As I write this we are in the midst of this crazy heat dome. What more is going to be thrown at us, first a pandemic, then extreme heat….. probably the next will be forest fires and the resulting smoke. I hope everyone is able to stay cool in this heat.
These past few weekends we have been open for tours of the Manor House, albeit on a limited basis, but as restrictions are lifted we will be able to take more people at a time giving them a glimpse of days gone by and even re-open some of the rooms that we have had to close off during Covid. We are excited to have our students onboard starting the first week of July; Morgan, a returning intern from last year as well as newcomer Holly who is quickly catching up with all the info required to showcase the Manor House. Starting on July 10th the Octagonal Barn will once again be open, so bring your visiting friends and family to see this unique structure and imagine the Ayrshires all standing in their stanchions waiting to get milked.
We have completed Dun-Waters’ bedroom and this is now available for viewing. Many thanks to Dave Richmond (BC Parks) for donating the magnificent 1930’s bedroom suite in this room.
Another new addition to our collection is in the Ben Lee Room and Dan Bruce our Curator, gives the history of this magnificent piece below:
“A new item of furniture in the Ben Lee Room will be very obvious to visitors . . . Bruce Hopkins of Vernon has just donated a bookshelf that now dominates the room. It is an example of the Eastlake style of furniture, very popular in the USA and eastern Canada in the late 19th century.
Charles Locke Eastlake (1836 – 1906) was an artist and architect in England who envisioned a decorative style that could be largely machine made, and therefore affordable by customers of lesser means. His publication, ” Hints on Household Taste in Furniture, Upholstery and Other Details ” was influential in Britain, but was even more popular in North America. His angular, sharply defined decoration contrasted with the curves and swirls of an earlier age. Lending itself to machine work, many builders and manufacturers took to it with enthusiasm.
The ” Hopkins Shelf ” at Fintry was brought from a house in Ontario some time ago, where it had been since about 1895. In order to get it to BC and into the Vernon residence, the upper section had to be cut in half and rejoined once in place. This process had to be repeated when it came time to move it to Fintry. With the assistance of Bruce Hopkins, the donor, our Board members, Roy Lysholt, Jason Satterthwaite and Jason’s son Aiden, we engineered the piece out of the Hopkins house and delivered it to Fintry. Shortly thereafter the team re-assembled it in its present position.
Being located in the part of the Ben Lee Room that was the original kitchen, the decision was to use it to exhibit cooking and food related items that would not fit well in other parts of the house. This is in the experimental stage at the moment, but here one can see the two spice boxes, and the selection of Chinese ginger jars.
While enlarging and upgrading the campsites 1 to 50 some years ago, BC Parks workers unearthed a few glass bottles that had been disposed of in a pit almost certainly during Dun-Waters’ time. One of these is now on the new shelf, and identifies itself as “Sharwood’s Chutney, Calcutta and London”. Still in production by Sharwood’s , one can sample one of the items on Fintry’s grocery list.
With the relaxing of Covid restrictions, we look forward to re-opening the Red Room, and being able to give visitors the much-desired look into the whisky cellar. “Enjoy Responsibly”!”
At this time, I would like to inform everyone that The Friends of Fintry will be holding their AGM on Saturday, August 21st, 10 a.m. at the Manor House. Mark your calendars, come and meet the Board members and our students and stay for a tour!
Finally, we are seeing a glimmer of hope in these difficult days as more and more people get vaccinated; restrictions are gradually lifting and people are tentatively expanding their social circles.
We look forward to being able to start tours again at the Manor House (with Covid protocols same as last year) opening weekends starting 19th June and then four days a week in July and August when we have our students on board. This year we will have a new room for viewing (Dun-Waters’ master suite) as well as several new artefacts, one of which our Curator Dan Bruce will talk about (see below).
We would like to thank all our members who have renewed their membership for 2021/22. Your continued support of the Friends of Fintry is crucial at this time of reduced tour hours and bodies through the Manor House. There is of course still time to renew or become a member of the Friends of Fintry, just check out our web-site at www.fintry.ca for more information. On Saturday, June 12th we will be having our annual Spring clean-up at the Manor House starting at 11:00 a.m. so if any members want to come and join us, you will be more than welcome.
I would like to thank one of our newer members, Sue Cseh for her wonderful contributions, stories and photos that she has been adding to the Fintry Estate Facebook page. From bears to hummingbirds, as well as the flora and fauna of the area, she brings to life much of the interesting facets that the Estate and the Fintry Provincial Park offers our visitors.
Following is some very interesting information on a beautiful Turtle shell donated to Fintry by Jim Dawson.
When next you visit the Manor House be sure to look for this beautiful piece as well as some other treasures which have been added over these past months.
The Friends of Fintry members have been doing well in the way of awards recently. First our Curator Dan Bruce received the Heritage B.C. Honour Award in the Lifetime Achievement category and we just received word this past month our own historian and Director Paul Koroscil will be receiving a Certificate of Recognition from the B.C. Historical Federation for his life’s work promoting not only Fintry but numerous areas in BC. (Because of Covid regulations this presentation will be done virtually on Saturday evening.) Congratulations to you both for all your accomplishments over the years and for promoting British Columbia’s diverse history.
