that were yesterday's and stuff maybe the house might catch fire you know, they're from the real old school.

Unknown Speaker 34:28
I guess that's the same way that schools were organized to the community would get together and request a school then they could get help from the government. Yeah, I would

Unknown Speaker 34:38
do that without

Unknown Speaker 34:42
user base.

Unknown Speaker 34:46
Okay, I'd like to ask you very specifically about the property property. So I'm sorry, I forget you told me who they bought the property from.

Unknown Speaker 34:57
Bertie family

Unknown Speaker 34:59

Unknown Speaker 35:00
I'm Jim Margaret, and family kids.

Unknown Speaker 35:06
Do you know anything about them? Not much.

Unknown Speaker 35:10
I think they arrived on me. I'm not sure you might be able to dredge that one up if you haven't already. If it's worth it. I think they were around the end of the Second World War, or maybe shortly thereafter. 47. Yeah. And they were quite industrious.

Unknown Speaker 35:30

Unknown Speaker 35:33
they bought it,

Unknown Speaker 35:37
I believe. How did it work? Okay, they bought the title. That includes the sort of the field area, and where the whole houses are there now. From Dave Bennett.

Unknown Speaker 35:51
Okay, Dave Bennett, is he? What's his relation to Thomas Bennett? Yes. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 36:01
You'd have to sorta wet that one out. There's so many of them that I don't know who, whose father? That's probably it could be either Thomas or Jim. I'm not sure. But I think that's not too hard to find out. So they bought it from him. Do you know what they do? Do they do stuff with the property? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 36:20
Jim built.

Unknown Speaker 36:23
And he had a friend, I'm not sure how if he was connected with Landry was a family friend. But it was hard working. So Fred Larson. And they built a

Unknown Speaker 36:34
halfway out on the inside of the point, they built a marine weighs, you know what, that

Unknown Speaker 36:42
we were just looking at this.

Unknown Speaker 36:44
On the movie we're looking at my accent was still there. 9250 or 51. Whatever movie, it was, it was a it's a facility to pull boats out of the water and repair them. And it was

Unknown Speaker 37:00
they operated it

Unknown Speaker 37:03
for a while. You could pull a you know, a gill net size boat out of the water repair it. I think Jim was a bit of a shock, right.

Unknown Speaker 37:12
But it was, must have been pretty tough going. As it was, there wasn't any road out to where this thing was. And

Unknown Speaker 37:20
there wasn't any electricity. And

Unknown Speaker 37:24
yet these things out, they had an old gas winch and it was a track that went down into the water and then carry like a wagon, a big one that you put in, put a boat on you, and then tie it on and then start up a winch and pull it over water.

Unknown Speaker 37:41
They did that. And I guess they didn't make ends meet.

Unknown Speaker 37:45
Sold out.

Unknown Speaker 37:48
I sent Jim might have tried growing field tomatoes.

Unknown Speaker 37:52
That's where I'm a little confused. I'm not sure if it was him.

Unknown Speaker 37:56
My father or both of them. Maybe Jim did it and then my father did it when they first moved in there.

Unknown Speaker 38:03
No one my father, he couldn't might have done it at night. And hopefully he was a workaholic.

Unknown Speaker 38:09
So they'd be working at the store during the day than other things he would do when it's as long as it was very late.

Unknown Speaker 38:18
Did they What do you know about it of any other buildings or structures that we have first? And then the property?

Unknown Speaker 38:27
No, I don't know what sir. No, I haven't really paid much attention. Is there were

Unknown Speaker 38:34
there were two houses and then there was a little cabin called Sleepy Hollow. I'm not sure if that got torn down or not?

Unknown Speaker 38:42
Well, maybe if it is it's awfully derelict, but they built this one house larger one.

Unknown Speaker 38:49
Yeah. And then they built

Unknown Speaker 38:52
the second one. But it was smaller and it was subsequently added to by my father but it housed Mrs. Adderbury elderly parents and Christie's returning and then there was sleepy Hall which was a was two rooms I'm not sure Fred Larson

Unknown Speaker 39:14
lived there or whether it was just a guest house or what it was for but there's a variety people stayed in that place holiday time Wilkes is where they're

Unknown Speaker 39:25
not it wasn't rented out. It was just fine.

Unknown Speaker 39:29
Yeah, there were there were buyers sheds up above the the old house. I think they're still there right now. They're sorted. But there wasn't anything very substantial. I built the barn. It was a tin roof on the middle one.

Unknown Speaker 39:43
My daughter had her horse over there for quite a while.

