Shorts Creek begins its journey west
of Terrace Mountain. It winds through the hills, bubbles under Westside
Road and flows calmly under the bridge at the park entrance. Between
these two roads, it makes a wildly exuberant dash down to the delta,
leaping out into space at three separate points. The first cataract
is fairly sedate, the second is more enthusiastic and the third, closest
to the delta, is spectacular.
has made it easy for waterfall-watchers. A sturdy staircase leads
up to the largest cascade, then the steps parallel the gorge up
to the middle falls. You can safely enjoy watching tumbling water
in one direction and beautiful Okanagan Lake in another. (There
are lots of landings along the 400-step climb, so you can catch
your breath as you appreciate the scenery.)
These falls were Dun-Water’s greatest ally when
he was moulding the isolated, undeveloped delta into an estate.
He captured the creek’s power in a system of wood stave, wire
wrapped pipes so ingenious that European engineers, said was “absolutely
impossible” even when they were looking at it. The harnessed
water allowed the Laird to have spray irrigation for orchards and
gardens plus running water in houses and barns while neighbors relied
on pails and pumps. He also used this “hydro” power
to grind grain and run a respectably sized sawmill. By tying a Pelton
wheel into the system he generated electricity. He even had his
own telephone network linking the main buildings.
The Laird wasn’t born “Dun-Waters”.
He took that name when he inherited his great uncle Dunn’s
fortune. He had actually been born James C. “Waters”.
It’s rather ironic that water was so important in helping
him turn Fintry into a garden of Eden.