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BC Historical Books

History and topography of Okanagan : for the active militia in camp, May 1914 Longstaff, F. V. (Frederick Victor), 1879-1961 1914

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History and
Topography of
CAMP, MAY 1914.
CORPS OF GUIDES  History and
Topography of
CAMP, MAY 1914.
Vernon, B.C., May, 1914
Mission  Settlement,
situated just North of Kelowna.
This dates from about 186 0, and in
1877 there were 17 families, principally of half-breeds speaking French,
two French priests, a church, school
and mission buildings. Mr. Joseph
Christien reached the Okanagan in
1861 and settled near the Mission,
coming via Hope.
Okanagan Lake
is 69 miles long. West side is more
heavily timbered than the East. It
seldom freezes over, but has been
known to do so.
So called from the very cold spring
which rises there. In 1864 Mr. F. G.
Vernon and Mr. C. Vernon began
gold mining on Cherry Creek, (to
East of Lumby) but soon after
started farming and stock raising on
1000 acres on what is now the famous fruit ranch.
B. X. Creek.
About   1866   Mr.   F.   G.   Barnard
obtained the B. X. Ranch four miles North-east of Vernon, which he used
to raise horses for working the B. X.
Express service on the Cariboo Road.
About 1866, Mr. C. O'Keefe and
Mr. T. Greenhow settled at the head
of Okanagan Lake. They brought
cattle from Oregon. For a long
period the nearest Post Office was at
Ducks, fifty miles North. About
1876 a Post Office was established at
Mr. O'Keefe's place and named
On a Dominion Geological Map,
dated 1888, by G. M. Dawson, the
name "Priest Valley" is given to the
spot where the City of Vernon now
stands. At the same time the name
Vernon is given to the spot where
the Coldstream Ranch now stands.
In 1885, Mr. W. R. Megaw established the first general store in the
Okanagan, and the usual cross road
village came slowly into being. Before this the Hudson's Bay Company
had a store here.
Another Cherry Creek miner was
Luc Girouard, a "forty-niner" who
became possessed of the land upon
which part of the City of Vernon now
stands. He was Vernon's first postmaster.
In 1890 the land was laid out as
a townsite.    In 1891 the Coldstream Ranch was bought by Lord Aberdeen. In 1892 the Shuswap and
Okanagan Railway was completed.
In 1893 the town was incorporated.
This means a Grizzly bear. The
land belonged to B. L. Lequime &
Co. who were located at Okanagan
Mission. The same firm started in a
store at the present site of Kelowna
in 1893.
Dnck Lake.
This is situated about 25 miles
South of Vernon, on the East side of
the road to Kelowna. The Hon.
Price Ellison owns much of the land
here and the school district is called
after him. He mined at Cherry
Creek in 1876, afterwards taking up
farming near Vernon and becoming
the largest producer of wheat in
B. C. Elected to Provincial Legislature in 189 8. He is now Provincial
Minister of Finance and Agriculture.
After Moses Lumby, an early settler
of Spallumcheen Valley, and a moving spirit in construction of Okanagan and Shuswap Railway. Died
in 1893 while serving as the Provincial Governm&ht Agent at Vernon.
It is a large exporter of hay and
there are many French-Canadians
settled here. Armstrong.
In 1891 many inhabitants from
Lansdowne moved to the railway
and formed the town, named after
Mr. Armstrong, who purchased most
of the bonds of the Shuswap and
Okanagan Railway. It is situated
on the divide between the watersheds of the Fraser and the Columbia rivers.
Mr. G. R. Lawes was an early settler on the spot'in 1885. Named
after a place mentioned in a song,
"Ring Out the Brides of Enderby,"
which was sung in Mr. Lawes' house.
Incorporated 1905. A. L. Fortune,
oldest settler in Northern Okanagan,
who came overland from the East,
took up land in 1863.
At South end of Okanagan Lake.
