As with most genealogists, a trip for me anywhere is an opportunity to do some exploring in your family tree.
My kids are away this weekend swimming and no parents other than chaperones it meant a free weekend for my husband and me. With our corner of Alberta still blanketed in snow, we decided to find some better scenery. A trip to Osoyoos, BC was planned, an oasis to our eyes after so many months of beautiful but never-ending white landscape
Yesterday we landed in Kelowna and with a free-schedule, I convinced him to wait for the Kelowna Library to open before heading to our destination. I had some Harrop family members in the area and I wanted to see what I could find. It took 20 minutes to look them up in the newspaper on microfilm.
Next stop was Oliver. I have written before about my mom’s ancestor James Stewart who ran a store in Hedley, BC from 1908-1920 (approx. dates) but before James was in Hedley his store was located in the town of Fairview, BC. I had not tracked down where exactly the community of Fairview was located on previous visits. A quick stop at the Visitors Centre in Oliver and we were on our way. We were directed to follow the Fairview Road that cuts through the heart of Oliver (and right past the Oliver Archives I might add).
We traveled up the windy trail and found the Kiosk that marks the spot on the landscape where this mining town had once thrived.
The history of Fairview and the area was told on the panels. Fairview was a booming mining town that boasted to be the biggest city north of San Francisco in its heyday (the early 1900s).
The history told at the kiosk describes a thriving community until the gold “played out” around 1906. A great reason for my 2x great uncle to close up shop and move to the next booming mine town of Hedley.
A short 20 km drive down the road and we had arrived at Osoyoos, a favourite place for us to visit.
And last night I was enjoying our spectacular view from our balcony in Osoyoos.