Fintry: Lives, Loves and Dreams
Fintry - Lives, Loves and Dreams chronicles the memorable people, the secret loves and the engaging history of the Shorts' Creek delta. Containing visitor maps, photographs and interesting anecdoates, this readable account covers Fintry from pre-history to the present. It follows a trail of dreams through Fintry's incarnations as an enigmatic millionaire's private estate and school for orphans, to the grand plans for an international resort. Media reviews Millennium book project captures Fintry's history from the Capital News (Kelowna), Wednesday October 11, 2000 (A18-A19)
by Judy Steeves, Staff Reporter
A verdant delta of flat land created by the rushing waters of a little creek has acted as a magnet over the decades, attracting stubborn people with dreams that inevitably are smashed before they leave.
Fintry, a 360-hectare plot of Westside lakeshore, waterfall, canyon and upland wilderness, was purchased in 1995 by the Central Okanagan Regional District and province as parkland for $7.68 million.
Public ownership was the culmination of nearly two centuries of a parade of white men's private visions for this isolated point of land jutting into Okanagan Lake, following an unknown length of time when it was part of the domain of the Native people.
It oozes history.
So it's no wonder that Westbank author and freelance writer [Stan] Sauerwein and Fintry resident [Arthur] Bailey chose to collaborate on a chronicling of some of the characters who made their mark on the province, the valley and Fintry in particular over the past few decades.
It was published with the partial financing support of the Canada Millennium Partnership Program and private donations. Aportion of the revenue from each copy sold goes to the Central Okanagan Heritage Society to assist in ongoing restoration projects.
The property and the ghosts of the people who've populated it are fascinating enough, but Sauerwein has woven the stories of their lives, loves and dreams into an even more compelling tale, at the centre of which is just a simple little parcel of land.
It initially was visited by fur traders in the early 1800s as they traversed what was originally a trail used by the Okanagan Native people on the west side of Okanagan Lake and styed at the delta at Shorts' Creek. It became part of the Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail, a route for transporting trade goods and furs from Northern B.C. to the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River.
Gold miners followed, and eventually Thomas Dorling Shorts took out the first pre-emption on Fintry in 1883, 129 ha at the mouth of what was then called Biche Creek.
That began what turned out to be an extremely colourful century of life on the delta.
From Captain Shorts, renowned for the unusual and often unsafe contraptions with which he ferried people and supplies up and down Okanagan Lake with irregularity, the delta was purchased by a pair of "sporting dilettantes" with British titles.
However, the most memorable mark on Fintry was made some 20 years later when a wealthy Scot named James Cameron Dun-Waters purchased the spit of land, turning it into an estate for growing some of the valley's first fruit, Ayrshire dairy cattle and as a base for hunting expeditions.
The granite manor house, inventive irrigation system and unique octagonal dairy barn he built remain today as part of the new park, remnants of this valley's history.
Sauerwein, with the help of Bailey, has also chronicled in fascinating detail, Fintry's tangled but sometimes glittering history as a pawn in the game of real estate development and in the entertainment industry.