Okanagan Explosion

Delaney Douglas Blk G

Origins & Dates

- The first trees appear to be planted by Hiram F. "Okanagan" Smith in 1857

- In 1862 the Oblate farmers planted apples at heir Mission near present day Kelowna

- The History of Fruit Growing in the B.C Interior says the first apple trees in the Indian Reserve at Inkameep were planted in 1878.

-Francis X. Richter planted three orchards, the first at about 1880.

- Earl and Countess of Aberdeen visited and bought 13,000 acres at the north end of the valley 480 acres on the shores of Okanagan lake which was turned into orchards.

- the earliest recorded date of grapes in the Okanagan was in 1905 at the Canada Department of Agriculture Research Station, Summerland.

-Machinery was first introduced to the first industry in 1921. It was a grading machine that dumped apples on a sorting table.

-J.W Hughes bought forty-five acres to get he grape business going in 1928

-Shortly after Charlie Casorso planted a vineyard in the Ellison area

Role of the Fur Brigade Trail

The Fur Brigade trail was crucial to the development of agriculture in the Okanagan valley because it helped them import and export their fruit, seeds and flowers. It also helped people discover and settle in the Okanagan and with them the growers businesses wouldn't have flourished as much as it did. It was a form of transportation for a lot of people. Both the tree fruit and wine grape industry's remain important contributors to the Okanagan economy today. The agricultural history of the region and the expanding wine industry draws thousands of tourists each year. About 2% of the population in the Central Okanagan is involved in agricultural production . In the late 1800's and early 1900's, new communities developed around the fruit industry, including Peachland, Summerland, and Narmada.

John Campbell Hamilton-Gordon, Earl of Aberdeen

Lord Aberdeen was born August 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, Scotland. he graduated from Oxford university before touring Canada and the USA in the late 1900's. He arrived in Kelowna in 1893 and instantly fell in love with the valley. His wife and him bought 480 acres of land (The McDougall Ranch) near the Okanagan Mission and 13 000 acres in Coldstream in 1894. This ranch was named 'Guisachan', after the estate of Lady Aberdeen's father. In 1895, 200 acres of orchards were planted on the two Aberdeen estates. Okanagan fruit trees included apricots, peaches, apples, crabapples, prunes, cherries, plums, raspberry canes and strawberries. They both spent lots of time and money encouraging others to plant orchards in the Okanagan valley. Lord Aberdeen became Governor General of Canada in 1893 and held this position for five years. They than built a jam factory in Vernon to process all the crops from the small berry fruits. The Aberdeen's grew the Coldstream Ranch into one of the largest producers of fruit in the British Empire. But by 1896 the entire Guisachan planting was pulled due to improper care, as well as most of the Coldstream orchard, delaying fruit producing crops for a few years. He later returned to Ireland before he died in 1934. His legacy lives on in Kelowna at the McDougall Ranch and Aberdeen Hall private school.

Interesting Facts

-Lady Aberdeen is credited with introducing the Golden Retriever to Canada

-People can dine in the Aberdeen's colonial bungalow turned restaurant, Guisachan House in downtown Kelowna

How did the early Europeans impact the growth and development of the Okanagan valley?

The early Europeans impacted the growth of the Okanagan valley with their new culture, machinery, and way of life that they brought when they immigrated to the valley. They taught the First Nations new ways to live and grow food. They introduced new irrigation techniques and machinery. They brought so much change that the Coldstream and Vernon area started to take on a British culture because so many British settlers stayed there. The Okanagan valley would not have the thriving economy it does today without the Europeans.