Unknown Speaker 39:47
Did you build it for the horse or

Unknown Speaker 39:51
any other buildings? No, no, not not only another one, but it's probably not of historic interest. Is it?

Unknown Speaker 40:01
One day my father says, You better come down here. Give me a hand. We got to move this house. They built a house on the wrong property.

Unknown Speaker 40:09
So we did we he was quite agreeable, and he's written easygoing days, but he's cleared him a spot and put his house on skids and moved to rezone property. That's all I know.

Unknown Speaker 40:26
So, so Thomas Vance and David Bennett. I think they got the property in the 20s 1926. I think, Dave, I don't know that Dave was one of many. I think he's probably inherited part of the whole, that whole end of main island was

Unknown Speaker 40:42
sort of the Bennett and there was a better than the Decon end and

Unknown Speaker 40:47
they bought from William and Margaret Deacon. Yeah, well, no, they didn't buy

Unknown Speaker 40:54
that story on suffer. Yeah. Well, maybe you did. Yeah, maybe. Maybe I didn't, I don't know. But

Unknown Speaker 41:01

Unknown Speaker 41:03
William, Billy Deacon hold his hardscrabble farm and

Unknown Speaker 41:08
that was part of his holdings and of course,

Unknown Speaker 41:11
all the fields that are still in existence today and then it went over to the water Campbell Bay and cook in Campbell point.

Unknown Speaker 41:19
Okay, okay.

Unknown Speaker 41:21
Okay, so

Unknown Speaker 41:27
big one. Yeah, that'd be great. This isn't a conservative format. So, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 41:33

Unknown Speaker 41:39
how it was divvied up. Okay, so that point there. These are just section lines and corner sections.

Unknown Speaker 41:47
But anyhow, all of this really moved over to Campbell Bay and were considered to be rocky knobbly. You know, you could raise a cow on it or it was

Unknown Speaker 42:00

Unknown Speaker 42:03
Useless land.

Unknown Speaker 42:13
But anyhow,

Unknown Speaker 42:16
Billy Deacon had a barn, big barn, and he was getting on in years. It subsequently blew over to big windstorm. But anyhow, it was a big barn and

Unknown Speaker 42:28
the roofs needed repairing. So

Unknown Speaker 42:32
at a brewery put the roof on for him in exchange for the property.

Unknown Speaker 42:40
That Rocky, knobbly financial and elsewhere that it went up behind the houses included that

Unknown Speaker 42:52
because my I know, my father bought that from one of the subsequent owners, but when the road was put through behind the house,

Unknown Speaker 43:00
the public room, but anyhow, land values have inflated a bit since then.

Unknown Speaker 43:08
There's not many that's get purchased for Barton roof. At least this is my this is, shall we say? My oral knowledge?

Unknown Speaker 43:21
I don't think I'll have to go to court over that to prove this. But it might it might not be.

Unknown Speaker 43:27
Yeah, that was a hannabery. May not be correct. I don't know. But that's, I'm fairly sure.

Unknown Speaker 43:34
Okay, so Ben, it's on the field and a bit behind the house because that was part of the old Bennett land that was practical and useful for grazing sheep.

Unknown Speaker 43:44
And cows, I guess. So the D consulted the benefits.

Unknown Speaker 43:52
Okay, all right. Part of the quarter of the Amy Bennett Bay Area.

Unknown Speaker 43:57
I'm not exactly sure.

Unknown Speaker 44:03
They can really

Unknown Speaker 44:05
in 1998 to 92. Okay. He got the property and then are in 1882. Margaret, it belonged to Margaret Deacon.

Unknown Speaker 44:17
I don't quite understand that part of it. And then in 1882, Rutherford cope. So to Margaret Deakin. This is the section 10.

Unknown Speaker 44:29
And the east half sectional levels, so I guess they're and Rutherford hope, got from John Wick. Do you have viewers? Because actually, Marie Elliott told me he was somebody who worked in the light ships in the harbor. Yeah. And he apparently bought it from Margaret and

Unknown Speaker 44:53
Margaret, Joshua James and Matilda jolly, who actually preempted the land in 1870s.

Unknown Speaker 45:00

Unknown Speaker 45:01
according to, to reality. James jolly also worked in ships on that light ship. And I can understand them getting sick of rocking around on the light ship

Unknown Speaker 45:13
for solid.

Unknown Speaker 45:15
So how do you how do these records are these come from land registry.

