Saltair History

Dear Residents,

As you may know, at present we are in the process of finalizing the creation of a Saltair Community Society. Once the new Board is in place and a room at the former Mt. Brenton School has been identified, a group of dedicated volunteers will begin the daunting task of ‘reconstructing’ Saltair History….

We held our first organizational meeting early in 2016. At that time we developed a set of Community History Objectives, including an inventory of known documents, artifacts and historical structures within both the traditional and political boundaries of Saltair. Our CVRD Regional Director, Mel Dorey has already compiled a list of more than 30 individuals who have expressed interest in working on this exciting and significant local history project.

My plan is to divide the volunteers up into historical area activity groups who will consult with their family, friends and neighbours to locate as much knowledge about Saltair’s past as we can. We already have collected a fair amount of archival material from the Saltair Centennial Celebration held in Saltair Centennial Park in Mid August 2010. However, that material needs to be “accessed” and then securely stored in a temperature controlled environment as quickly as possible.

Once the History Project team has established a Strategic Plan through meeting and discussion with the new Saltair Community Society and with input from various community groups like the SDRA, the SWAC, PC, etc., development of our Museum and Archives will begin. Frankly, we are ‘late to the party’. I hope that we can post progress reports on this website and ask for additional input at SDRA meetings so that we can grow our list of both contributors and volunteers. Any help you can provide in this endeavour would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, Ed Nicholson

Saltair car
Miss Saltair, Lorna Maddin, riding in a 1959 Oldsmobile, owned by Ray Sundquist

Clem Ingram’s cougar hunting hound, and Ron Maddin. In the background is the Old Saltair Community building, built by Harold Mawson and Jim Szasz which burned to the ground. Photo submitted by Ron Maddin

miller creek 48
Cougar hunter, Clem Ingram (cougar is on front fender of car) 1951

Janet Roy, Anna Knudsen, and Janet Holland at Mount Brenton School 1957

miller creek 42
1952 Mount Brenton Students (front entrance of school)

1957 old school building was where the gym is on the newer school, before it was moved further down the property. That’s when we had a swing shift! Kids went to school in the morning and some went in the afternoon. Lemmy Johnson and myself (Ron Maddin) went fishing at Miller Creek in the morning. We could hardly get back in time for the afternoon class. Delinquent kids….. I guess!! Photo & text submitted by Rod Maddin

MADDIN’S MINK FARM, 1950’s Peggy Beggs, Dennis Beggs, Leon Beggs, small kids in the front row: Glenn and Lorna Maddin

BEGGS POND, Early 1960’s Left to right: Geff Nimmo, Vicki Tayler, Judy Nimmo , Bobby Dow and Fuzzy’s dog Gypsy, This pond existed before it was land filled and what you see today is where the new development is going in, just south of Byron’s Food Market

The Naming of Saltair

By Barbara Cole Walton, 2010

In the year 1910, when the mail was slow
With North Oyster above and South Oyster below,
Deliveries of letters got mixed up, delayed:
For the Post, it had been a confusing decade.

One might forgive Canada Post the confusion
That, maybe, arose from the sense of seclusion
To be naturally felt by a nameless post station
(‘Twas Canada’s first in a rural location.)

So E&N Rail held an open contest
To name this new station (and at once put to rest
The troubles that rose from a similar name
Being used for two places that weren’t the same.)

Mrs. Southin suggested the name be, ‘Saltaire’,
Derived from a seaside resort she’d thought fair.
Her win was an honest one, causing no strife.
(Though she was, it’s worth noting, the post master’s wife)

Now no one knows quite why they left off the ‘e’.
Perhaps the eighth letter brought with it a fee
For excessive word length on road signs and plaques;
Perhaps protracted place names incurred extra tax.

But nevertheless it was spelt then, as now,
Untouched by a century’s passing, somehow.
And when we come home from a day filled with care,
The signboard greets, “Welcome to Sunny Saltair”.

William and Eleanor Southin
William and Eleanor Southin
Outside Byrons
Original Saltair Post Office scales
Original Saltair Post Office scales

Community News and Events