History of the Joyce Homestead

Alfred Joyce on Cayuse

The property at the south end of Quadra Isl. (then Valdes Isl.) was settled in 1889 by Alfred and Anna Joyce. The Joyces set about clearing much of the 140 acres on the claim. They originally built a log home which was replaced in 1905 by the two storey frame house which still remains. Maple Bank, as the Joyces called their place, was to prove a successful family farm by Quadra standards. They kept beef and dairy cattle, sheep and poultry; and grew vegetables, flowers and fruit. Anna was an avid gardener who received letters asking for cuttings, seeds and advice about horticulture indicating that she ran a bit of a nursery.

The following is an excerpt from a speech given by Alfred Joyce given at the Heriot Bay Hotel in 1906 and published in the Columbia Coast Mission Newsletter. He Said: "It is well known that my wife does most of the farming, at least, she thinks so, for she generally bosses the job, and I must admit that she is perfectly capable of doing it. Our island can, and does, produce any kind of fruit, vegetable and many kinds of grain that are grown in this northern climate. The soil is rich and all products grow rapidly, and none are superior. I think, however, that nowhere on earth can be found better fishing grounds than those in our waters, our lakes contain the finest trout and our salt waters are the feeding ground of every marketable fish on the coast. Our salmon have a world wide reputation for sweetness of meat. ... As a hunter's and fisher's paradise, Valdes Island has no equal. So here's to Valdes Islands' Fishing and Farming.

  History of Quadra Island B.C.
After Alfred died in 1927 Anna (Granny Joyce) continued to run Maple Bank Farm for another 25 years passing at the age of eighty-seven in 1954. She founded The Women's Institute on the island and taught her own seven children before she was instrumental in establishing a central school opening in 1905. Only trails existed from one home to another and Mrs. Joyce saw them develop into roads from one end of the island to the other. During the first years of settling , their grocery supplies came from Victoria. In 1904 the early families were able to row to Comox as a store was established there. The farm suffered from summer water shortages and Anna Joyce was forced to haul water in coal oil cans from a spring down a steep bank for her rose gardens- her special pride.

Granny Joyce decapitates a chicken.

 James ottery Anna Joyce Alfred Joyce Homestead History Quadra Island B.C. Canada

 An archival collection was donated to the Campbell River Museum and Archives in 1977 and is accessioned as 77-9 Joyce Collection.
Photographs courtesy of the Museum at Campbell River # CRM6487, CRM5684

 Thanks to Jeanette Taylor for researching historical information about the Joyce farm and family.

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