Now for some very interesting information on our latest acquisition……the beautiful Green Turtle shell.
“The photo shows Jim Dawson and Curator Dan Bruce attending a small outdoor gathering of eight people, some of Gretchen’s close associates that was arranged in her memory in the gardens at Guisachan House in Kelowna. Jim had just presented the turtle shell to Fintry that hung on Gretchen’s wall for many years, a souvenir of her early life in Trinidad.
Fossil sea turtles, contemporary with the dinosaurs grew to huge size, Archelon for example is estimated to have weighed around 6,000 pounds, (2,700 Kgs.) Today, the sea turtles are represented by seven much smaller species, Fintry’s shell being that of the Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas. This and the other species range throughout the world’s tropical seas, excepting the Flatback, which is restricted to the northern coasts of Australia. The largest living species is the Leatherback, which has been recorded on rare occasions off the coast of BC.
The Green Turtle has been exploited by humans for centuries, and together with the rest of the sea turtles, has now joined the list of endangered species. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the ships of the world’s navies collected these creatures as a source of fresh meat for the crews, as turtles could be kept alive on board for weeks. Green Turtle was also the chief ingredient in the turtle soup traditionally on the banquet menu of the Lord Mayor and Corporation of the City of London. The beautiful, mottled translucent material used to make combs, mirror-cases, snuff boxes etc. called ‘tortoise shell’ in fact comes from the Hawksbill Turtle, and not from the land-living tortoise. (On land, Tortoise, in fresh water, Terrapin, and in the sea, Turtle). Demand of this has caused the Hawksbill to be hunted wherever it could be found, but well-made plastic imitation is now available, and this seems to have reduced the threat to the Hawksbill’s survival.
Several scientists have specialized in the study of these marine reptiles, but still many aspects of their biology and behaviour remain mysterious. Gretchen’s shell having just arrived does not yet have a certain location in the Manor House, but we will make sure that this season visitors will be able to see it. Once very common, and now very rare, we are privileged to be able to show this to our guests.
In addition to the Chelonia shell, those visiting Fintry this season will be able to include the Main Bedroom in their tour. This has not been open before, but now is, and features a 1930’s bedroom suite, originally from the Hudson’s Bay Co. in Vancouver, the gift of Dave Richmond of BC Parks.”
Spring has sprung, the birds are singing and the hummingbirds have returned…..don’t you just love Mother Nature when all her buds and blooms are unfurling. My garden is definitely my happy place, a place to recharge and just be….. midst the constant barrage of pandemic news and tragedies in the world.
We were saddened to hear of the passing of Gretchen Dawson this past weekend. Gretchen was a Board member for many years, looking after Memberships and even after she retired from the Board, she and her husband Jim continued their unwavering support of the Friends of Fintry. Our condolences go to Jim and the family at this very sad time.
As more and more people get vaccinated, we are looking forward to some sort of normalcy in our little corner of the world. We hope to be able to open for tours of the Manor House and Barn mid-June with much the same Covid protocols as last year. Unfortunately, no Fintry Spring Fair this year, probably no July Fair but we are hoping that our September Fair will become a reality. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit our website www.fintry.ca and click on “virtual tours” for a look inside the Manor House hosted by our Curator Dan Bruce.
It is Membership Renewal time again. Your membership with the Friends of Fintry runs from May 1st to April 30th each year. In normal times many people would renew at our Spring Fair in May but since this will not be happening (again, this year) we ask that you renew through our website at www.fintry.ca or send a cheque to Friends of Fintry, c/o 4320 Crystal Drive, Vernon, B.C. V1T 8V5. Our membership fees remain the same, $20 single, $35 couple. Your membership is important to the Friends as it supports the Society in our work; demonstrates to BC Parks and the Regional District of Central Okanagan and other funding agencies the broad-based support that our Society truly does enjoy.
We were delighted to hear that we will be receiving funding for two students through Canada Summer Jobs. Having students assist with tours of the Manor House and Barn certainly takes a load of our hard-working volunteers. It also gives those students hands-on experience in museum/heritage site work and research pertaining to the history of the Fintry Estate.
Our Curator Dan Bruce has been busy searching for and finally obtaining a beautiful orchid print which will hang in the Fintry Manor House in memory of one of our founding members, Ken Waldon, an orchid enthusiast. Following is more information about this print.
“As was mentioned in the last issue of The Octagon, the orchid print acquired to be a memorial to Ken Waldon has now arrived, and has been framed. Visitors will be able to see it in the living room as and when we are able to open for tours this season.
Many people have shown their appreciation of Ken and the vision that he and his wife Jan had in establishing the Fintry Estate as a unique historic and cultural asset for the Okanagan valley, and all of British Columbia. Firstly, we thank Elisabeth Burdon of Old Imprints Ltd, in Portland, Oregon for ensuring that the print required was available, and within our means. Her expert packaging meant that it survived an “oups” event while en route. An anonymous donor covered the cost of framing, and our friends at Picture Perfect in Kelowna persuaded their materials supplier, Larson-Juhl of Vancouver to donate the framing molding. Linda and her team, Neil and Eileen put the whole thing together in a very short time, so that the final result could be shown to Jan before being taken to Fintry.
