Ranching in the Okanagan Valley
Thomas koehle BLK H
The beginning of ranching
The Fur Brigade Trail and Ranching
Early European profile
Why they came
Accomplishments and his Legacy
When he came to the Okanagan valley from Fallowfeild, Ontario Cornelius settled in present day Vernon. He owned over 960 acres of prime land and on which he established the O'Keefe ranch in 1867. It was a small self-contained community with a Post Office (the only in the valley), general store, blacksmith shop, grist mill, a church and cemetery. The ranch still stands today and is marked as a historic sight. The ranch became the official site of the Okanagan post office in 1872 Cornelius also became the first postmaster in the area. While there were other ranchers who settled before Cornelius, his ranch is the only one that was still being lived in by the original family 100 years later.
The Europeans who settled and established the Okanagan valley had a huge impact on the overall growth of the valley because they settled and expanded the area with all there settlements. For example when Father Pandosy planted the first fruit tress it started a huge craze and a new industry. That is a major thing and that puts kelowna on the tourism map it the beautiful orchards of fruit and grapes. When the first ranchers came and settled they brought along beef which was and still is a favored food by all coming through the valley. All the miners and people using the fur brigade trail stopped and bought some meat to eat. Then the next thing leads to the next and like the place they stopped at so they decide to move there family to this beautiful valley. This is what happened during those times and that was one of the reasons why kelowna has prospered as a city.