Okanagan Explosion

By: Maddie McKay

History Of Orchards In The Okanagan Valley


In 1880, Father Pandosy was the first to plant apples in the oblate mission and it all took off from there. Few years later, the grape industry took off as early as 1905 all over the Okanagan valley. A important contributor W.J. Wilcox planted about 3/4 of a acre of a variety of grapes in Salmon Arm in 1907, which later expanded to 2 acres which was sold in hotels all around the valley. in 1921, machines were introduced and made life of a orchardist a whole lot easier. the machines were used for apples which led to trucks shipping them away to stores to be sold. In the late 1930's it was all done by train, then was split into 2 loads. 1 was the straight load which was mainly for 1 type of apple / grapes and 2nd was mixed which was a wide variety of all apples and grapes and any other fruit which people wanted to sell.


Later, the growing industry expanded to many acres but also the fruit that was planted and was open to the public and sold for people in the community and all over to taste the magic. Also it is important to remember the people who started it all, people in the community are acknowledged and so are the people who started the fruit growing companies. Still even in 2015 was still use the same methods as the people like father pandosy would have in the 1800's. Most importantly the Okanagan valley has great growing seasons and fertile soil which makes it an ideal place to produce food.

Roles Of The Okanagan Brigade Trail Development For Orchards

The Okanagan Fur Brigade trail was a trail that connected the north and the south together so settlers could come to transport goods back and forth from the valley to all over Canada. It played a role in the development of orchards because it provided settlers to see the land that the Okanagan had and how fertile the soil is to be able to plant orchards and for not only the fruit to be successful but also the people who planted it can be able to sell them

Early European Profile: J.W Hughes


J.W Hughes was the first to grow a large scale commercial grapes in the Okanagan valley in the 1920's in which he sold them to wineries all over the valley. in 1926 is when he first started growing the varieties. He owned 45 acres of land in the mission which expanded to 75 in 1933. Over the years he bought over 300 acres of land to plant grapes. Once the wide varieties grew to the point of selling, they were shipped out all over the valley. He was the first to sell his grapes and one of the earliest. When the time came to a end he sold his vines to all his workmen because he knew they would keep the business going strong

~Reasons for settlement

J.W Hughes was not he only settler that thought the Okanagan was a good place to settle but they all had the same reasons for it. The Okanagan had lots of land to grow on, acres upon acres of free land space for orchardists to buy and begin a business. We have good growing seasons from hot sunny summers to cold snowy winters which provides good growing seasons for all fruits. And lastly we have very fertile soil which makes fruits and other foods easy to produce


He had many accomplishments in the valley but only some were truly important. In 1887 J.W Hughes was pronounced and awarded the father of the grape industry because of the varieties he planted and sold and all the acres he owned. Also the first vineyards he planted in the mission in 1926 was very successful. He was the guy who started the grape industry going again in 1920.


J.W Hughes name still lives today because he did so many impressive things with the orchards and its history. The main one was when the fall of the grape industry went down in history he found a way to make it possible for it to come back, and so he did. In 1920 J.W Hughes started back up the grape industry which is still used today to produce wines all over B.C. I think his legacy should live on for many years to come because it shows how much dedication it takes to put time into something your truly interested in

Driving Question

~What was the impact of the early Europeans on the growth and development of the Okanagan Valley?

~The impact J.W Hughes had on the growth and development of the Okanagan Valley was he was the initial creator of the first scale commercial grape owner in the Okanagan Valley in the late 1920's to wineries all around the valley and around B.C. He provided a way of development because of the orchards he had and it attracted tourists around the world into the valley and it continued to grow and produce since the 1920's. With all the orchards from grapes to any fruit it made more people want to settle in the Okanagan for the views and the land that we had and have to provide.

Interesting Facts

~He moved originally from Alberta to the Okanagan for the land in 1908

~didn't just grow Fruits he also grew flowers of all kinds

~He was well known for the largest grape and raspberry grower