The print is from the Robert Warner and Benjamin Williams publication, ” Select Orchidaceous Plants ” essentially a very deluxe guide to the best of the orchids that were available to gardeners in the mid- 19th century, the peak of what could be called ‘orchid fever’. The famous Scottish botanical illustrator, Walter Hood Fitch was commissioned to produce the coloured lithographs for the book, which he did with his well renowned skill. The publication date was 1862 and the London firm of Vincent Brooks was responsible for the actual printing. It should be pointed out that Old Imprints is not one of those dealers that cut plates from antique books to sell separately. Loose plates become only available if a book has been badly damaged beyond reasonable repair.
Ken Waldon would have had much to say about the cultivation of this particular orchid, Aerides nobile, now known as Aerides odorata It is a giant among orchids, and a native of South-east Asia, including the forests of Myanmar, (where Ken and Jan did volunteer work some years ago). Ken did not have this one, but those that he was growing are now being cared for by Don Burnett in his new greenhouse in Kelowna.
This print reminds us that Ken was an orchid enthusiast, but he was by no means limited in his interests. His life touched a great many, near and far.”
Stay safe everyone…the end of this challenging time is in sight.
The crocuses are blooming, the birds are singing and the earth is awakening after this long and difficult winter. Brighter days are ahead and soon this whole pandemic will be in our rear view mirror and we’ll be saying “remember when…..”!
The awakening of the Fintry Manor House in readiness for our 2021 season will soon be taking place once the weather warms up. Our troupe of hardy volunteers armed with vacuums, buckets, mops and dusters will descend on the house and get everything spic and span for viewing once again. There will be some new additions this year, a whole new room, some new and interesting artefacts and of course the beautiful Walter Fitch print in memory of one of the Friends of Fintry founders, Ken Waldon.
We were delighted to hear from Heritage BC that our Curator Dan Bruce will be the recipient of an Honour award in the Lifetime Achievement category. This year because of COVID the recipients will be featured in the BC Heritage virtual conference in May. Dan is well deserving of this award for his dedication and contributions to heritage not only at Fintry but nationally and internationally over the past fifty years. Way to go Dan!
And now, here is Dan’s latest snippet of fascinating information…….
The Shaggy Dog story
“There is a new dog at Fintry. His name might be ‘Willoughby’ but that is still open to question. He will be found wherever he was put and told to stay, because he is a cast iron doorstop. Made sometime around 1935, probably by the Hubley Company in the United States, Willoughby is a Fox Terrier, a breed that has a long history in Britain, and one that James Dun-Waters knew well. The framed photograph of ‘Vic’ in the Manor House is a Fox Terrier that presumably was an esteemed pet in the Waters’ household.
Willoughby has been in my family since 1957 or 1958. He came as a gift from Francis Cary Willoughby, who was living in Jamaica at the time my parents moved to the island from the UK in 1954. Francis Cary Willoughby was a remittance man, and his remittance was adequate for him to enjoy a life of leisure in the West Indies. He owned property on the north coast of Jamaica, not far from Ocho Rios where he built a large house which he named ‘Cary Island’. There was a small rocky islet just off-shore, and he built a bridge for access to it. No sandy beach, just limestone rocks straight into the sea. (An advantage, as erosion during hurricanes was minimal).
As a small child I remember him taking my family to see the place, at that time abandoned, for reasons that I cannot explain. The gardens were overgrown, but still were home to a flock of peacocks, and a herd of local goats were using the main living room as an evening shelter. The large stone fireplace was their cool spot during the heat of the day. Stone swans with raised wings stood atop the gateposts beside the main road along the coast. Cary Island has survived. It is now a luxurious resort. . .see http://www.sunnyvillaholidays.com/careyvilla.html. The resort spells the name with an ‘e’ but in fact Cary is the correct spelling, taken from his signature in two books, once his property and now in my library. A look at the beautifully restored house will remind our members of the architectural style of the Gatehouse at Fintry.
The doorstop has done duty during our time in Jamaica, and after returning to England, came to Canada in 1985. It being exactly the kind of item that would have attracted James Dun-Waters’ attention, I had been on the lookout for a replacement so that I could hand Willoughby over to Fintry. A very heavy lignum-vitae wood sculpture of Bob Marley took his place.”
End of Shaggy Dog Story
In preparing for a second set of lectures for the Society for Learning in Retirement (SLR), Dan has chosen ‘Dogs’ as one of the topics. It seems that the earliest instance of a non-human creature to be given a personal name was, not surprisingly, in Egypt. Just over 3,000 B.C. the Pharaoh Den of the First Dynasty had a much-loved dog named ‘Nub’, perhaps best translated as ‘Goldie’. He was provided with his own funerary monument on which his name was spelled out, thus in his owner’s belief, granting him eternal life. The dogs that enjoyed life at Fintry continued a very ancient tradition indeed.
Stay safe everyone…the end of this challenging time is in sight.
