Salt Spring Island Archives

Donate Now Through!


A History of Ganges, and Remaining Old Buildings

Bob Rush, 9 May 2018

photo of early Ganges town on Saltspring Island
Accession Number a presentation to the Historical Society at Central Hall
Date May 9th, 2018
Media digital recording Audio mp3 √
ID duration

56 min

RushGanges.mp3 ?

Summer 2021


Riley Donovan

GangesRush - created 2018
Tue, 8/17 2:52PM • 57:55
Description: A magisterial overview of how old Ganges used to from the 1800s until the mid 1900s. Bob Rush describes the history of these buildings and shares some memories about them from his childhood. He also advances his thesis that Ganges would have turned out dramatically different if current building and zoning regulations were in place then.

Bob Rush, Old Ganges, Ganges, Mahon Hall, Salt Spring Island, Hereford Avenue, Fall Fair, Ross McMahon, Rainbow Road, wharves, Ganges wharf, Mouat’s Store, Bank of Montreal, post office,

Unknown, Audience member, Frank Neumann, Bob Rush, Tom

We have the privilege of having Bob Rush speak to us. Bob is an honorary and honoured member of our society born in Salt Spring, grew up here, came back throughout his life, his working life, has moved back with his wife and lives on Salt Spring full time now. Originally, the name of this talk was going to be a history of Ganges and remaining other old people. But he decided that that was probably not too appropriate, it might offend some of you. So, he changed it to remaining old buildings. So, Bob, I'll turn it over to you now. Thanks very much.

Bob Rush 00:57
Okay, the mic should be on, but I don't hear anything, because I don't have it turned on. Is it on now? Can you, can you hear sort of? Okay. We haven't rehearsed this. So, we'll be sort of asking Frank for help from time to time as to how this thing works. You should be seeing a picture of Ganges Harbour, as it was in 1859. And I'm using the year 1859 as a base year, because that's the year that the first settlers arrived on Salt Spring. And first of all, I should say that this is a history of Ganges, not the history of Ganges, because that would go back further to into First Nations. And I'll leave that for Chris Arnett, and other experts to talk about. So, I'll be concentrating in 1959 and later. That may seem like a long time ago, but if you were born in 1938 or earlier, and went back from then the same number of years that you've come forward, you'd be awaiting the arrival of the HMS Ganges in 1859. And that is the ship that Salt Spring, that Ganges was named after. And a little bit about the ship first, because it all hinges around that. And it was built in Bombay in 1854. I'm sorry, 1821. And it was broken up in 1930 after it went back to the UK. It was the last wind powered British naval ship to carry an admiral's flag, and it's wind powered. The Royal Navy started moving up to Esquimalt from Valparaiso, Chile, where it was, the Pacific fleet, was based until 1854. And it was in these waters in 1858 to 1861, 1860. There are many places on Salt Spring that are named after ship's officers. We recognize Baynes peak on Mount Maxwell. Fulford was named after the captain of the ship, John Fulford. Burgoyne was named after the commander, Hugh Talbert Burgoyne, he went with Victoria Cross when the Crimean War. Southey point was named after the admiral's secretary, Richard Southey. Parminter point was named after the ship's captain W.G Parminter, so there are lots of names on Salt Spring that came from the officers of that ship. There's a model of that ship. (unintelligible). There's model of the HMS Ganges carefully crafted by Cole Harvey (?), I don't know, about 15 or 20 years ago perhaps now. And it is in the Bittancourt Museum at the Farmer's Institute if you wanted to go have a look at it. And that's the Transom (?) from one of the captain’s gigs that you'll see in Centennial Park. The original you will find in the basement of Mouat's store, together with an awful lot of other history of the island. So that's a good resource as well as their archives, of course.

