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A Welcome Break

After a three-week trip across Canada and a stop in Victoria, the family arrived at the Coldstream Ranch in early September 1895.  A welcome break from their official duties!

Black and white photo of a family sitting on a verandah. One man, two women, one girl, and three boys each looking at an apple in their hand.

The Aberdeens sampling the Coldstream apples, c. 1895


Family members spent their holiday in their own way. Lady Aberdeen and Marjorie took a break from writing in their journals.  Lord Aberdeen checked out his Okanagan properties.  The two older boys, Haddo and Dudley, spent their summer vacation with the family but had to soon return to England for school.  Before the boys left, they along with Marjorie and Archie, enjoyed activities such as hunting, bike riding, exploring and sampling the fresh fruits in the orchards.

Black and white photo of a girl and a young boy riding bicycles near a house.

Archie and Marjorie riding their bikes, c. 1894


“Whilst we are here, I do not intend to keep my journal every day, for happily one day goes past very much as another, though each is full of quiet delight & interest.  H.E. (Lord Aberdeen- His Excellency) spends a good deal of time in his hop-yards, his orchards, or his farm, discussing arrangements & prospects with one & another, & every now & again takes a turn on his bicycle. The children do four or five hours of lessons every day…They are very delightful children to teach, for they are so keen & see the point of everything. They ride with John Keddie most days & bicycle.”

Black and white photo of three men outside. Two are in suits and the man to the right is pointing a walking stick. The man in the centre is wearing a cassock and holding a hat.

Lord Aberdeen inspecting Guisachan Farm, c. 1895

After almost five weeks of “absolute quiet,” the Aberdeens travelled around B.C, as part of their official duties. On their way back to the Coldstream Ranch, they stopped for a few days at Guisachan Farm.  Unfortunately, the failing fruit orchards had to be checked. But the optimistic couple was determined to figure out what else could be grown or raised in order to save their investment.

Time at Guisachan was cut short with the news that Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway (C.P.R.), was on his way to the Coldstream Ranch.