Friends of Fintry Provincial Park
The Octagon – September, 2018
The arrival of September has brought some decidedly cooler temperatures and thankfully some clearer skies. Kids are back to school and college and routines are back to a sense of normalcy once again!
As is normal for the Friends of Fintry, we are once again preparing for our last Fair of the year…..our Fintry Fall Fair…… which will be taking place on Sunday, September 16th with a wonderful new line-up of great musicians, some new vendors and the return of the Vikings as well as the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band. Attached is the line-up of performers so you can gauge your visit according to what you want to see and hear! Of course Manor House tours will be running all day so if you haven’t visited lately this would be the day to come. Remember we now have a fantastic new ramp (thank you BC Parks) so the Manor House is wheelchair accessible.
In the middle of August we welcomed a group of seniors from a Kelowna Care Home. They were very grateful to have this ramp which enabled those with wheelchairs and walkers to come into the Manor House to view and learn the history of the Dun-Waters era. They enjoyed a picnic on the veranda before the tour and I know they enjoyed reminiscing over some of the artifacts from this bygone time, but which they remembered using as youngsters. We always enjoy hearing their stories!
As mentioned in the August Octagon, our very special guest from Fintry, Stirlingshire, Scotland came to “our” Fintry for a visit. He is a historian from the museum there and was very interested to make the connection and see what Dun-Waters had developed over here. Dun-Waters early years were spent in Fintry, Scotland and when he arrived here in 1909 and saw the delta and the surrounding hills it reminded him so much of his homeland that he called this place Fintry. It is wonderful to now have a contact in Scotland that we can share info with and ask questions of, to fill in the gaps of our Dun-Waters knowledge.
Following is an item of historical interest from our Curator, Dan Bruce:
Visitors to the Fall Fair on September 16th who take the tour of the Manor House will be able to see one of Fintry’s “hidden treasures”. This is a very good example of a Navajo blanket which was in fact a part of the original furnishing of the house. It came back to Fintry through the generosity of Rod and Karen Stuart, who have been diligent in assisting with the return of such Fintry items that they have inherited.
Travel brochures in the collection suggest that at some point, the Dun-Waters might have taken a trip to the south-western USA, where he could have purchased the blanket, but that is just a conjecture. Such things were available in a number of places, as they still are today. In any event, this blanket is in mint condition, and shows the deep red and purple colours that were used to dye the wool that the Navajo produced from their own breed of sheep. The blanket is normally kept in its own storage case, and will be exhibited for the first time on the day of the Fall Fair, in the bedroom beside Mrs. Dun-Waters’ sitting room.
We certainly hope you can come join us at the Fall Fair on Sunday, September 16th .
A special note…..if you renew your membership at the Fair it is valid until April 30, 2020!
Kathy Drew, President,
Friends of Fintry Provincial Park.
Friends of Fintry Provincial Park
The Octagon – August 2018
I hope this finds you all enjoying this beautiful summer, albeit a bit too hot for some of us!
Our annual Fintry Fair, held on July 15th was very successful with some new participants (vendors and performers) and despite the heat of the day I think everyone enjoyed themselves.
Triskele, the Celtic singers from West Kelowna, were a new and welcome addition and the Vernon Scottish Country Dancers performed a few lively reels on the lawn of the Manor House to a most appreciative crowd and the Kalamalka Highlanders entertained in their full regalia. I think Dun-Waters would have been proud!
Our next and last Fair of the year is on Sunday, September 16th so mark your calendars and plan to attend. More info regarding entertainers and vendors will be available in the September Octagon.
At the July Summer Fair, our curator Dan Bruce, unveiled the portrait of Ben Lee, past Kelowna City Councillor who was instrumental in having Fintry named as a Provincial Park.
Our Education Outreach coordinator, Gwendy Lamont along with Dan Bruce were invited to Mission Creek Landing Senior’s facility on July 23rd and they gave an outstanding presentation on Fintry, as well as having a “hands-on” with artifacts from Fintry. By all accounts it was well received and they have been invited back next year.
On a similar topic we are looking forward to a visit from the Good Samaritan Mountainview Village in Kelowna on the 22nd August. They will be coming to the Fintry Manor House for a picnic followed by a tour. We always enjoy reminiscing with our seniors and seeing their reaction to some of the artifacts which they remember using in their earlier years.
