While on a “busman’s” holiday last week the trip lead north from Osoyoos in the British Columbia Okanagan valley through the northern gateway at Sicamous and Shuswap Lake east to Revelstoke at the western entrance of the Kootenay mountain range.
The most interesting photos I came back with are from the what was the Haynes Ranch situated between Osoyoos and Oliver, BC. The property is off the beaten track and the remaining buildings can only be found if you’re looking for them.
The beginnings of the vast holdings were in 1869 when Haynes and his partner, Lowe recorded the right to purchase what was previously public land. In the end the ranch contained almost 21,000 acres.
Haynes in this case is Mr. John Carmichael Haynes, born in Ireland in 1831 arriving in Victoria, BC in 1858. His history sounds like an interesting story for another time. Highlights include sailing to Victoria via the Panama Canal, serving as a special constable under James Douglas (governor) at Hills Bar, Yale, Rock Creek, and Similkameen where he was to set up a customs station. From there he went to Osoyoos Lake and on to the Kootenays as justice of the peace – and a number of other government positions until he returned to Osoyoos Lake in 1872. The 20,000 plus acres were originally used as a horse ranch but quickly switched to a cattle ranch with a herd close to 4,200 head. John Haynes died in 1888.
The next Haynes to be involved with the Haynes Ranch was the eldest son of Judge John Haynes and his wife Emily Josephine. The son, Valentine Carmichael Haynes, was born in 1875 and is recorded to be the first white child born in Osoyoos. Reference http://osoyoosmuseum.ca/index.php/about-us/history-of-osoyoos/settlement-and-ranching-in-osoyoos/the-first-white-settlers.html?showall=&start=7
When the Judge died the family returned to Ireland so that the children could finish their education. Val returned to the area in 1893. By then the ranch had been bought by Thomas Ellis so Val went to work for him as foreman. He retained that position after a company called Shatford Brothers bought out Ellis in 1905 and even after the Shatfords sold the land to the Government in 1919 for use as a Soldiers’ Settlement.
After checking out what I could find about the Haynes Ranch I still can’t confirm who built and lived in these old buildings. They are probably not part of the original structures from the early 1800’s.
That leaves me still wondering.