As we March into Spring, we are looking forward to longer and brighter days ahead. Snowdrops have emerged in my garden, various other bulbs are poking through the soil and the birds are increasing their chatter…… all the usual signs of a new beginning. We humans are also looking forward to a new beginning. As we wait for that jab in the arm, (despite the fact that the goal posts keep moving), we must continue to do what we have been doing to stay safe! We will get there eventually.
All this uncertainty makes planning for our 2021 season very difficult, but we are hopeful we can open in a similar fashion to last year with Covid-19 protocols in place and with self-guided tours of the barn and Manor House. Unfortunately our Fairs will not be taking place again this year with perhaps the exception of the September one…..fingers crossed!
We were very sorry to hear of the sudden passing of one of the Friends of Fintry’s founding members, Ken Waldon, on February 6th. Ken was well-known throughout the valley serving on many Boards and had a Lifetime membership in the Friends of Fintry. Together with his wife Jan, he was awarded the 2008 Central Okanagan Heritage Society Award. In 2011 he and Jan were named Vernon’s Citizens of the Year; they received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteerism in 2019 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2020. A virtual service will be available live online on March 6th, at 2 p.m. from All Saints Anglican Church. In Ken’s memory, and acknowledging his interest in growing orchids, the Friends of Fintry plan to have a framed print of an orchid, by renowned artist Walter Hood Fitch, as a memorial plaque to hang in the Fintry Manor House. More on this later.
Our Curator and now lecturer Dan Bruce has been busy “Zooming” around bringing some interesting historical info to those wishing to expand their knowledge in retirement.
A few words from Dan:
“The Society for Learning in Retirement, (SLR) was essentially brought to a complete standstill when the Covid virus arrived, but it is now recovering and functioning remotely. With the help of Dr. John Birch, we have been able to re-instate our lecture series to the SLR via Zoom. We decided to try this out and see if it could be expanded to a wider audience. Prior to Covid, I had prepared a set of five illustrated lectures on the domestication of cattle, but for the Zoom trial, I cut this down to two sessions of two hours each. Things went very well once I had adjusted the lighting in the “lecture hall” and determined the best place to stand so as to be seen, and be able to show pictures and objects to the audience. One big advantage to doing this with Zoom is that nobody has to get up and drive out through whatever the weather decides to do. Most people are definitely OK with this!
The two talks introduced the main types and breeds of cattle worldwide, and ended with a close look at the Ayrshire dairy operation as it was at Fintry. The paintings in the cave at Lascaux in France made it clear that 20,000 years ago the wild cattle of Europe impressed our ancestors. Domestication led to food production, directly and indirectly, and social mobility as cattle integrated with, and in many cases controlled human cultures.
Another opportunity to keep Fintry available yet without physical contact is being provided by Don Burnett. He has made it possible for me to adapt the Scottish Botanists exhibit for presentation on the radio. Each Saturday the Garden Show airs between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. on AM 11.50, and I have about fifteen minutes to give some detailed and interesting facts about the various Scottish men and women who were involved in some form of Horticulture. So far, we have featured David Douglas, Archibald Menzies, Sir Ghillean Prance, Walter Fitch, (of whom more in a future Octagon) and Kelowna’s own Alastair Beddie. Bob Kingsmill very kindly agreed to go on the air and celebrate Alastair’s considerable gardening achievement on El Dorado Road in Okanagan Mission.
We do appreciate the many ways in which Don Burnett has contributed to the Fintry operation over the years.”
For those intrepid campers out there, keep in mind that camping reservations at BC Parks opens up on March 8th. For more details about the reservation system for this year go to:
Our application to Canada Summer Jobs for two students for the summer has been submitted so we are hopeful that (a) we will be able to have tours, and (b) that we get this funding. Last summer’s students were an incredible asset and certainly took a load off us volunteers.
One year into pandemic and although we have a way to go still, we must continue to adhere to the protocols, be patient and hopefully come out at the other end of this unscathed. We are certainly hoping that the Fintry Manor House and barns will be open for tours this coming season; Fintry Fairs ….? …. probably not in May, but fingers crossed for July and September.
Dan, our Curator has his fingers crossed too that tours will be back to normal and is offering up the following little tidbit for you to take a closer look when next you visit ……
“We really hope to be able to open the smaller rooms in the Manor House during the upcoming summer season, and if so, visitors should take a good look at the curtains in Mrs. Dun-Waters’ sitting room. They have a pattern of nasturtium flowers in various tones of yellow and blue. The fabric is new, but the design dates to 1924, the year in which the Manor burned and was re-built. Such material would have been hot off the press when the house was re-furnished.