We are also looking forward to a visit on August 24th from a gentleman from Fintry, Stirlingshire in Scotland. He is setting up a small museum in “his” Fintry and is interested in featuring how “our” Fintry was established. How exciting to be able to join hands across the water. Will update you on this visit in the September Octagon.
Now an item of historical interest from curator, Dan Bruce…….
Next time you’re in the Manor House, have a good look at the framed print hanging on the west wall of the living-room, just below the staircase. It is a scene in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, a once fashionable venue in London for outdoor entertainment of all kinds. Established in 1785, it was noted as a place for romantic meetings, and a variety of more public events, including a re-enactment of the battle of Waterloo, held in 1817 in which over a thousand soldiers took part.
The original drawing from which this early 19th Century print was made is by Thomas Rowlandson, a prolific and popular artist of his day. Vauxhall was closed down in 1859, but in very recent times it has been partially restored and re-opened as a park in 2012.
The print was donated to Fintry by the late Jennifer Hindle, who also presented the set of six hunting prints in the dining room, the work of Cecil Aldin. The Aldin prints used to hang in Kelowna’s El Dorado Hotel.
At this point I would like to invite you to give some consideration to joining the Friends of Fintry Board of Directors. As with any organization, there is always a core group of people who help out with our objectives and the running of events. As the years go by and life happens the load becomes rather onerous on this group. If you would like to have a say in the running of this heritage organization, and would like to apply, please contact either myself at 250-542-4139 or Dan Bruce at 250-766-2081.
Kathy Drew, President,
Friends of Fintry Provincial Park.
The Fintry Summer Fair held on July 15th was another very successful event with dancers, singers, bagpipers and more. The Manor House was busy with a constant stream of visitors taking tours of the various rooms. The children’s activity area was very popular with all kinds of old-fashioned games and races keeping the youngsters entertained. It was hot, hot, hot……… but there was enough shade under the big trees to stay comfortable.
In the new video room (now known as the Ben Lee Room) Dan Bruce unveiled a portrait of Ben Lee, who was instrumental in having Fintry named as a Provincial Park. In attendance was his son, John Lee as well as Eain Lamont who was a City Councillor at the same time as Ben Lee.
Pewter Ware was in common use (for thousands of years) until the early 19th century. In fact it wasn’t until the reign of Charles II that silver plates became fashionable.
About 25 years ago one of our board members, Rosemary, bought this pewter plate at a garage sale for 25 cents thinking it would be perfect to use under a house plant. It served this purpose for quite a while before being replaced with a less ‘rough’ looking substitute.
In Rosemary’s words:
“I came across it (the plate) recently and decided to show it to Dan Bruce, our Curator for Fintry Manor House. He asked if he could keep it and saying “Yes” he explained it’s history. The letters stamped on the rim identify the owner. The plate would be kept on a rack behind a Pub bar. I understand this would be the same for a beer mug. When the owner came in for lunch or a meal he had his own utensils. This plate goes back to the ’17th’ Century.”
It makes you wonder about the owner and all those meals he enjoyed at his local pub. It also makes you wonder what treasures might be found a garage sale near you!
Just over 20 years ago a group of people concerned with the preservation of the Fintry Heritage Site (including the Manor House, Octagonal Barn & Packing House) worked together to make their dream a reality. Each person brought their own experience and strengths to the table. Because of their dedication the province of BC in conjunction with the Central Okanagan regional District, purchased the 360 hectare Fintry Estate.
Since that time the Manor House has been repaired, restored and refurnished. Today visitors are transported back in time to learn the unique history of the Laird of Fintry (Captain Dun-Waters).
Over the past year a new prep kitchen (to be used for weddings, family reunions etc.) has been built along with a caretaker’s suite & housing for two summer students.
The Friends of Fintry are looking for people who would like to continue that dream as a member of the board of directors. If you think you would like to be part of Fintry’s history going forward please send an email to [email protected]
All you need to bring to the table is a desire to preserve history for future generations.
Thank you for your consideration.
Email – [email protected]
Took a quick trip to Fintry today to see how the renovations are progressing. The Manor House isn’t open for tours during the winter months but there was certainly lots going on. What a difference!
