Diary of George Blair, 1862
We arrived in Victoria [from Lillooet] in eighteen days found the place greatly improved since we came into it twenty months ago two thirds of the houses on the principle streats are billiard salloons or whiskey shops Some of the salloons has six tables in them and richelly furnished with lounges seats and the walls covered with pictures and mirrers, Stoped about five week in town and then went to Salt Spring Iseland about forty miles from Victoria and lived there until the twenty sixth of February.
Salt Spring is about thirty miles in circumference there is but very little good land on it Cattle and hogs lived on What they Could pick up all Winter and Ware fat. When I left the grass was begining to grow and the leaves to Start then the hogs live on fern roots which grow very thick and and long Some places it is almost impossible to Wade through them Raising hogs and Cattle in the prinicible occupation of the inhabitants of the Iseland there are panthers on the Iseland they kill a great many of the hogs and Some times young Cattle there is also Deer grouse and pheasants, ducks and geese Swarme in the numerous inlets that indent the Iseland but they are so fishey and tough that they are worthless one Would Want a patent Set of teeth to masticate them there Was no Snow after the first of Jamuary but a great quantity of rain
We lived in a Cuppin [cabin] with a Chap named Sparrow a Norwegian an Original Sort of a Coon, a Shell back by profession and a good pen's mon as far as the art of writing goes He had once been Quarter maste[r] on board an American Government Surveying vessel on this Coast which made him very concenty [conceited] he owned a Ranch of two hundred Acres if it was paid for Six hogs a cat Dog a double barrell gam [gun] and Riffle With great quantity of Carpenters tools and other implements whcih he did not know how to use, like Many others he though he had the head if only he had the Means to cary on extensive buisiness in the farm line his Mother Was the handsomest Woman in Norway and he Was the only one of the family that looked like her he though himself Very Clean but never used a dish cloth but his Briti[sh] flag. We left our Host with his hog Ranch on the 23rd of Februrary and came to Victoria and left ther on the 27 for the Carrboo [Cariboo].