Thursday, December 04, 2014

Long Harbour on Salt Spring Island BC

Thanks for the memories talking about eating lamb.
It just came up and reminded me of my sheep ranching days
This Ariel photo is from the 1950's when I used to spend summers there

The spread 
Large 2 story almost log cabin/country home left of the pier
Caretaker to the right
Three sheep barns that are hard to see off the clearing behind
High tide would come into the enclosed patio on the water

My grandfather was a retired (ship captain) gentleman sheep rancher and grandma looked after the purebreds along with most of the other household chores. They had a house in Seattle but spent close to six months at "Long Harbor".  I guess they could call it Long Harbour because they owned the whole 900 acre peninsula. Perfect way to corral livestock is put a fence up across the base of the peninsula and the water does the rest.

So my parents would get rid of me and ship me off to the grand parents for the summer and I couldn't have been happier. Me and Pete, my best friend the Black Lab. We walked the beaches, the dirt roads and went crab fishing in the row boat.

Neighbors were an interesting character that lived just outside their property gate. He built a 3 level log cabin up the hill with dirt floors ... that's all I remember about him or the house.  Not a rich man at all but my grandparents liked interesting people.  Also "birders"  like in Audubon Society.  Grandma was one and her friend had an Eagles nest next to her house and binoculars. 

I remember soft boiled eggs (English style), dry English mustard and the best English butter cookies that I would hide in the dresser to eat later.  Really liked that squeeze thing to squirt out a star shaped cookie.

Long Harbour

So back to the eating of lamb chops or rack of lamb. I made a comment because every spring we would go out on the tractor and gather up abandoned lambs and bring them back and bottle feed them for close to a month.  A little hard to think of eating them  They were almost pets after a month but forget you as soon as they can survive without the milk. They grazed in the field but also were grain fed. Sheep are not real smart.

Old enough we cut the tails off, slapped tar on the wound and kicked them out with the others. Shearing the adults was another interesting project but required professionals. Salt Spring was quite a sheep raising intensive place back then .... I don't think so much anymore. Professional shearers may be hard to find now days.

Those two Islands in the harbor were supposed to go to my dad ... but they somehow got lost.  Would have been only a money pit anyway so welcome to whomever owns them now.

Now a million bucks to buy anything in the area .... so farmland in Mexico is my choice !!!


Steve Cotton said...

Ah! One of my favorite sailing spots in the summer.

sparks said...

We sailed Puget Sound and up to the US San Juans .... but never made it to the Canadian side

Karl said...

Saltspring lamb still a big item in BC. Quite pricey, but I guess that is partially due to the land values

sparks said...

Guess I figured there would be no more room for them. Maybe they don't get out as much as they used to

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

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