The kitchen, which was formerly part of a suite that had been rented out to caretakers, has been transformed. The large space now has a prep kitchen (for big events such as weddings) as well as a seating area where visitors can enjoy a short movie about Fintry before beginning their tour of the house.
The upstairs, probably only used for storage during Dun-Waters time, now has two bedrooms for summer students, a caretaker’s suite, an office for our Executive Director, storage area and a large room which will be used for Board meetings.
Part of the renovations include the Laird’s bedroom. This once inaccessible room is almost ready to become part of the Manor House tours.
Before leaving Fintry we took a break to climb up the stairs by the falls. The thundering sound of cascading water at Short’s Creek Falls is always so powerful this time of year. The Spring thaw is beginning….
Written by: Jim Klein
Marie Harrop recently celebrated her 99th birthday. Friends of Fintry offer this lovely lady sincere congratulations.
Marie and her husband Art Harrop lived and worked at Fintry from 1939-47. Art actually began there as a 19-year-old in 1933, working in the dairy operation and later in the orchard and packinghouse.
The couple married in 1939 and moved into the chalet at Fintry. The home, located a stone’s throw from what’s now the 307th step of the staircase along the falls, burned down decades later. After wearing out several pairs of shoes climbing up and down the steep slope to and from the chalet, Marie asked Art to inquire about moving to another house on the property. They moved into a little house, also gone now, just west and south of the White House. Although the chalet was a better structure, their new home was easier to get to.
Marie says she enjoyed living at Fintry, where she was homemaking, swimming and playing tennis at Ewings Landing. Still, she found the days long and wanted something else to do. She asked Art to talk to Fintry’s Estate Manager, Mr. Angus Gray, about another job she might do, perhaps in the packinghouse. Mr. Gray agreed and Marie became a fruit packer along with a largely Japanese crew in a packinghouse by the lake on the Fintry property. She did that happily for a number of years.
Marie recalls meeting Capt. Dun-Waters on only a few occasions. At that time (1939), he was very ill but she remembers him being a very nice man. Marie and Art worked at Fintry during the Fairbridge Farm era. She remembers the young people there learning how to farm. Until recently, she maintained contact with some of them.
Marie and Art moved from Fintry to Ellison in 1947 to work on the Bulman Ranch so their girls could attend school.
The sun shone on hundreds of visitors who came out to enjoy a family fun day on the grounds of the manor house last month. Though the Fair opened at 10am the activities really got going when the Kalamalka Highlanders made an entrance. (One of the pipers was visiting from Scotland and was very impressed with the venue and all it has to offer).
Vendors included wine from Edge of the Earth Winery, beautiful glass from Kelly Glass, delicious cheese from Terroir Cheese, wonderful products from The Soap Garden, Spices & Garlic from BC Buds Garlic, Bird Boxes from Ken Cuffe, Wooden Jewellry & Fruit from Dylan Olafson & Sandy Metzler’s Food 4 U preserves etc.
Delicious food from Oh Natural Foods, That Donut Guy & Mobile Munchies was very much appreciated.
Then the Vikings invaded! Showing off their traditional viking combat skills this talented group showed us the different weapons used in the time of the vikings. Dressed to fit the part they put on demonstrations that included one on one combat with axes, spears, swords and knives. Even an archery demonstration. The kids even got an opportunity to get in the act with foam ‘swords’. This was the Kelowna based group (The Ulfhethnar) has appeared at Fintry but, judging from the crowds reaction, it won’t be the last.
Thank you to everyone who made the Fair a wonderful memory.
Summer is trying so hard to hang on in the Okanagan. Hikers are out enjoying the sun while boaters enjoy life on our beautiful lake. With the stunning Autumn colours displayed throughout the area it is no wonder we love to call the Okanagan home. At this time of year we look forward to sharing Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends as we reflect on all we have to be thankful for.
The Board members of Friends of Fintry would like to thank you all for your support over the years. Our season will come to an end this Thanksgiving but the Board will be busy during the winter planning for the new year.
Improvements to the Manor House will continue through the fall and winter. With the new prep kitchen, caretaker’s suite and rooms for two summer students completed in Spring 2017, there is much planning to be done and decisions to be made.
We hope you take the time to enjoy this beautiful weather we are having and wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.