By Chelsea Henderson
The Okanagan fruit business has been running for many years, it began to emerge in the 1880's. The very first tree plants were planted in the Okanagan Valley by Hiram F in 1857. Twelve years later Tom Ellis planted one of the first apple trees on his Penticton ranch. By 1886, more people started passing through the Okanagan Valley, for example Charles Ora spent several weeks travelling through the boundary country of the Okanagan. Eleven years later more orchards were planted. An orchard was planted at Inglewood and consisted of 35 acres. (Below is an apple orchard in the Okanagan in the 1900s)
Importance of Agriculture
Agriculture benefitted the Okanagan to a major extent. In the late 1800's and early 1900's new communities such as Peachland, Summerland, and Naramata were built revolving around the fruit industry. The tree fruit industry and now coupled with the wine grape industry create thousands of jobs as well as bring thousands of tourists to the Valley each year.
Okanagan Fur Brigrade Trail and Agriculture
The Okanagan Fur Brigade trail was founded in 1811, by David Stuart who was also the first white man to see the valley. The trail ran through the West side of the lake through town sites such as Fintry. The trail was sometimes used by farmers who needed a transportation route to sell their goods. Even though the fur trade started slowing down, the trail never stopped being used by missionaries, ranchers, and gold miners.
Paul was born on landing in Montreal, Quebec on September, 10th 1832 by proud parents named Thomas and Sara Rembler. Paul followed his fathers occupation of veterinary surgery for about 20 years. Sadly his father passed away in 1855 which was when he decided to try something else. Real Estate speculation and mines were his new interest. He moved to Regina, Saskatchewan where he ran a coal business. He owned 3000 acres of land South of Regina where he stocked horses and small farm animals.
Reasons For Settling in the Okanagan
Paul's family decided to move to the Okanagan in 1905, they owned approximately 8 acres of land in the Kelowna area. His land extended from Bernard Ave north to the sites of the Okanagan Telephone company, and was bounded on Richter Street. He also owned St Paul gold mine on Monashee approximately 60 miles from Vernon BC.
Early Accomplishments (Europe/North America)
Paul was known as the first white man to explore East and West of the Rockies. He also opened the first repository for sales of Horses and carriages in Toronto. This was on 49-53 Adelide Street.
Early Accomplishments (Okanagan)
Paul was a very generous man. He was a regular at the Kelowna General Store, he was very wealthy, and he built a house for him and his wife Elizabeth to enjoy on Brenard Avenue. Paul was recognized by his voluminous white beard. (Below is a picture of downtown Kelowna in 1910)
Paul Rembler's legacy is Pauls Tomb. The tomb was built 100 ft above the Okanagan Lake. And was built with 16 inches of concrete. From the end of Poplar Point Drive, one can walk along a well maintained path to the site of Paul's tomb, and there is a flat spot where Paul and his wife lived. There is a mound of soil that protects the front of the tomb.
Paul's tomb is still around today and is a wonderful spot to spend a hot summer day. Elizabeth's Iris's are also still blooming along the Knox Mountain trail.
Paul Rembler impacted the Okanagan in many different ways. He was a very generous man with a fair bit of money. Paul was knows to assist a number of small towns that were struggling. He did many great things in his life such as following his fathers footsteps and becoming a veterinarian. Years later he became an entrepreneur, adventurer, and pioneer. He also owned many gold mines, and many Okanagan acres. Paul married a lovely woman named Elizabeth. They loved to garden together and kept beautiful gardens at their properties, including Paul's Tomb. Paul wanted to make a tribute to his family, so he built the tomb in 1910. Sadly Elizabeth died in 1914 due to cancer. She was the first to be laid to rest in the tomb. After her death Rembler moved to Edmonton and passed away two years later, he was then sent back to Kelowna to join his wife in the tomb.
Paul's Tomb today.
Portrait of Rembler Paul
Paul Rembler himself.
Take in 1910 in front of Paul's house. You can see a group of men gathered in front, perhaps they were talking about the construction of the tomb.