Campell River, Vancouver Island Museum Photo Gallery

Mary /Molly-Timothy (nee Bob)

First Name: Mary /Molly
Last Name: Timothy (nee Bob)
Lived: 1891-1970
Nation: Sliammon
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Sliammon basket maker Mary/Molly Timothy (nee Bob), grew up in the village of Téshusm near the modern day community of Powell River.  She was one of several daughters born to Jeannie and Bob George, all of whom became basket makers.


Basket making traditions have very deep roots in this family. One of the baskets included in the inventory is a beautiful old bundle coil berry/cooking basket made by Mary’s maternal great grandmother who lived in Theodosia Arm. It is, perhaps, the oldest coil basket to have been documented from the northern Coast Salish area. Mary’s mother Jeanie Bob George was born about 1871.  Allowing 20 years per generation would mean that her great grandmother was born in the early1830’s.  Coil baskets are generally believed to be a fairly recent innovation on this part of the coast.  Some trace its origins to the late 1800’s when Sliammon women started travelling to Kamloops for Catholic prayer meetings and learned to how to make baskets using this new technique (Kennedy and Bouchard 1983:76).  The basket made by Molly’s great grandmother suggests that the origins may go back farther - at least to the mid 1800’s, if not earlier.


Mary married Jim ‘Lawsaw’ Timothy, brother of Sliammon Chief Tom Timothy. The couple had 16 children but only six lived to adulthood.  Mary and Lawsaw’s daughter Agnes Mcgee carried on the family tradition of basket making. 


Mary’s baskets are beautifully proportioned and finely made.  Her designs are  often complex.  The butterfly pattern seen on the baby basket below was a favourite motif used by Mary and her sisters, and by Mary’s daughter Agnes (Mcgee).  Mary’s grand-daughter, Elsie Paul commented that Mary made a great many picnic baskets like the one pictured here.


Mary Timothy died in 1970 at age 79 .


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