Bob Rush 05:14
The first settlement, the centre of the island in the 1800s was at Central. It wasn't Ganges at that, excuse me, it wasn't at Ganges, it was at Central. And the reason for that is that ships came around Vancouver, uh Salt Spring Island, from Victoria and Sydney and Nanaimo, they came up one side and just passed by Vesuvius, came around, did their business, came down the other side past Fernwood. And those are the waypoints because there weren't roads on the island at that time. Everything was sort of water based. Ganges Harbour was a destination port, they had to go into Ganges Harbour. They weren't just passing by. So, the cultural centre of the island was at Central. This is the first school that was built. Well, just before we go there, I should say that in 1864, five years after the first settlers arrived, the government set aside 100 acres at Central for community use. And the government was the colony of British, of Vancouver Island. And in about, well I've got the exact date here, in 1866, seven years after the first settlers arrived. The colony of Vancouver Island joined the colony of British Columbia on the mainland. In 1871, 12 years after the first settlers arrived, the colony of British Columbia joined the Canadian Confederation and became the province of British Columbia. So that, the 100 acres were set aside by the colonial government of Vancouver Island. So going to Central in 1864, that's the first school that was established on the island.

Frank Neumann
Was that the school bus?

Bob Rush 07:35
(laughs) Frank said that's the school bus (laughter)

Audience member
Where was that school?

Bob Rush 07:42
I think it was right next door if I'm not mistaken. So that was Central Hall, built in 1896. There are a lot of other things going on at the same time, too. There were two churches, St. Mark's church, up the hill, and the Vesuvius Bay Methodist Church. There was the Stephens boarding house that still exists. Well, not as such, but the house is still there. And the Broadwell store. The post office opened there in 1875. The first lending library was there, in the post office. There was a jail as well. And the first telephone line went from Broadwell store over to, what is now the golf course. At that time, it was Reverend Wilson's residence. So, settlement shifted from Central to Ganges around 1900 to 1913, 1914. And that is from Reverend Wilson's diaries. Where are we Frank? Back? We'll be coming to some of these, as we go. But there's Central. (unintelligible) the hall, and the school, the post office, and the store. Then Ganges, this is a little ahead of our times, but that was 1906 from Reverend Wilson's journals. Frank Scott owned a good chunk of downtown. An that's Mahon Hall at that time, and these other things, we'll be coming to those as we, as we come. But settlement shifted dramatically, well not dramatically, but over a period of time, from roughly 1900 to 1914.

Bob Rush 10:09
Now for my thesis that Ganges would not exist in its present form, if we had the current regulations in effect at that time. This is an aerial photo taken around the 1930, or there abouts. One of the first regulations that would have been, I wouldn't say a hindrance but, if it had been an effect then, Ganges wouldn't exist in its present form because of the Agricultural Land Reserve. For one thing. We can see the orchard there at that time by Frank Scott. A lot of this land is still, well is now, zoned agricultural, not only zoned agricultural, but is in the Agricultural Land Reserve. This is swamp area here. Next one is agricultural but it's something that probably wouldn't be allowed to be filled in nowadays. Another reason that Ganges wouldn't exist in its present form are archaeological reasons. Skeletons have been dug up here, and here, and you're all familiar with Grace Islet probably. So, for those reasons, they probably wouldn't be places that would have been dug up for excavation for creating basements and foundations and whatnot. And similarly for areas that were filled, they probably wouldn't have been allowed. So those are three reasons why Ganges would not exist in its present form if the present regulations had been in effect back then. Don't ask me what form it would take, guess it would be up the hill probably, over here. But keep in mind that in those days, it was water based. You went where the wharves were, and you developed around the world, you didn't go inland because roads. I could go into a lot of the things orally that happened in the development of Ganges. So, we'll go through a few aerial photographs showing what has happened. That's what you would have seen, that's oh, I guess around 1934, or thereabouts. Just an isthmus going out to Mouat's store. I guess they'll be geologists in the crowd, that'd be called a tombolo rather than an isthmus. You see these buildings; they're built on piles. And development took place with fill going in. You can see that this area has been filled in where the firehall is now. And there were planter boxes along there. This is Hereford Avenue. Here the fire hall has been built on that fill. And an area where Gasoline, I'm sorry Ganges alley is now, that's been filled in (unintelligible). And here, in preparation for the centennial year, 1867, the Centennial Park, this here. That's the park over there (unintelligible). And there's more to come, here are the old gas tanks. (unintelligible) tanks. Still water in here. And now the filling has started in 18, I'm sorry 1970ish. Tom Toynbee can talk a lot, more, better than I can, and I won't go into the recent developments over the last 50 years.