Unknown Speaker 45:20
And these ones, these ones are on microfilm. And this is all the titles that have been

Unknown Speaker 45:27
done. And the early ones are just in this huge old books. But here it is. James Campbell, sold two part of the property to Thomasville in 1892. So

Unknown Speaker 45:43
he was related to the bankruptcies. And

Unknown Speaker 45:47
so that's what Campbell is named after. Anyway. So that's that. So you, you and your sister inherited that property from your father?

Unknown Speaker 46:00
I'm not sure what date it was.

Unknown Speaker 46:07
Yeah, did your mom own half? Because I know that there was a transaction and then your dad got it. And he died a bit later today.

Unknown Speaker 46:17
83 Yeah. And then.

Unknown Speaker 46:26
Yes, I'm pretty sure. Yes. Try to figure out from the reference would have been

Unknown Speaker 46:32
a point that your dad turned over the other piece to your sister. Yeah. Well, how do you before that? Yes.

Unknown Speaker 46:41
So then, did you and your sister get together and decide to sell it? Yes. Canada. Yeah. Well, to be suspected,

Unknown Speaker 46:49
sort of almost the other way around? Oh, yeah. Because they,

Unknown Speaker 46:54
they wanted both properties. And they didn't want one without the other.

Unknown Speaker 46:58
They wouldn't be interested. Oh, really? There. Thanks, Canada. So that's the way it worked with them.

Unknown Speaker 47:05
But I guess I instigated that.

Unknown Speaker 47:09
I saw the newspaper article. And we had been we we were going to sell the property anyhow. And

Unknown Speaker 47:18
we saw the article in the newspaper. So we had it listed, actually. And I phoned the realtor and said, do you know about this? We didn't. But we soon found out. So then you just your sister still tell me? When does your sister still live here? Yeah. So she sold the property and then bought another one.

Unknown Speaker 47:40
We bought a house here. Yeah, cuz I haven't, I don't know. Know. When you see they were

Unknown Speaker 47:48
her husband was a Lightkeeper. Here. They didn't have a place of their own except for what my sister My father had said would be hers when he passed away. So they lived there for a while. And

Unknown Speaker 48:01

Unknown Speaker 48:04
they wanted to sell. They decided they didn't like it out there. It wasn't for them.

Unknown Speaker 48:10

Unknown Speaker 48:12
I guess that's the order of events.

Unknown Speaker 48:14
I have for sale and the point was for sale. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 48:18
We've jointly appointed for sale and they put theirs up for sale as well.

Unknown Speaker 48:24
To my surprise, I didn't know that they were going to do that. But they did.

Unknown Speaker 48:28
Because it was such a beautiful piece. We thought that they would build a house. That was the original intent was to have that piece and build have they gon tried in his when he retired from the light.

Unknown Speaker 48:41
He tried raising sheep. That's what that fence is doing all around. And he did it for a little while and at first he tried Angus Angus would pile on cow a

Unknown Speaker 48:53
few of them and then cheap.

Unknown Speaker 48:56
And I guess he decided that farming wasn't what he really wanted to do in his retirement.

Unknown Speaker 49:02
did was he like people here

Unknown Speaker 49:05
well, he This was his last job. He's been all over. He was the he was the senior like kicker on the coast. He spent more years out of than anybody.

Unknown Speaker 49:17
And he came to pass what you call an old man's home and

Unknown Speaker 49:23
he was well they had one after him now they've just turfed it

Unknown Speaker 49:29
it's stupid. It's short sighted.

Unknown Speaker 49:32
amount of mana cost it's really not to say that

Unknown Speaker 49:36
it's not it is not not it's a wrong decision that's been made lighter wine and Dungeon somewhere.

Unknown Speaker 49:43
Yeah, well, you know, well, I guess when they have the first big loss of life, you know, on the coast, maybe not think about it again. Yeah, but once it's over, it's over. I shouldn't say well, I only happen once.

Unknown Speaker 49:56
Yeah, I think it's a really bad thing for that for the cost and everybody who goes on

Unknown Speaker 50:00

Unknown Speaker 50:01
anyway um Okay, are there any

Unknown Speaker 50:08
I guess what I like to do is just ask you a couple of questions very more specific questions about the house and that property what was the house like?

Unknown Speaker 50:19
Well it wasn't it was a

Unknown Speaker 50:21
was a poor man's house it was made

Unknown Speaker 50:27
like the rafters were poles

Unknown Speaker 50:31

Unknown Speaker 50:33
a lot of the wood that is structurally was put into it was shipped directly or I guess out of her head connection somehow and

Unknown Speaker 50:42
didn't have a foundation under it. It was it was a you know, physically it wasn't well constructed house but it was a because you know, Stacy didn't have the money to do it but but it was the House

Unknown Speaker 50:57
did you have two stories? I haven't. Yeah, yeah, there's some sort of attic cheese type rooms upstairs. Two rooms upstairs. Did it have plumbing?

