Tag Archives: Salt Spring Island

Revisiting the Salt Spring Island Archives

Part of the Charles Sampson collection from Salt Spring Island. Source: saltspringarchives.com

Salt Spring Island is a large island in the Salish Sea, close to Vancouver Island’s southeast corner (map).  Quite a while ago I highlighted the photographs of the “Bob Akerman” museum, which comes via the comprehensive Salt Spring Island archives.  There are a few other photo records of archaeological collections there which I thought were worth a quick look.  For example, the picture above from the Charles Sampson Collection shows some fairly spectacular ground slate points to the left, and what may be a Charles phase (ca. 4,000 year old)  contracting stem point to the bottom right.  It’s not just archaeological collections that the archives has going for it, though. Continue reading

Akerman Collection – Salt Spring Island

Stone Bowl from Akerman Museum

Stone Bowl from Akerman Museum

Salt Spring Island has a pretty active museum and archival society, by the looks of it – at least, they are putting a lot of pictures and documents online.  One thing which caught my eye was their photos of the Akerman Museum – which I take to be the private collection at the home of Bob Akerman.  This is a striking carved object (of which I wish there were more photographs) described as: Black stone that they claim had healing power. Shamans used it when they were visiting the sick. Though elsewhere, they show another object with a similar description which appears not to be worked much, if at all.  There’s no real documentation which is too bad — the stone tools in this picture, for example, strike me as more of a neolithic thing than a northwest coast one.  I hope they have the information somewhere.  This is an impressive metal celt, and it looks like he has a good collection of nephrite ones as well, though the picture is exceptionally poor.  (NB – bandwidth is not nearly so much of a concern these days, so don’t shrink your pictures so much!) There are lots of slightly unusual artifacts, like this collection of handstones. All around, it looks like Akerman has a great collection — I don’t want to think too much about where the archaeological material came from, or how he came to have it, and I’d like to think there is a shoebox full of notes somewhere — but all the same it is interesting to peruse and I’m glad the Salt Spring Archives have at least some documentation of it.

Another highlight of the site is Chris Arnett’s short, but lively and informative history of First Nations of Saltspring Island.