Bob Rush 14:40
And Grace Point square has not opened up yet. And I guess this is an older one because that hasn't been filled in yet. This has become a historical thing. The boardwalk construction. It started about 18-, I'm sorry 1960, 1979 I think it was. Just let me check, think I've got a date here. 1989, it basically started. Okay, now I'll start going into some of the buildings. That's more or less what you'll see today, Harbour House Hotel. And it's had a lot of changes over the years. That's pretty well how it started out with the Crofton residents, Fred Crofton and his family, it goes back to roughly about 1903. And this had many changes in the meantime. That's after one of the first editions that took place. And here's a later one showing the tennis courts and later on, there's a swimming pool. And those tennis courts were well used. I'll just refer to my notes by saying that the courts, red play tennis courts, they're built to Canadian championship standards. There were annual tournaments, where players came from all over, Vancouver and Victoria, and Seattle. And Canada's number one ranked men's player played there. As did the USA's number two ranked player. One woman even went on to play in the Wimbledon. Some have commented that these were the best courts they had ever played on. Harbour House Hotel was also the scene of a murder, a manager there. Mr. Herzog was murdered in 1973. The hotel burned down in 1972 and it's gone through many changes in the meantime. Moving along, we're looking at the old buildings more or less in order as we come along Lower Ganges Road, then we'll go down Rainbow Road, Hereford, McPhillips. Sort of take a route, a walking route. This is All Saints Church as you see it today, which was moved from across the road. St. George's church, it has moved over physically, and it's substantially added on to. And that was a new church that replaced the original Anglican church that was in Ganges, that was built in 1911, when it burnt. And then it burnt down in 1936, or 1938. And that's when St. George's church was built. That's located at the corner of Dean Road and Fulford-Ganges road. There's nothing there, well, there's nothing of interest on the site itself now. But that's where it was, to put it into context. Mahon Hall in the fairgrounds, the Farmers Institute bought land from Frank Scott in 1901. They had their first event there, which was the Fall Fair in 1901. They had had them here prior to that, after the Hall was built here in 1996. That is as it is now pretty well. That may have been the official opening of Mahon Hall in 1902. If it wasn't the official opening it was right about that time. And it's been added on to substantially since, the next version.

Bob Rush 19:22
This was added on later, that's the original from there back (unintelligible) added on further with that, and that's pretty much how it looks today. And these are just a few quick pictures of the slides of the fair, Fall Fair, and other events that took place there. Those are the sheep sheds that lined the grounds. They're parallel besides Rainbow Road, and they're still there about 1959, 1940 even. And beside Mahon Hall is the chicken house that was used for the poultry displays. And that later became the high school. It was converted to the high school in 1938. No not that sorry, but I've gotta to double check the date on that. I think it was 1938, we'll say it is. And the Fall Fairs continue to be held there until around 1940, '39, '40. And most of the able-bodied man went off to war. And the school board bought the property at that time, maybe even for the sum of $1. Who knows? That is the high school. Until, until then, there wasn't one on the island, there was schools scattered around the island. And that's the, the I guess the reserve or the militia, or whatever they were called before they went forward. In 1940, on April the first, there were the official openings of the united schoo-, consolidated school. Before I leave Mahon Hall, I should go back to the naming of it. It was named after Ross McMahon, or Ross Mahon who was here with his brother. And he had lent $1,000 to the Farmers Institute for construction of the hall, which was opened in 1902. He died in 1903 the following year, and his estate agreed to forgive that $1,000 mortgage in return for a brass plaque being erected in the hotel to name it the Mahon Memorial Hall. And I presume that brass plaque is still there. But that's the origin of the name of Mahon Hall. This is the consolidated school, and as I say it was opened up in April the first 1940. It brought together all of the schools from Burgoyne Bay, the divide school, to Ganges school, the Vesuvius Central School, and the Vesuvius North School, which was up by Fernwood. It was financed by subscription, partly. Gavin Mouat went around to various houses and said, I've got you down for X dollars. And that's how some of the funding came about for the school. This is the, our class in April, that was 1940, when the school opened.

Audience member
Where are you, Bob?

