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First Holiday at Coldstream Ranch

When Lord Aberdeen accepted the position as the Governor General of Canada in 1893, the family moved to Ottawa to begin official duties.  Family holidays to the Okanagan Valley became a yearly event for the five years of Lord Aberdeen’s term.  In 1894, after a busy first year living in the Governor General’s residence, the Aberdeens were happy to arrive at their own Coldstream Ranch house.

Black and white photo of the front and side of a two-storey house with a wrap-around verandah and balcony. There are two children standing in front of the house.

Aberdeens’ Coldstream Ranch house, 1890s


The visit to Coldstream Ranch was the family’s first real holiday, without the need to entertain or attend functions. The family had time to relax, explore and enjoy the slower pace on their new fruit farm.

“And we have enjoyed every moment of the time to the full, & feel as if we had regained our individuality, which was fast been worn away altogether into a machine likeness whose whole raison d’être consisted in receiving addresses & visiting invitations.”

Black and white photo of rows of low crops running towards the hills in the background. There are two horses with three men plowing the fields.

Coldstream Ranch hop fields, c.1900

After Lady Aberdeen’s brother Coutts, who had begun overseeing the planting of fruit trees and hops, returned to England, Mr. Kelly took over as manager of Coldstream Ranch. Lady Aberdeen was hopeful for their investment and wrote:

Black and white photo of teepee like thin logs standing on end in a plowed field.

Guisachan Farm hop fields, c.1892

“Mr. Kelly believes that it will pay back both the purchase money and also all that has been expended on it many times over… We have now fifty acres in hops between Guisachan & Coldstream… Twenty-five cents per lb. is what we want to get, & then the hops would pay all our working expenses of both places.”

The subdivision of the land into new fruit farms was well underway. Lady Aberdeen noted that the new owners were “of a very good class… we ought to get in time a really high-class little community here.