Thursday, July 03, 2014

Island Stories



 So many islands dot this part of the globe. Some are large, some small. Each one has stories to tell. In my last post I mentioned our boating trip to Russell Island. The island was home to Hawaiian immigrants beginning in the 1870s. In 1901 Maria Mahoi inherited the island from her father who had cleared land for strawberries and planted an orchard. Maria and her husband built a house, the corner of which you see above. Just beyond is the water tower. 
 

Maria's island home is part of Canada's national park system. But each summer her descendants return to tell stories from the past. They live in the house and welcome visitors. No strawberries patch remains and much of the cleared land is covered with ferns, salal and tall fir trees. 

Wildflowers bloom along the path that circles this small island. The old wells have been capped and fresh water is brought from Saltspring Island. Maria served as midwife for women on Saltspring, paddling 15 minutes across the water. In the days before telephones and radios, I wonder how she was summoned. 
 

An old bicycle leans against a tree, picturesque in the dappled sunlight. If islands could be colour-coded, this one would be green. 
 

Maria raised her children on the island. Now her grandchildren and great grandchildren return to keep the past alive. Did they, too, play in the grassy clearing, pretending to be airplanes to entertain a Little Miss?

20 comments:

Siddhartha Joshi said...

Wonderful shots Lorrie...the green is so good! Coming from inland India, I hardly ever get to see islands...
-- Srinagar: the city of seven bridges

Marigold Jam said...

Beautiful and interesting. Shouldn't care to sit on that bike though!

cucki said...

Wow it's so beautiful and very interesting x

materfamilias said...

There really are so many interesting small islands here, each with wonderful stories -- I didn't know of Russell Island nor of these Hawaiian immigrants. Thanks for sharing your research and your beautiful photos!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

That was interesting and I think it is nice that descendants keep their ancestral stories alive.

ann said...

What a pretty place to visit and a nice way to preserve a family heritage.

Heather Robinson said...

Just lovely Lorrie. Thank you...

Christa atCedarmereFarm said...

What a sweet post, Lorrie. Great photos too. Have a nice weekend.

Friko said...

There is so much beauty in Canada, no wonder Canadians are so friendly. How could you not be in such a setting.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

It is a beautiful spot indeed.
We were out on our boat last weekend and visited Thetis Island...love these excursions. Feels so relaxed out on the ocean.

elizabeth said...

How lovely that the island has remained in the family's ownership. I thought the little house looked very inviting.

aimee said...

LOVED this post Lorrie--places such as this one intrigue me!
Blessings,
Aimee

kyllimarjaana said...

Sweet and interesting story. Millions of storys in the old places. Like to know these.

Vee said...

They, and bloggers like yourself, keep the stories alive. I'm sure that a book could be written.

Decor To Adore said...

What a truly picturesque spot! It is impossible for me to choose a favorite image as they are all so lovely.

Pamela Gordon said...

That is so interesting Lorrie. And beautiful photos too. I agree 'green' is the colour for the island. Beautiful!

Poppy said...

Intriguing island story, Lorrie. The last photo is so inspirational, as is the history of this family and its beautiful, green paradise.

Poppy

Pondside said...

That was interesting, Lorrie. I've read bits and pieces about the Hawaiian settlers on Saltspring, but knew nothing of Russell Island. It sounds like you're having a lot of fun with your boat!

Donna said...

What a delightfully sweet post.

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Well you have educated me on some British Columbia history that I never knew about, Hawaiian's settling on the Gulf Islands?! How very interesting and lovely photographs, thank you Lorrie!