Bob Rush 23:32
I'm there. (laughter). And Miss Morin is there. She was my schoolteacher for the first four years grades 1, 2, 3 and 4. And she died only four years ago. At that time, there weren't many 83-year-olds who could say their grade one teacher was still alive (laughter). Amazing, she died age 101. This is a little hard to figure out, but it's still related to the Frank Scott property that the Farmers Institute bought that the school board then bought, showing Rainbow Road. And the next one will show it better. Rainbow road is there, it's a little piece of property, right in there. 160 square feet, owned today by the Farmers Institute, owned still by the Farmers Institute. So, when the, it says it's only 160 square feet, there's not too much of a building you can put on there with the 15-foot setbacks on either side. But it also will continue a view corridor through in the Rainbow Road, as you come down Rainbow Road. This is an older aerial photograph, showing the Harbour back in those, well, not too long actually. Showing log, these are log dumps, dumping logs down into there. And that's there already. That hasn't been filled in yet. But there's a lot of activity in Ganges Harbour at that time. This is a major development that took place in 1912, it's by a person by the name of Mr. Ward, who subdivided that area. It basically formed the village of Ganges, in its time. There've been a lot of changes since, mind you? But it created Hereford Avenue, created McPhilips Avenue. And that remained as a lot until it was then later named as Jackson, Jackson Road. And those names came from, pardon the delay. Hereford Avenue was named after Herefordshire, where Mr. Ward had come from. Jackson was named after a member of our legislature. I think it was 1918 or thereabouts. And Mcphillips was a member of our legislature at the time of the subdivision in 1912. This presentation has gone through a lot of iterations so I'm jumping back and forth to a degree. One of the developments that took place in, between 1900 and 1913, '14 in that area, era, was a water system that came into Ganges by Mr. Lang. J.C Lang, I think it was, that Lang Road is named after. And the first water came in from a spring up at Cranberry Road, Fulford Ganges road. And later, he built a wood-stained pipeline all the way from Maxwell Lake, down into Ganges. And that was a major development. And this is showing the water pressure at that time, its best date is 1915. You'll come to Mouat's original store and their boarding house a little bit later. Now, looking at the subdivision, buildings that were able to take place at that time, this is Herefordshire, Hereford Avenue. That was a bakery. And a residence. And back to a bakery again, and offices. It's had many things. That's another (unintelligible) that's more or less as it is today. And beside it is Cafe Italia, which was the original telephone exchange on the island. It went into service in 1914. At that time, it was the Dominion Government Telegraph and Telephone Service, British Columbia division. There were 130 subscribers in 1926 and the directory covered Ganges, the outer islands and Sooke. And it is a heritage building. And it's, I guess perhaps one of my favourites as a heritage building. And thank goodness for Eddie Jang who has refurbished it and brought it back to life and restored it. It would have been a prime candidate for demolition, I'm sure. Beside it, if you look back, is what was the jam factory. And it was, yeah, jam factory, where are we here? It started off as a co-op back in 1920, 1923. They borrowed the money from the government for 90 days but couldn't repay it because they hadn't had a strawberry crop for several years, until 1928. And then that was sort of wound up, after that.

