Central Okanagan Heritage Society
Lady Aberdeen portrayed by Sandra Harwood
Costuming: Lake Country Museum & Archives
Filming: Riley Grandel and Alicia van der Sluijs, Centre for Arts & Technology
Photos courtesy of the current Lord Aberdeen and the Kelowna Public Archives
The Aberdeens arrive at Guisachan Farm October 14th, 1891
They arrived unannounced at Okanagan Mission and had to walk a couple of miles to the Guisachan. At first they did not get a very warm welcome, but what they saw the next day very much exceeded their expectations.
About a mile from the landing stage Coutts said ‘this is our gate’ and we turned in through a little regular lodge-like gate into a real wood with big trees of two hundred feet high in it. Right through this wood they have made a road for us and when you come through at the other side you see the house about a ¼ mile away with a background of very pretty hills.
(Black & white photo of Guisachan House, 1890s)
From the house you have a pretty peek of the lake where they have cut away some of the trees for this purpose.
(Sepia photo of Mission Valley, 1890s)
The new house seemed very much deserted and locked up when we boarded the verandah, but Coutts knocked away in confidence that someone would appear. Presently a cautious step was heard and Mr. Smith, whom we did not recognize at first with his beard, opened the door a chick and asked what we wanted. It was a pity that we did not keep up the fun and storm the citadel, for he admitted afterwards that he was very suspicious of us and that he had brought his rifle just behind the door to be ready to keep us off. …. We could not have had a nicer arrival and our moonlight walk was a much nicer introduction than everything all in readiness.
The Chinese cook ‘Foo’ was soon stirred up and while he prepared something to appease our hunger, we had leisure to admire the beauties of the house and the skill with which our two bachelor house-keepers had decorated it.
(Lady Aberdeen’s 1891 Kodak photo of the hall in Guisachan House)
The hall is specially pretty with a sort of gold Japanese paper and arranged with stag horns found lying here, some of Coutts own horns and stuffed heads from Dakota. Then there is a large sitting-room and dining-room, four good-sized bedrooms, and two small ones, office and the kitchen just across the verandah running right round the house. It is just perfect and everything is delightful.
Central Okanagan Heritage Society; Lady Aberdeen portrayed by Sandra Harwood; Costuming by Lake Country Museum & Archives; Filming by Riley Grandel and Alicia van der Sluijs, Centre for Arts & Technology; Photos courtesy of Alexander George Gordon, 7th Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair and the Kelowna Public Archives