Unknown Speaker 51:07
Yeah, when we got there there was

Unknown Speaker 51:10
the I had plumbing indoor plumbing.

Unknown Speaker 51:13
He had a water well that was dug hand dug down in the field below the house I assume it's covered over now. I don't know if it's filled in and they had a gravity system was it called homemade concrete tank up above the house and gas pump and pump the water up the hill and then you got a gravity feed back in.

Unknown Speaker 51:34
It didn't have electricity when we arrived there.

Unknown Speaker 51:38
But it was a relatively comfortable

Unknown Speaker 51:42
vibrant house

Unknown Speaker 51:45
for us, so Did it have in the on the main floor? Was there any bedrooms there was

Unknown Speaker 51:51
one bedroom down below and living room.

Unknown Speaker 51:57
small kitchen and sort of a small dining area bathroom and a bit of a laundry room.

Unknown Speaker 52:04
It's not really that much different.

Unknown Speaker 52:09
change some things and close the ceiling in the front room. And it was a wide open ceiling, you know, sort of a chalet style. And it was very cold. It was a drafty place. The first year we will first winter we were there was horrendous that

Unknown Speaker 52:26
one of those real cold outflows winds and it had French doors in the front that were drafty. And you couldn't keep it warm. It was just terrible. We had an oil stove in the kitchen and a fireplace and just had everything going full tilt and

Unknown Speaker 52:42
blankets over the windows

Unknown Speaker 52:54
I think it's so cold. So propane and

Unknown Speaker 53:00
oil stove oil. That was fairly common here. You know people finally got sick of cutting stove wood and coal oil. No, it's it's a little just a little more refined than diesel.

Unknown Speaker 53:15
Maybe in between diesel and kerosene. And you can just run a stove on it. And you had what you call the carburetor behind the stove and the dial went from one to six and that allowed to flow into the stove. Matter of fact, that stove that we had was a sawdust burner in North Vancouver and my father converted it to an oil. Everybody then in North Vancouver so I was

Unknown Speaker 53:41
in the basement where the bass was supposed to come here, but we didn't take no we don't need it. Nobody still there unless someone's taken. But that's good. And so that's the one that came over from here.

Unknown Speaker 53:56
That's interesting. And so for lighting, what did you do? We used

Unknown Speaker 54:02
gas lamps and oil lamps.

Unknown Speaker 54:07
And that was usually was a big part of my job I ended up

Unknown Speaker 54:11
selling. Yeah. Most not always, but quite a lot of

Unknown Speaker 54:17
Yes, we did. That was called them. They were given quite a light. They had one. Coleman came out with a kerosene mantle lantern towards the end of our gas lamp days we'll call them and they were safer. The

Unknown Speaker 54:34
they had two methyls lit up. We'll give you a light of 100 watt bulb anyhow.

Unknown Speaker 54:42
Now could you say

Unknown Speaker 54:44
well, gasoline is pretty volatile explosive and kerosene isn't and I recall lighting a gas lamp really old when we had in that house.

Unknown Speaker 54:56
There's nobody home and

Unknown Speaker 54:59
normally on

Unknown Speaker 55:00
Screw that. You get them going with a valve sort of slightly shut down and get them going and then open the valve wide open. For some reason rather than the valve came right out. It's jet fuel, you know, like I just took and threw it out the house was 100 wouldn't have been there. Hurry that gas was dangerous,

Unknown Speaker 55:22
filling that you always fill them outside, but gas fumes traveled downhill. And if they, you know, if you fill them above your door, shall we say, you've got a fire going in house that can be very dangerous.

Unknown Speaker 55:36
Or we're still as the old romantic style wick lantern. You know,

Unknown Speaker 55:42
those are, those are kerosene for coal while but you're one of those fell over you've got

Unknown Speaker 55:50
I imagine a few places burned down around here because of

Unknown Speaker 55:54
Robertson's house burned down the main old farmhouse, which I don't know what the cause of that was, but

Unknown Speaker 56:01
they lost a lot of stuff that really old stuff

Unknown Speaker 56:06

Unknown Speaker 56:08
50 Something

Unknown Speaker 56:10
big old farmhouse

Unknown Speaker 56:13
result and wondering, you know,

Unknown Speaker 56:18
is there anything else that you want to say? Property? Yeah, but the property or you know, generally about or, you know, what I do want to ask you about, quickly if we have a couple more minutes, I think,

Unknown Speaker 56:31
what about the natural vegetation on the island? And on that property? natural vegetation? Yeah. Was there anything that you used, like anything unique?