Bob Rush 30:01
I won't quote the person who said it, but apparently the people making the jam discovered that the juice that came from it made good wine. And the building wasn't used for many years and one time in the upper floor, it was used by our covenant pact. And I remember that was the first time I learned that news doesn't travel but things getting started and they travel because we sat as council all around in the circle and the message was whispered into the air the first person in line and we whispered the messages all the way around. It sure didn’t come out the same at the end as it (unintelligible) the beginning. So much for rumors. So, this is the jam factory. More or less as you see it today. Another (unintelligible) of it in the earlier days, in much earlier days. And that building has had a lot of changes. It started out as the Methodist Church here at Central and it was dismantled piece by piece after the United Church was created, but I guess it was the Presbyterians? No. Methodists joined with three other denominations, anyway, formed the United Church. And it was after that it was moved down into Ganges. Reed Bittancourt was the contractor. And after a while, when the church moved across the road, it was taken over by the Legion, and I sort of have a hard time reconciling Women's Christian Temperance Union and the churches to the Legion. That was an interim step. And that's an, another earlier time. And it's changed a lot since. And up the road is the next building you come, and it was built as the, as a manse for the minister of the church, Reverend Allen, at that time of 1930. And some of you may, may have known Gill Mouat, it was his grandparents that it was built for. And up the street is what's now House Piccolo. And before that it was Glad's Ice Cream. And before that, it was the telephone exchange, that moved up from just down the road. And that's an interior view of the telephone exchange at that time showing all the buttons, and some of you may remember it, going into old telephone exchanges seeing those things. And Elsie Burks who's still with us here on the island, telephone operator at that time. And this is the hotel restaurant more or less as it is today. And that is how it started off. Built by Mr. Bullock in around 1937. He felt that he built it nominally for one of his people that he supported, shall we say, wanted to open a restaurant but it's a good face for him to have morning tea. You'll be sure to recognize that it was only one story high at that time. Same story, I don't know when the second story was added to have rooms for rent. And beside it is, what was the original, Merchants Bank of Canada that opened up in 1913. It lasted for two years before it opened up. And later became the residence of Stan Wagg who was the manager of the trading company for many years. This was a later (unintelligible), and it was later added on to in the back as well. There's been a lot of changes to that building. This is looking across from the Pacific centre. I don't who know who all the tenants are here, but real estate and other things. And it was built initially by Tom and his group to the credit union. That's the credit union's original building. But before that, in 1930 to 1913 rather, it was one of the lots purchased by a Mr. Taylor from that Mr. Ward subdivision. And it was built as a hotel, it was the biggest building on the island at that time. Here's an interior shot, of the dining area, interior shots of the bar, and then five months later, it burned down. Never to be rebuilt. Later to be used by Mouat's as a lumberyard. Among other uses. It already had the second story (unintelligible). I should say that (unintelligible)

Bob Rush 35:58
I mentioned where the House Piccolo now is, that was a telephone exchange was built originally by Mr. Bullock for the assessor at that time, who didn't think the assessor should have to climb up stairs. So he built the one story building for the assessor. That later became the telephone exchange. Okay, down to the trading company. That's the trading company there, that's McPhillips Avenue, that became McPhillips Avenue. Recognizable, I hope, as the trading company. Here it is, pretty well as it is today. This is shortly after it opened. Salt Spring Island Trading Company. This is the later version after the gas tank was added, gas pump was added. Some alterations that were taking place, red and white stores that time. This is Stan Wagg, who was manager for many years, decades actually. The rolling ladders where in those days, you didn't pick up your groceries (unintelligible), you went up to the counter, went through your list, and the clerk would go back and get them and bring them to the counter, and you paid. Or put them on credit. That is what is now the Cora Inn. That's an early version of it. This is an even earlier version, before... Actually, I should go back to the beginning, it was built by Oldie Garner largely in 1927, 1928. He never occupied the building. He occupied it. He lived in a little one story portion at the rear. But it was later bought by the Henn family in the 1930s. And they had three daughters and two sons, who called it the Henn House, because of the three daughters. Anyway, after the Henns bought it, they added the new movie theater. I don't know how many of you went to theaters such as this, but Tom is one, where they started off with a cartoon. And then they had the (unintelligible) news. Preview of next week's movie, then the main movie, which was often served from one week to the next. The movies were held on Friday evening, Saturday evenings and matinees on Saturdays.

Audience member
How much did it cost to go?

Bob Rush 39:17
Oh, probably at least 25 cents.

Audience member

Bob Rush 39:22
Tom Higgs was even less than that, maybe 10 cents for the matinee.

Audience member
Matinee, 10 0r 15.