John Sylvester Wheelwright was the artist who created the pattern, one of over 1,500 that he produced in Britain between 1904 and 1954. He was born in 1885 to a family with a strong artistic tradition. His brother, Roland was an Associate member of the Royal Academy of Art, and his mother was also an artist. He apprenticed to the Silver Studios in 1904, a business that operated until 1963, producing some 30,000 patterns for wallpapers and fabrics. Wheelwright was not limited to such designs however, but was also known as an aviation designer for the Royal Air Force, and he developed the earliest silk screen printing machinery. After his death, the family emigrated to Canada, in 1962, and at that time shipped a large collection of original painted designs to Vancouver. Kelowna soon became the home of David and Patricia, his son and daughter-in-law. In 1992, the Kelowna Museum held an exhibition of a selection of these paintings, which resulted in a published catalogue, ” Kaleidoscope ” (generously sponsored by Color Your World, Kelowna)
In 2003, Patricia Wheelwright donated the fabric used to make the Fintry curtains from a roll of newly printed John Sylvester designed material. The late Mrs. Hazel Bruce created the curtains under difficult circumstances, as the layout space on the basement floor was largely occupied by about 25 cages of small animals and birds that had been evacuated from homes in Kelowna due to the Okanagan Mountain Fire, then raging to the south and east of the city.
The concept of printing designs on woven fabric had its origins in India and Indonesia. It took some considerable time before the techniques became established in Europe, particularly in England due to the imports and influence of the East India Company. These curtains, (which, incidentally at Fintry would have been referred to as such, rather than the newer, transatlantic ‘drapes’) have a convoluted history involving many people and places. Nasturtiums, Tropaeolum majus, are well known and reliable plants for hanging baskets and flower pots. They are native to Peru, and were first cultivated in Europe in 1686.
We are working with the Okanagan First Nation to create a plaque that will inform the visiting public about the earliest use and name of the place we know as Fintry. More details of this will appear in a future Octagon. The ‘Fintry’ name, like so many others was a transplant from Scotland (where there are at least 3 of them). Across the Lake from Fintry, Mount Spion Kop overlooks Okanagan Centre in Lake Country. That name was brought back from South Africa after the Boer War, as returning local soldiers remembered their ordeal in 1900. But ever wonder where the name ‘Canada’ came from? There has been much discussion about the name of our country, and some far-fetched explanations have been suggested. It does not in fact require much to arrive at what is most likely the real answer. The equipment needed is an early map, (a copy will do) of North America and a Spanish dictionary. Turn the map to ‘face’ Europe, so that north is to the right, and south to the left. Many maps were drawn that way before it became standardized to have north at the top of the page. A pair of names will be seen on a number of these maps, On the left, ‘Florida’, and on the right ‘Canada’. Now the dictionary, which will reveal that ‘florido(a) means ‘florid’, ‘flowery’ or ‘in bloom’. ‘Cana’ means ‘white’, ‘grey’ or ‘hoary’ especially with reference to hair. ‘Canas’, white hairs. The opposing environments are thus described, ‘flowery’ and ‘whitened’ by the mapmakers who were informed by the early voyagers across the Atlantic. It may surprise some that our country in fact has a Spanish name.”
“Ay de mi Alhama”
Alli hablo un Alfaqui de barba crecida y cana . . .
“Alas for my Alhama”
Then there spoke an Alfaqui (Moorish Elder) with a long hoary beard . . .
Romance del rey moro que perdio Alhama (Spanish ballad…circa 1490)
As we tentatively embark on this new year here we are in the midst of making history, and we hope for better days ahead. This holiday season was certainly one to forget although we will never forget it, and we hope next Christmas to once again celebrate with our relatives and friends.
The Friends of Fintry are slowly gearing up for our 2021 summer season and are optimistically applying for grants for summer students in the hopes that things will be almost back to “normal”. We are continuing with our monthly Board meetings via ZOOM which I think everyone is delighted with as we don’t have to be concerned with travelling if roads are bad.
Our resident historian, Paul Koroscil has provided a very interesting missive on Dun-Waters’ life before he came to Fintry……enjoy!
Research Notes – The South Shropshire Hunt: Dun-Waters’ Annual Puppy Show
By Paul Koroscil
The traditional annual Dun-Waters’ Puppy Show represented another successful season of the South Shropshire Hunt Club. As I previously mentioned, standing in front of Plaish Hall I could well imagine the herd of dogs racing after the fox in that magnificent verdant undulating landscape.
The following précis provides you with a description of how well Dun-Waters was respected amongst the foxhound hunters in Shropshire and the country. Before reading the script you should pour yourself a dram of Laird of Fintry malt whisky (make sure it is the cask strength whisky) and imagine yourself at a colleague or friend’s testimonial dinner. In fact, half-way through the reading you may want to have a second dram!
Now to the event. “Tell me a man’s a fox hunter and I loves ‘im at once”. This statement could not be uttered with greater sincerity by anyone than by Mr. J.C. Dun-Waters, the popular master of the South Shropshire Hounds, who came into Shropshire about five years ago as the Master of the Wheatland Hounds in succession to Mr. Rowland Hunt. The new master hunted the Wheatland County with a great deal of success and provided excellent sport for lovers of fox hunting. When it was decided last year to divide the Shropshire Country, Mr. Dun-Waters accepted the mastership of the South Shropshire pack, and became a Shropshire landowner, taking up his abode at Plaish Hall.
The season with the South Shropshire was very successful and Mr. Dun-Waters received loyal support from landlords and farmers as was evidenced by ‘the almost entire absence’ of barbed wire in the country.
