East Lighthouse

LIGHTHOUSE Displayed by Joan

Lighthouses are an iconic part of Canada.  They exist not only in the Maritimes but in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.   This lighthouse was fashioned after Peggy`s Cove built in Nova Scotia, my home province, in 1868.   The front is left open so that you can view the working and living quarters within.

The first lighthouses were simply bonfires on a land point signalling harbour entrances.  They were replaced by towers with beacons illuminated by candles, progressing to oil lamps, kerosene lamps and to the current electrification.  An apparatus was attached to the light to produce a different pattern of flashes to identify each lighthouse.

Duties of the lighthouse keeper included the traditional “keeping of the light“, maintaining radio communications and beacons, tending fog alarms and providing rescue service and sanctuary.  Today, automation has replaced the traditional lighthouse keeper.  The man living with his family at a light house station in a remote place has been replaced by a helicopter and a travelling technician.

Many of the structures are being destroyed because, although they played an important role in our history, they are too costly to maintain. Today in Canada, there are 750 lighthouse structures.  Some are still navigational aids, while others have been turned in to museums and tourist sights.

Early Church

CHURCH – On loan from Marcel

Modeled about six years ago after Our Lady of the Assumption, one of the first Churches on the Island.  Marcel does maintenance for the parish that includes Our Lady of the Assumption and while redoing the front doors, he decided to make a model.

Quoted from the internet:   “In 1865, Father Mandart, a Breton, was ordained for the Victoria Diocese. He is credited as being the real founder of the Saanich Mission. On his arrival he fashioned a church and home from a large fallen tree with upturned roots. With help from the First Nations people of the area, he then built a small church, which was later blessed and dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin by Bishop Seghers in 1876. Upon Father Mandart’s recall to Victoria in 1886, priests from the Cathedral served the Saanich Mission.

In 1893, one year after his ordination in Europe, Father Adrian Joseph Vullinghs performed his first baptism in Saanich. Apparently he had found Father Mandart’s original 20 x 26 foot church, built of logs with squared timbers for pews; an altar of paper and living quarters consisting of two small cold rooms at the back of the church. He served the area from 1893 to 1909 and built the present church and residence on West Saanich Road.”



What better place to find history than in a cemetery.  Not everyone likes cemeteries but I love macabre and am especially fascinated with Ross Bay Cemetery, one of the oldest in Victoria.

It can be a great place to learn about local history and genealogy.   Most of them are carefully laid out with paths, trees and benches.  On a beautiful afternoon, you can walk amongst the graves to observe the grave markers and learn about the community through the people resting there.

You can find the resident’s date of birth and death, and often relationships with others (recorded ones only) and other family members.  From the grave marker you might also find other clues about them such as “she was a friend to all“ or pictures of symbols that tell you more, like a tugboard, a guitar or a poker hand.

The carving style and material used in a grave marker may identify the monument maker.  The symbols used identify religious denominations, ethnic groups, social classes, and occupations. A larger and more elaborate grave marker probably marks a wealthy or person of status in the community.  A simple white cross often marks a soldier’s grave.

A cemetery is generally a quiet place, and people are respectful when visiting there.  However, I have no idea what happened to interrupt the burial taking place here and why is a ghost lingering there.  Does he know he’s dead, and if so, why linger here when he could be out haunting the living?

Farm House

FARM HOUSE displayed by Carol J.

 This farm house would have been owned by a family at a time when modern amenities were available in rural areas.

Earlier homes may have been soddy huts or built with roughly hewn wood and have neither electricity or running water . They would have been lit by coal oil lamps, heated with wood stoves, and the bathroom facilities would have been out-houses.

The kitchen was usually the most important room in the farmhouse. It offered country comfort where a large, farm-to-table style meal could be prepared and enjoyed after a day of working outdoors. Many had front porches, open or enclosed depending on the location, and were designed to function in a rural farm setting.

In 2011, Canada had 205,730 farms that produced agriculture products for resale.