About 187 7 Mr. T. Ellis had a fine
farm known as Penticton on the
East side of the river. Mr. A. H.
Wade started the first store in 1883.
At that time goods had to come in
via Hope, up the Cariboo Road.
Townsite laid out 1892. Town was
incorporated 1909. An early steamer
on Okanagan Lake was built in 1890
by Mr. Ellis and called "Penticton."
It was 23 feet long and used coal oil
for fuel. Peachland
came into being during 1897 through
the energy of Mr. J. M. Robinson.
was formed in  1906, also being organized by Mr. J. M. Robinson.
The Okanagan Pack Trail.
In 1821 the Hudson's Bay Company entered into British Columbia
(then known as New Caledonia), not
by the building of trading posts, but
by the amalgamation of the two
concerns (Northwest Company and
Hudson's Bay Company) under the
name of the Hudson's Bay Company.
The first traders received their supplies from the East, overland from
Fort William on Lake Superior and
across the Prairie by canoe and
portage and so to Fort St. James on
Stuart Lake. The Pacific Fur Company had shown the feasibility of
taking supplies from the coast to the
interior of the Thompson District, by
way of the Columbia River to Fort
Okanagan (now in U. S.) and thence
by pack horses overland via Okanagan River, Okanagan Lake and
Grande Prairie to Fort Thompson
(now Kamloops). In 1821 this
route was adopted for carrying supplies to the forts in New Caledonia,
a distributing depot being established at Alexandria on the Fraser,
North   of   Kamloops.     In   1841   the Thompson district was added to New
Caledonia. In 1842 the records
show that pack trains of 200 to 3 00
horses used in this route wintered
round Fort Kamloops. In the summer of 1858, Mr. Tucker, formerly
of Tehama, California, who had arrived at the Forks (now Lytton) in
a company of 16 0 men and 400 pack
animals from the Dalles, had been
30 days on the trip and had a severe
fight with the Indians on the road at
Fort Okanagan, in which they lost
three killed and wounded.
After the discovery of gold on the
Thompson in 185 8 a new class of
people came in and a totally different class of conditions was created.
The Cariboo Road was completed
about 1864, and this put an end to
the use of the Okanagan Pack Trail.
In 1875-76 a Government wagon
road was built from Kamloops to
Okanagan Mission. The C. P. R.
track came through the North end
of the district in 1885, and the first
through train from the East on the
7th November, 1885.
Soon after 1870 Barnard's Express stage ran to Okanagan Mission
via Kamloops from the coast. TOPOGRAPHY OF COUNTRY SITU-
About the North end of Okanagan
Lake is an extensive region characterized by broad open valleys,
separated by lower ranges of hills,
and affording not only fine, stock
ranges, but much arable and fruit
land. The valley holding Okanagan
Lake is continued N.N.E. for thirty
miles to the southern extremity of
the Spallumcheen Arm of the many
armed Shuswap Lake. This is known
• as the Spallumcheen Valley and is
occupied by the. towns of Enderby
and Armstrong. By it, as before
mentioned, the Shuswap basin has
originally been drained to the Columbia River.
Running N.W. from the head of
Okanagan Lake is a second wide
valley, which in eight miles leads to
the elbow of the Salmon River, and
there divides into three valleys of
equal width to itself. One running
for some miles nearly parallel to the
Spallumcheen Valley, eventually
unites with it; a second runs northward to the Salmon Arm of Shuswap
Lake, and is folowed by the lower
portion of the Salmon River. The
third carries the upper part of the
same river and extends westward to
Grande Prairie. The Coldstream Valley, which
runs eastward from near the head of
Okanagan Lake, is the last of these
great depressions and will first be
Two miles North-east from the
North end of Long Lake (now Kala-
malka Lake) is the famous Coldstream Ranch (established about
1865 by Mr. F. G. Vernon and first
used for stock raising) from the
large springs which here issue, giving rise at once to a brook of some
size, which flows into Long Lake.
