Lake Country - Life. The Okanagan Way.

British Columbia, Canada

Okanagan Centre

At the height of its success, Okanagan Centre was a thriving community with services that included two packing houses, a hotel, a cannery, a general store and a butcher shop.

The settlement of Okanagan Centre began around 1900 when Northcote Caeser and T.F. Valentine purchased Rainbow Ranch. In 1903, Caeser and Valentine sold most of Rainbow ranch but kept 18 acres of the south-west corner and continued ranching.

In 1909 the region’s land promoters were the Okanagan Valley Land Company, which was controlled by a group of individuals in eastern Canada. In the next few years, growth in Okanagan Centre was rampant, and by 1910, there were 2 hotels, a general store, a butcher shop with a packing house and cannery under construction. By 1913, orchardists were packing their own fruit and the community was at the height of its development.

At the start of World War I many of the township’s men departed for war never to return. This was the beginning of the decline in the development of Okanagan Centre. It was intensified by the loss of the Grandview Hotel, which burned down in 1919 followed by the closure of the general store, which left residents without a place to purchase goods.

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