Bob Rush 39:34
Beside the red stained (unintelligible) Henn house, what was then the building on a lot that was donated by Mr. Ward, to, I'm not sure if it was called the Athletic Club or not. Anyway Mr. McAfee, the blacksmith, had a lot to do with it. I'm sorry, I don't have my notes on it. But it was a men's club, and they had a pool table in there. And it was not used for too many years. And then it became a residence for the Kingsworthy family. credit union now is right beside. This is Artspring in construction. There's Embe bakery as it is now. There's Embe Bakery as it was at the beginning, in 1904, opened as a cream. And it started off as a co-op. And there were 500 shares at $10 each, and by May of 1903, they had $2,000 subscribed for and a line of credit from the government for $1500. The contractor was A.R Bittancourt, who was just completing the construction of Mahon Hall. And it became a limited company in 1927, and it was a great place to go inside. This doesn't show the inside of the building, but the farmers could bring their milk into the Creamery. And you could go in there and they had steam power engines. One thing here, one thing there, a big belt between the two, going flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap and it was a great place. And then the farmers afterwards would pick up the, what was left over after they'd taken off the cream and they'd take it back to their pigs. This is, is now the United, or the Catholic Church on Drake Road, which was our school. That's an in between one, but this was the original school building, that we had our first four grades. It was grades one to four in one room and grades five to eight in the other room, this is the, the hallway in between. This was taken in 1932. I think that's probably Ivan Mouat there, other people that we'd recognize. So that building’s had a few changes. This is the, what's now the Community Services society, started off as the Lady Minto, built in 1914 on land donated by Dr. Beech and that's where I was born in 1930. This is looking down the bottom of Ganges Hill, where Ganges Alley is, which is where the blacksmith shop was, by Henry (unintelligible) McAfee. It's a great place for us kids to walk by on our way to school. The red forges and he's banging away and doing all sorts of magic things. Deer would be hung there in the fall for seasoning, all sorts of things were happening, and he would shoe horses in there as well. He'd also bang golf balls off the back porch onto the mud flats and pay us kids 5 cents apiece to retrieve them for him. It's a great place. I couldn't understand moving to the city in 1943, why, kids had never seen a blacksmith shop. But it's a great place to go by. Cenotaph, as it is now. As it was then. Coming into Ganges. Cenotaph was right there. There's Turner's Store, it had moved from the piles. And this is another view of the Cenotaph, and here's the old shell station, it's now an El Taco, Trading Company, Ganges pharmacy, which has changed since. Oh, Frank's got a panorama going here. Grace Point.

Audience member
Trouble parking there

Bob Rush 44:46

Audience member
No fire hall.

Bob Rush 44:51
No. (unintelligible). Mouat's store. Turner's Store, here's Kanaka restaurant and a whole bunch of things. This is one of the magic things that Frank does. And this is the Honour Roll, that was, I think that was about 1917, honoring those who had volunteered for service. And there are 100 and something names that were on there. I don't have it right at my fingertips. But there's a very high percentage of the population, of the men who have volunteered for the service. This is one of them. November 11th services. Okay, thought we had more, but anyway, we're now moving on to the Bank of Montreal. There. Mouat's store. It's still on the same site, but it's changed a lot. At that time, it was two stories at that location. The firewall was not there yet. This is just another view of it, as it was. Check my notes here, got the date on that, yeah. Bank of Montreal purchased the property in 1950. So, it's been there a long time. Certainly, a lot longer than the Merchants Bank of Canada, it lasted two years back in 1913, '15. Now, to the center of the universe, which was Mouat's store. It was where everything centered in the 1930s. Because that's where the wharf was, that's where the main store was. And they did everything, but before we go further, I'll just go through iterations. These are some of the railway ties, and pit rocks that were shipped off the island. This is the boarding house, that was the original store. And that, there it is there. This is an earlier view of course.

Audience member
Little parking lot there (laughter)

Bob Rush 47:48
They had a parking lot, yeah. And that's something else, this is the boarding house here. Another view of it, and it was later added on to, a real estate office initially. And I think the Bank of Montreal operated out of there at one time, initially. And I should have gone back to say that the boarding house was the original Mouat's store. And they bought it in 1907. And then they also bought a store from Reed Bittancourt operated further up towards the hill, towards the Creamery. They bought that in 1910, I think it was. And opened up the new store in 1912. Boarding house is still there, the water there, and additions put on. They were also a car dealership for the Ford Motor Company. And that's a rally, that's probably Mr. Bullock, there weren't too many people that wore hats like that. This is the interior here of Mouat's store (unintelligible), it's open! The stairs going up to the upstairs. It's another view (unintelligible) Okay, how are we fixed for time? Okay, I should elaborate though on Mouat's store, because it was the centre of the universe. They provided a wide range of goods and services, there was groceries, hardware, work-clothes, dry goods, shoes, sporting goods, guns, ammunition, stationary. They were the Ford dealership, as I mentioned, they were the Imperial oil agent. They also bought logs from the various loggers on the island. They bought eggs and farm produce from the farmers. They also looked after funerals, at one time. You name it, they had, and if they didn't have it, they would bring it in for you. They were closed two days a week. Sundays, of course. And Wednesdays. Later on, they were closed only half a day on Wednesdays. On Saturdays, they were open until eight o'clock. They delivered groceries. And it was great fun to go on the pickup trucks with the tailgate down and sit in the back, snuggled among the groceries, going around, helping them deliver. That was great fun. They had a feed shed down on the wharf. I think we have time to show a few photos of that later. And as I say, that was the centre of the universe as far as the island was concerned in the 1930s.