Unknown Speaker 56:42
Or just native to the native to their?

Unknown Speaker 56:48
What describe what's what I think is there? Well, I mean, if you could give me Yeah, telling me some of the plants that would grow there, but I'm not good on plants or trees more. Juniper for

Unknown Speaker 57:02
Cedar are beautiful.

Unknown Speaker 57:05
Like, do they use them for anything? Like I know some of them native people here would use certain plants.

Unknown Speaker 57:13
I know was one the one that my mother used to go? It was Mrs. Koyama. She was a

Unknown Speaker 57:21
Japanese lady that returned here.

Unknown Speaker 57:26
At a certain time of year they would go out and my mother commented on Mrs. Camera's ability to discover these mushrooms that work that hadn't come through yet. But they were under the Knievel's and she could she my mother was just a me she said she couldn't brush the needles aside or whatever the just the stuff on the ground. Duff there was a pet mushroom

Unknown Speaker 57:51
with the eight.

Unknown Speaker 57:53
I'm not sure if that was a pine mushroom or what type of mushroom never get did get. That was out on the point.

Unknown Speaker 58:00
And all the other one, the Japanese that returned back here for many years to

Unknown Speaker 58:07
went out there with trade memorials. On the Gulf side of that shoreline was good. Laurie goes out there. Even when you're

Unknown Speaker 58:18
the witch we did it one year with Kathy.

Unknown Speaker 58:22
Her mother who lives in Richard Steve Stevens.

Unknown Speaker 58:27
But it was a bit of an industry here. There were people that lived here and they used to dry it and mail it in and that was in the 50s so that to throw it on mentally in boxes with the Japanese people. Yes, these are Japanese or Japanese Canadians.

Unknown Speaker 58:42
Mrs. Koyama was Japanese.

Unknown Speaker 58:45
How did that work? Because her son Dec

Unknown Speaker 58:49
he returned he was

Unknown Speaker 58:52
he was a Canadian. He was born here. She was born in Japan. She went back to Japan. And then she came back here

Unknown Speaker 59:02
What about animals out there?

Unknown Speaker 59:06
What was that movie? We saw there? Wasn't there? You're chasing the rabbit.

Unknown Speaker 59:10
Did you hear about that movie? Oh, the yellow

Unknown Speaker 59:17
Gross. Gross up. Dear. Ed, gross.

Unknown Speaker 59:21
Well, we never did.

Unknown Speaker 59:24
Well, I'm sure people do when I'm not sure if it was from there. We're everywhere. What about deer?

Unknown Speaker 59:31
Deer there was deer everywhere. You guys used to eat there? We have but we've never really I never shot a deer. Nobody in my family has shot a deer but we have Jeremy given to us.

Unknown Speaker 59:45
stuff from the ocean.

Unknown Speaker 59:47
Fish clams, oysters,

Unknown Speaker 59:50
oysters, clams at the end of the day. It's a good spot.

Unknown Speaker 59:55
Not many people know about

Unknown Speaker 59:58
the type of which

Unknown Speaker 1:00:00
It's there's a reef off the peninsula you've been out there they have a point

Unknown Speaker 1:00:07
well there's a reef that

Unknown Speaker 1:00:10
is a reef that

Unknown Speaker 1:00:13
because dry had a real low tide. You got to be careful when you're out there to get on this reef and get stuck

Unknown Speaker 1:00:19
when it's in between Maine and Georgia

Unknown Speaker 1:00:22
and on

Unknown Speaker 1:00:25
some sites, meaning the inshore side there's a little pocket in there white Shell Beach a great place for clams clean

Unknown Speaker 1:00:35

Unknown Speaker 1:00:37
I don't know if it's been discovered we went out there quite a few times when the moguls are out here no phone and we probably wouldn't be any left if they didn't have

Unknown Speaker 1:00:47
what else did you guys use to do anything else like octopus or anything like that from like?

Unknown Speaker 1:00:55

Unknown Speaker 1:00:58

Unknown Speaker 1:01:00
What about berries?

Unknown Speaker 1:01:06
There's, there are various there with us. If you read this through suggesting specifically to that property. There's berries. There's

Unknown Speaker 1:01:17
not sure what the real the technical name for them is. They're not what we call the real wild blackberries. We call them a team by