The Aberdeens Arrive in the Okanagan Valley
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
The Aberdeens arrive in the Okanagan Valley, October 14th, 1891
October 14th, 1891. Vernon, Sicamous, Guisachan. Here we are at last at our destination! The starting of the first passenger train to Vernon was quite an excitement at Sicamous this morning. …
It was curious that we should almost accidentally hit off the right day when it was first possible to run a passenger train and also the day for the first Agricultural Exhibition in the District.
(Lady Aberdeen’s 1891 Kodak photo of their train at the Enderby station)
There we lingered on some time and so the little steamer boat which was to take us down the lake specially and for which we were supposed to wait was ready long before us. The big steamboat ‘The Penticton’, commanded by Capt. Short and owned by Mr. Ellis of Penticton at the foot of the lake, could not take us as the men had already been given a holiday for the fair and ensuing ball.
The brother of the owner of the small boat, Mr. Leo Lequime, took us down himself and it was almost lovely moonlight night for the four hour trip down the lake. The boat was not properly arranged for passengers and we all sat in a queer little sort of cabin beguiling the time as best we could, even going the length of improvising a song on the Grand Trunk and the C.P.R. which he and Marjorie sang to the tune of ‘Keel Row’ …
(Lady Aberdeen’s 1891 Kodak photo of Marjorie and Coutts on boat on Okanagan Lake)
At last we turned a little corner and found ourselves in a bay and the landing stage for the Mission near at hand. Owing to the misunderstanding about our arrival, we were not expected, of course; so our friend of the boat, who by the way was going back full speed for the dance at Vernon which would probably go on till nine next morning, undertook to get a wagon to convey Barron and Turner and some of our baggage, whilst we all walked on the two miles to Guisachan and took possession of our new domain by moonlight.
You know Mr. Eustace Smith’s letters have not been enthusiastic as to the scenery or anything else and partly because of that and partly because we are getting accustomed to being rather disappointed with places which are so much praised, we were prepared to see just a flat plain with bare hills in the distance and a few trees and bushes and a house set down in the middle of the flat. Instead of which we found ourselves in the midst of hills looking more like Guisachan Scotland than any others that we have seen in Canada.
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 Alexander George Gordon, 7th Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair