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Farms Farmers Farming 1859-1939


The editorial team from the Salt Spring Farmers Heritage Foundation (SSFHF) who brought you this book will be at Central Hall Wednesday, September 14, at 2:00 pm, for the first meeting of the season of the Salt Spring Historical Society.


Early Salt Spring depended on agriculture from the hard-scrabble beginnings of preemption pioneer farmers who cleared the land and planted potatoes and fruit trees between the stumps to the turn of the century when Salt Spring was the bread basket of the province.

Stratton says at that time, “Statistics on the production of island orchards are fragmentary but the few which are available are suggestive. Henry Bullock is said to have shipped 2-3,000 boxes (40 lbs. each) in a good year and Ed Lee up to 2,000 boxes. Trage was shipping from 1800 to 2400 boxes of apples per year between 1898 and 1902.“


The text for the book was written by Mort Stratton former chair of the History Department of Denison University in Ohio. Stratton was passionate about agriculture stemming from his roots at Wynnor Farm in Chester County, outside of Philadelphia. When he retired to Salt Spring Island, Stratton joined the Historical Society and spent many hours researching the history of agriculture here.

Stratton had hoped to publish the manuscript but he passed away in 2010 before he could do so. Just when the SSFHF opened the discussion of contacting the family and making the book a reality John Stratton, son of the writer appeared with a stack of his father’s hand written notes, footnotes, references, and sources linked to the manuscript. He heartily supported the plan to publish his father’s work.


Usha Rautenbach worked tirelessly to index the book and provide background information about the author and the background of agriculture on Salt Spring. Salt Spring Archives provided over seventy photographs to illustrate the manuscript. Many of these will be displayed on the big screen as the SSFHF tells the story of the birth of the book.


Copies of the book will be available after the performance

September 14th, 2016 at 2 PM,
Central Hall

All are welcome.
Free or by donation

*Contribute to the Archives by putting grocery tapes from Country Grocer into Box 131.

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