The wide Coldstream Valley is in
connection westward, by low ground,
both with Long and Okanagan
The water supply for the City of
Vernon is drawn from the B. X.
Creek which flows down the Northwest slope of Aberdeen Mountain
which is eleven miles North-east
from Vernon City.
The following lakes flow into
Okanagan Lake: Long, Swan, Goose
and Otter. Okanagan Lake is five
feet higher in the spring and early
summer than in the fall by reason
of water from melting snow on the
high lands.
The water from the Shuswap Lake
flows west to the Strait of Georgia
via the South Thompson and the
Fraser Rivers. That from Okanagan
Lake flows south by the river of the same name, to the Columbia River
in the United States, whence it flows
west to the Pacific Ocean.
The present water parting between the Fraser and the Columbia
River systems is at Armstrong,
where less than a mile separates
Wright Creek (Fraser) from Deep
Creek (Columbia). Five miles to
the North-west of O'Keefe is Round
Lake, on the road to Kamloops, via
Grande Prairie and Ducks, which is
on the water parting between Salmon River (Fraser) and Deep Creek
(Columbia). Again Lumby is just
over the divide from the Columbia
system in that of the Fraser, as Bis-
sett Creek flows via Shuswap River,
Mabel Lake, and Shuswap River into
Shuswap Lake.
The four miles of valley between
Vernon and Okanagan Landing is
closely cultivated and much split up
with fences.
The range country to the Northwest of Vernon is about 9 miles long
and'goes up to 2600 feet above.sea
level. It is from two to three miles'
wide and the west side is an Indian
Reserve. There is a short-cut road
across the North end of these hills
via Goose Lake to the Indian Village
at the head of the West arm of
Okanagan Lake.
The country to the South-west of
the camp along the Kelowna road is
called The Commonage and contains about 25,000 acres. It is high bench
land, and the sides adjacent to the
lakes being very abrupt. The height
of the land is about 1300 feet above
the lakes. It is owned by the ranchers of the district; probably one-
sixth of this area is under cultivation. Owing to the number of
ranches into which it is cut up, there
are numerous fences, chiefly of the
"A" type, but which are gradually
being replaced by the barbed wire
Grande Prairie
is a very old farming settlement on
the way to Kamloops from Okanagan Lake. It is 32 miles from Vernon City and about 16 miles Southeast of Ducks on the main line of the
C. P. R. The valley of the Salmon
River running West to East, widens
out to form the Prairie, an area of
flat land some thousand acres in extent, on which some good farms are
placed. This is evidently the filled
up or drained bed of a lake. The
elevation is about 2000 feet and irrigation here again becomes necessary.
The road to Kamloops via Ducks
turns North at the Prairie and passing Monte Lake at 2300 feet, descends to 1157 feet in sixteen miles,
through a drift-blocked valley.
There is a road about twenty
miles from Salmon Arm to Armstrong, which comes via Canoe and
Sicamous to—
Vancouver City   	
Montreal City	
Vernon City	
26 y2
Okanagan Landing   	
Vernon City to—
Lumby P. O.   (E)	
Blue Springs   (E)	
Cherry Creek (E)	
Kelowna P. 0.  (S)	
Grande Prairie  (N.W) ....
Okanagan  Landing   (S.W.)
O'Keefe Ranch   (N)	
Round Lake (N)	
Okanagan Centre (S)	
Coldstream Ranch  (E)....
Approximate Only.
Shuswap  Lake—
High water	
. .1154
Low water   	
Sicamous   Station   	
. .1160
Vernon City   	
Okanagan Lake—
High  water   	
. .1138
Low  water   	
. .1133
Long Lake   	
Aberdeen   Mountain    6100
Swan Lake    1288
Larkin  Station 1330
Armstrong Station 1189
Enderby  Station    1165
Coldstream Ranch 1576
O'Keefe   Ranch    1200     VERNON


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