Frank Neumann
Because of the ice cream

Bob Rush 51:42
Oh! the ice cream (unintelligible) (laughter). Here's the wharf more or less as it looks today. That's what it looked like back then. I can't read the name of the boat (unintelligible). This is the Ganges wharf. And that's where you could pee. Right in (unintelligible). And this is the Iroquois, one of the earlier boats that served the island. And that was the big day, because that's when the mail came in, among other things. And here, the Mouat's started back up there, the feed shed, a big billboard in those days advertising cigarettes. Earlier version of the wharf. Princess Mary coming in. Again, an earlier version of it. And that's pretty well it.

Audience member
Motor princess at the dock.

Bob Rush 53:11
Motor princess was there, right, right. Okay, I guess that's, I'll leave it at that. There's much more I could say, but I hope you learned something from it anyway. Oh, I'm sorry, we'll open up for questions, if we have time.

Yeah, we have time.

Bob Rush 53:39
Okay. Okay. Brenda, you had a...

Audience member
Yeah, when did Mouat's boarding house come down, do you know?

Bob Rush 53:45
Um, it went through many versions after it was a boarding house, I think. It was added to at least substantially, Tom?

It was a bakery remember, it was the bakery uh, oh,

Bob Rush 54:03
There was a Mr. Baker, and a Mrs. Baker that operated it (laughter).

Oh, it must've been in the '50s, I think I was away when it came down.

Bob Rush 54:09
Tom thinks it was torn down perhaps in the 1950s, 50s.

McGills, sorry, the McGills family ran the bakery.

Bob Rush 54:16
Oh, the McGill's bakery was in there.

Yeah, and they used to run the bread across to Ben's lucky dollar, his store which was then in the basement of Mouat's, and which is now the housewares department and that was one of my earlier jobs as a stock boy down there when I was 14 or 15. And we, in those day we had to almost count on it getting flooded once a year by that high tide because the waves there will wash against the wall and come in. Now it's only usually pretty much only on El Nino years when you get a flood down there. When the El Nino conditions are on, there's warmer water, higher water,

Audience member
Near Christmas Day (laughter)

Yeah, right around Christmas Day. It still it, still happens. But yeah.

Bob Rush 55:16
I didn't get into this presentation into all the things that the Mouat’s had done. Tom could take a whole presentation on what he did with the development, building the new credit union and filling in this, creating parking in downtown Ganges for his clients and whatnot. So that's more recent history that I didn't take the time to go into. Any other questions?

Audience member
Are any of the buildings likely to be designated heritage, other than the one you identified?

Bob Rush 55:52
Well, Mahon Hall was proposed at one time to be designated heritage, but we don't have the government structure on the island to designate buildings as a heritage building, as I understand it. And I know that some buildings have been declared heritage buildings elsewhere, and they've regretted it, because there's limited things, they can do with it. They have to keep the exterior appearance, but they have to have a viable use inside to be able to carry on. So, it's a double-edged sword in a way. Any other questions?

There's very few heritage buildings in the Ganges that are designated as such, they’re... Unfortunately, we've lost a lot of the buildings, but they don't have a process really to designate buildings as heritage. This particular is interesting, this is probably the mid 60s because the motor princess used to come in twice a week from the other islands into Ganges and allow people to shop here and go back and forth. So, communication between the islands in those days was focused a bit on Salt Spring but it was easy to get to Galiano, Mayne or Pender, now try and get there (laughter) Anyhow, thanks, Bob. That was really good. That's our last program for this year. We'll see you all in September when you have renewed membership.