Sound Heritage: Bright Sunshine and a Brand New Country (PDF)



Recollections of the Okanagan Valley 1890-1914


Please note: This is a digital file.

This issue of Sound Heritage, “Bright Sunshine and a Brand New Country”, is based upon the recollections of turn of the century Okanagan pioneers who were interviewed and recorded by Imbert Orchard in 1964 and 1965. When these people settled in the Okanagan, the valley had already passed through several stages of development, including exploration, fur-trading, missionary activities, and the beginning of agriculture in early settlements. Father Charles Pandosy, a Catholic missionary of the Oblate order, arrived in the Okanagan in 1859 and established the first permanent white settlement at Okanagan Mission. In addition to conducting missionary work among the Indians of the region, Pandosy encouraged white settlers to come to the Okanagan to farm and ranch. For many years, his mission remained the nucleus of white settlement in the valley. By 1890, this stage of development was practically over. New people and new settlements were spreading throughout the valley with purposes quite different from those of the explorers, fur-traders, missionaries, or ranchers.

Father Pandosy’s death came at a time when the Okanagan Valley was embarking upon a period of growth and transformation. By the last decade of the nineteenth century, cattle-ranching was firmly established as the way of life in the valley. The next quarter of a century, however, witnessed a remarkable surge of development. The Okanagan changed from a sparsely settled cattle-ranching region into an area marked by a number of growing communities and towns which were increasingly reliant upon a new mode of economic activity: fruit-farming.

“Bright Sunshine and a Brand New Country” (Sound Heritage Volume VIII, No. 3) is a series of recollections of Okanagan pioneers describing their experiences in the valley during the period 1890–1914.


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