|The village of Ganges, BC, is located in about the middle of Salt Spring
Island. Most businesses on Salt Spring Island are located in or near Ganges. Ganges is a popular destination for
boaters from all over the Pacific North West. There are several private marinas in Ganges Harbour in addition to
the BC Government dock. While Ganges has always had a nautical feel to it, the addition of the ex-Coast Guard buoy
"Delta 10" with a with a marine mural really emphasizes this.
The famous Landmark Mural on a retired can buoy is a "must see" while in Ganges. The buoy used to mark a spot
420 km up the coast at a location known to the Coast Guard as Delta 10 near Skeena River. It now marks the
entrance to Centennial Wharf in Ganges, BC. There are Orcas, salmon, cod, an octopus seals and other marine life
adorning the buoy, as well as a Coast Guard cutter and kayaks. The mural depicts what would be seen on and
below the water near Salt Spring Island.
The Landmark Mural was painted by Amarah K. Gabriel and Timothy Hume of The Art Angels.
|The Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings is a great place to meet local artists, crafts people and
vegetable growers. There are three gas stations, two large grocery stores, eight art galleries, two banks and a
credit union, and dozens of other businesses right in Ganges. Two companies have scheduled float-plane service to
Vancouver, and a water taxi company with scheduled service to Galiano and Mayne Islands as well as 24 hour
emergency service. Lady Minto Hospital is located in Ganges. There is an RCMP detachment to provide policing. The
Fire Department main hall is in Ganges. With Salt Spring Island being such a popular destination, there are five
real estate companies and dozens of agents to look after the needs of buyers and sellers. Salt Spring Island now
has a population of over ten thousand. Moderated by the surrounding water, Salt Spring Island has mild winters and
a summer that goes on for ever but rarely gets too hot. There are three building suppliers and a major hardware
store in and near Ganges.
|Orcas can sometimes be seen cruising the waters around Salt Spring Island. Harbour Seals are
always present. Sea lions are occasional visitors. A number of fishermen make Salt Spring Island their home and
many of them tie up in Ganges at Centennial - otherwise known as the "Government Dock."
Salt Spring Island Sailing Club is just a few
minutes from Ganges and is visible from Centennial Park across the water.
Where did Ganges get its name?
It is named after the British naval ship HMS Ganges. The first HMS Ganges was built in England and launched in
1782, and finally broken up in 1816. The second HMS Ganges, that visited Salt Spring Island, was built in in
Bombay, India. construction was of Malabar teak. She was launched on November 10, 1821. She sailed to Portsmouth,
England, in 1822 for fitting out and was commissioned in 1823. The HMS Ganges was in the Pacific region from 1857
to 1861. During this three year commission, she sailed 60,100 nautical miles. She was the flagship of the Pacific
Squadron under Rear Admiral Sir Robert Lambert Baynes. The proper name for Mt. Maxwell is Baynes Peak. Fulford
Harbour is named after Captain John Fulford. After a period as a training ship and a hospital ship, she was
finally broken up in 1929. You can read more of the history of the HMS Ganges at the following site: HMS Ganges Association
The Ganges Museum is located in the Bittancourt House on the grounds of the Farmers' Institute at 351 Rainbow
Road. John Fulker can be contacted at 250-537-4895 to view the museum.
Tom Wright is the president of the Historical Society. The archives are downstairs in the Mary Hawkins Library
and is open on Thursday mornings 9:30 to 11:30. Contact Mary Davidson at 250-653-4357 for more information visit