Puppy walkers were also plentiful and at the annual show, which was held on Tuesday at Plaish Hall, some splendid fox hounds were shown, which elicited much praise from the judges – Mr. C.W. Wicksted, Mr. C. Payne (Dumfries-shire) and Mr. Rawle (huntsman to Lord Fitzhardinge’s hounds). The awards were made as follows – Dogs: 1,”Sportsman,” walked by Miss Lambert and the Rev. J.C.E. Paterson; 2, “Acrobat”, Mr. Morgan, Crossage; 3, “Dancer”, Miss Marie Stuart; 4, “Barnaby”, Mr. Peter Everall, Ryton.
Bitches: 1, “Gamble”, walked by Mr. Farmer, Eaton Constantine; 2, “Treasure”, Mr. Clayton, Much Wenlock; 3, “Rosemary”, Dr. Hillyar; 4, “Tragedy”, Mr. Clayton.
At the conclusion of The Puppy Show a large company accepted the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Dun-Waters to a luncheon, which was served in a marquee under the direction of Mr. Leman. Mr. Dun-Waters, who had undergone an operation for an old injury to his left knee, (could that be a result of an old rugby injury) and had not sufficiently recovered to leave an invalid’s chair, presided, and among those also present were a number of some of the dignitaries: Sir Walter Smythe, Bart Colonel Cotes, Mr. E.B. Feilden, M.P. (Condover Hall), Mr. & Mrs. T.F. Kynnersley (Leighton Hall), Mr. W. Nelson, M.F.H. (Loton Park), Dr. McClintock, (Church Stretton), Mr. & Mrs. Morris (Oxon), the Rev. Mr. Jerrold (Easthope), and a large number of farmers and their wives.
After the repast, Mr. Dun-Waters proposed the loyal toasts, describing the King as one of the best sportsmen in England and the greatest gentleman. The toast was received with cheers. The President again addressed the assembly. He said he was thankful to say he was not a proud man, but he certainly did feel proud when he had his first glass in his hand to drink to the health of his South Shropshire puppy walkers. He hoped that when he was sound again that he would meet them all and that he would meet them as Master of the Hounds for many years to come. (Applause). As they attended each successive show they would get older and wiser in many ways and perhaps a great many grey hairs would come out. They could console themselves with the fact that “Grey ‘airs is nothin’. I’ve seen ‘em all grey before now”. (Laughter). They could also console themselves with the fact that it was often the oldest dog in the pack, with the greatest number of grey hairs in its head which helped to catch the fox. (Applause). However, they must return to fox hunting. They had a very good season. He was thankful to those ladies and gentlemen who had helped him to bring it to such a successful issue. The country had again become a united South Shropshire country; with good sportsmen and sportswomen residing in it.
The most genial work of a Master of Foxhounds was with his hounds in the kennels and among his people in the country that was if they were the right sort – and he was particularly fortunate in that respect. He thought a great deal of credit was due to fathers and mothers of South Shropshire for having got together such an extremely useful and willing pack as his puppy-walkers. (Laughter). Considering the time of the year he thought the puppies were in splendid condition and they looked even better when they came out of the hands of the puppy-walkers. Therefore, he would ask them to drink to the health of the puppy-walkers and he would associate with the toast the names of Mr. Farmer of Eaton Constantine, and Mr. Morgan of Cressage; Mr. Farmer in reply said that the puppy-walkers had been very pleased to do what they could to assist Mr. Dun-Waters. – Mr. Morgan also replied in similar terms and added he hoped to be a first-prize winner some day.
Mr. T.F. Kynnersley proposed the health of the judges, who said their duties that day had been doubly hard because the puppies shown had all been so good. The greatest credit was due to the puppy-walkers, but above all, their thanks were due to their well-known and esteemed master, Mr. Dun-Waters, (Applause). Mr. Wickstead, in responding to the toast, said he wished Mr. Dun-Waters good luck in that delightful country in providing the best sport in the world – that of fox-hunting. If they did what they could to help the master in the season and by walking his puppies, he thought they would find he would do his share to make the hunt successful. (Hear, hear). They hoped Mr. Dun-Waters would cast a halo round that country, and that he would continue to hunt until his hair was as grey as it possibly could be. (Laughter and applause). Mr. Payne also replied. He said he did not think it was difficult for a man who loved a foxhound to judge puppies. (Hear, hear). They had seen a very good entry of young hounds that day and Mr. Dun-Waters had the foundation of a very fine pack. Mr. Payne derived much pleasure from inspecting a pack of hounds. When at home they were apt to think they had something very good, and in fact better than anything owned by other people. That day he had seen two or three couples he would like very much to take back with him to Dumfries. With regard to Mr. Kynnersley’s reference to grey hairs he (Mr. Payne) remembered seeing plenty of them on one occasion when he found himself landed on the hills of Scotland in a snow storm 35 miles from home. They killed the fox in the evening and in returning during the night, he saw grey hairs innumerable. He landed home in time to see the people going to church on the Sunday morning. (Laughter). Mr. Rawle, another of the judges, said he was surprised to find such a good entry at the show that day, and Mr. Dun-Waters would no doubt get together one of the best packs of fox-hounds in the country. (Hear, hear).
