General · 21st February 2010
Jaci McPhee, Anna Nickoloff and Bailey Hawkins of Quadra School have formed a History Club to search for clues from our past. The girls, with their mentor, historian Jeanette Taylor, will post articles and photos about their discoveries on a new page on the The Gumboot called History Ramblings.
On their first ramble, the club took Lisa Chason of CR, the great granddaughter of three pioneer families, to see their former homesteads. Their first stop was the Walter and Mary Joyce farm at Francisco Point, known locally as The Jones Farm. Lisa's great-grandfather homesteaded the place in 1889. Nowadays it's home to caretaker Jim and his lively family of goats.
A highlight for the day was the visit to Kellerhals's farm in Hyacinthe Bay, homesteaded by 'Skookum Tom' Leask in 1889. Tom and his Haida wife Maggie died prematurely, leaving a young family. Henry, the eldest, kept the family together for a year but they lived in such dire poverty they had to be committed to an orphanage. Lisa's grandmother, who was six at the time, described these experiences in detail for a book Lisa hopes to publish. It was a thrill for her to finally get to see the farm.
Jeanette and the 'History Girls' have since had an outing to Cortes Island to see old homesteads and to give a slide show to the kids at Linneae School. Watch for postings about this trip on The Gumboot, followed by stories about the lives of island children from the past.