The next toast, the health of Mr. & Mrs. Dun-Waters was proposed by Colonel Cotes, who remarked that it was about five years since Mr. Dun-Waters came to hunt the Wheatland country, and no man could have done it better. Last year, Mr. Dun-Waters took up the South Shropshire country and also bought an estate in the county. During the last season he had shown them excellent sport and they had some of the best runs in which they had taken part for many years. He (Colonel Cotes) thought those present would do all they could to help Mr. Dun-Waters to carry on the hunt. The puppy-walkers had done their best and they hoped everybody in the country would try and preserve foxes. (A voice: “Let them alone and they will preserve themselves”). He (Colonel Cotes) had hunted in the country for nearly 50 years and he knew there were many ways in which they could help a Master of Foxhounds. Landlords could do a great deal in the South Shropshire country. At one time there was a great deal of wire used, but now it had almost ceased to exist. Their thanks were due to the farmers for the way in which they had taken down the wire, and in that respect, they had set a good example to other parts of the county. (Hear, hear).
This tradition would continue for the next six years at Plaish Hall until Dun-Waters became interested in hunting big game animals. By the end of the nineteenth century, the hunting of big game animals around the world had “become a fashionable blood sport, particularly among the British and the collecting of trophy heads a status seeking activity”. However, sportsmen seeking out their prizes faced a world-wide problem of depleting game stocks although there were regions such as the Rocky Mountains in North America which was still perceived as an untapped wilderness area of wild game. In assessing the depletion problem in Canada, conservation issues such as the passing of specific game acts in each province were discussed by the newly formed League of Canadian Sportsmen in 1899. However, British Columbia did not pass a provincial game act until 1919. Even with the passing of the act it did not change the world’s sportsmen’s perception of wild game shooting in British Columbia. Books published in London, such as the 1925 “Game Trails in British Columbia”, written by B.C.’s chief game warden, continued to celebrate the big game of the former colony.”
It was this attraction of wilderness game shooting that prompted Dun-Waters to eventually emigrate to British Columbia and the Okanagan Valley in 1909. For Dun-Waters the Okanagan Valley offered an abundance of big game such as grizzly, black and brown bear, mule deer, elk (wapiti), cougar and bighorn sheep. He also had access to hunting in the Monashee, Selkirk and Purcell Ranges. It was also possible to explore more distant trophy hunting environments, such as Alaska, which he did in 1925. Just as Dun-Waters was passionate about fox hunting he was similarly passionate about big game hunting. At Fintry, he employed a taxidermist and had his architect J.J. Honeyman design a trophy room in the restored Manor House where the walls were decorated with the heads of his successful hunting trips.
With the decision to emigrate to the Okanagan, Dun-Waters resigned his position as Master of the Foxhounds of South Shropshire Hunt Club.
As a reminder of his dedication the Hunt Club presented him with a silver statuette of a foxhound and a sundial. Dun-Waters had the sundial placed on a pedestal on the front lawn of the Fintry Manor House. The Fintry archival photo shows the sundial on the pedestal with the engraved plaque. However, the pedestal today only displays the engraved Dun-Waters’ presentation plaque on the base of the pedestal. The sundial is missing on top of the pedestal.
There is a second faded plaque located on the back of the base of the pedestal with a short poem presumably composed by one of the Hunt Club members.
“Serene he stands among the flowers,
And only marks life’s sunny hours.
For him dark days do not exist.
The brazen-faced old optimist.”
I hope you enjoyed the read and your dram – as Dun-Waters would say “Slainte Mhath!”
Sources: Wellington Journal and Shrewsbury News, 6 June, 1903
Paul Koroscil, The British Garden of Eden, 2nd ed. 208, pp 240-242.
In closing, I would like to remind you to tune into AM 11.50 from 8 ’til 10 Saturday mornings, the long running Don Burnett Garden Show, with Don Burnett, Ken Salvail and now including a weekly ” spot” from Fintry, a feature on the botanists and plant collectors of Scotland.
Here we are heading into the last month of this rotten year! When we set out on this pandemic journey in March, little did we think that nine months later we would still be in the throes of this ugly virus. As we look down the road we are wondering what Christmas is going to look like this year and bracing for what January will no doubt bring as an aftermath of the holidays. The relative carefree days of years past seem like a distant memory as we now tentatively move forward taking one day at a time.
As I write this (November 30th) I am reminded that today is St. Andrew’s Day. St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and several other countries, (Russia, Greece, Romania and Barbados). Andrew was one of the original 12 apostles of Christ and was present at the last supper. In 1320 the Scots appealed to the Pope for protection against the attempts of English Kings to conquer Scotland and thus the Declaration of Arbroath was signed and St. Andrew was declared Patron Saint. Always looking for an excuse to celebrate, the Scots consider today a bank holiday and will hold feasts, haggis and whisky tastings and generally end the day with a good rollicking ceilidh! Just what we need in these dire times. The flag of Scotland, also called the Saltire or St. Andrew’s Cross, is supposed to signify how he was crucified on a cross of this form in Greece on November 30th, 60AD.
Now back to the present day…..the Friends of Fintry is working with the Okanagan Indian Band to erect a plaque acknowledging that both the Fintry Estate and Fintry Provincial Park are situated on the unceded ancestral territory of Syilx Okanagan Nation. This plaque will be in both English and the Syilx language and reminds our visitors of how culturally important the Shorts Creek delta is to the Syilx People. Erection and unveiling of this plaque will happen in 2021.
We, the Friends of Fintry, are embracing digital technology during these difficult times by holding our November Board Meeting via Zoom. All went well and we are going to continue with this method over the winter months or until Covid protocols change.
Our caretakers at the Fintry Manor House have settled in and seem delighted with their new winter hibernation location. The Ben Lee entrance to the Manor House has never looked so good!
And now we have an interesting tidbit from our Curator Dan Bruce re an item in our collection:
The Chelsea Pensioner’s Coat:
James Dun-Waters was more concerned with outdoor sports than academics when he was at Cambridge, and yet there was obviously an interest in some form of dramatic entertainment. This we know from a series of Eliot and Fry studio photographs taken in London, showing him in a variety of roles, dressed in costume, and seemingly with full make-up, preparatory to a stage appearance. One suspects that this became a more significant pastime during his life at Fintry, where home entertainment was the order of the day. Bearing this in mind, it is not surprising that various items of clothing, and perhaps other props were kept to hand, one of which was a Chelsea Pensioner’s coat.
We do not know how he acquired it, but it is now back at Fintry, through the good offices of Bob Kingsmill, after a slightly mysterious period of absence. The coat is in very good condition, with its brass buttons inscribed ” R C I ” Royal Corps of Invalids.
The Chelsea Pensioners are retired army veterans who live in the Chelsea Royal Hospital in London. The Hospital was founded by Charles II in 1681, construction being entrusted to Sir Christopher Wren, who had already done so much to rebuild London after the Great Fire. Still in use, and fully up-to-date, the building is a must-see for anyone interested in architecture. There are about 300 pensioners in residence, and they participate in events such as the famous Chelsea Flower Show, where, in full ceremonial uniform, they act as ushers and guides.
The Hospital celebrates May 29th, aka Founder’s Day, or “Oak Apple Day” in memory of the founder’s escape by hiding in a densely branched oak tree after the battle of Worcester in 1651 during the Civil War.
Now here is a much sought-after recipe from Dan’s kitchen!
For those who are thinking about Christmas baking, I hereby give out my Mother’s shortbread recipe.
6 oz. flour
6 oz. butter
3 oz. caster sugar (berry sugar)
2 oz. ground almonds ( 2 oz. cornstarch if necessary)
Crumble butter (cut up into flour using two knives) into even sizes crumbs.
Add sugar and ground almonds. Mix well, and put into an 8″ loose bottomed tin.
Press flat with a knife and put into 350 oven for about 1/2 hour or until pale brown
and crispish at the edges. When crumbling, keep it cold, do not let it get soft and greasy,
IF it does, add some cornstarch. DO NOT TOUCH IT WITH YOUR HANDS AT ANY TIME.
On this seasonal note, and on behalf of the Friends of Fintry board members, our Curator Dan and Business Manager Shannon, I would like to wish you all the very best this Christmas despite all that is going on in the world. Dwell only on the things that are important to you, like family, close friends and good shortbread!
As we start into another chilly month with gardens, trees and animals going into hibernation we should probably pay heed and follow suit in order to stay safe and healthy these next few months.
The lower floor of the Fintry Manor House is already in hibernation, but our Caretaker’s suite upstairs now has a couple installed who will look after things this winter. They look after another Provincial Park during the summer months so are used to the isolation and the responsibilities that go along with looking after an older building.
Despite our late start this year and with not being able to hold our usual three Fairs, we still managed to keep our heads above water. Our merchandise sales were good, entry donations were excellent and with being able to hire two students, our days open were more than when we operate only with volunteers. Membership was the one thing that took a hit this year as many people generally sign up or renew at the Fairs. Anyone who would like to renew or become a member and support all things Fintry can do so through our website www.fintry.ca. Fingers crossed that next year will be more “normal” …..Covid depending!
Following is another very interesting article by our very own historian Paul Koroscil….
Who knew that we had such a renowned architect creating these heritage buildings right here on the Fintry delta!
Stay safe everyone,
Friends of Fintry Provincial Park
James Cameron Dun-Waters’ Architect: J.J. Honeyman
By Paul Koroscil
J.J. Honeyman was born in Glasgow on April 9th, 1864. After architectural studies at Heidelberg University, Germany he returned to Glasgow in 1883 to article with Hugh and David Barclay rather than with his architect uncle, John Honeyman (1831-1914). Just a side note on John Honeyman. In 1888 he went into partnership with John Keppie (1862-1945). One of the draftsmen in their office was Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) who became Scotland’s most celebrated architect and designer of the 20th century. He was also known as an outstanding water colourist and artist. When John Honeyman retired in 1904, Mackintosh went into partnership with Keppie.
His first major commission was the Glasgow School of Art constructed between 1896-1909. It has been described as a Mackintosh masterpiece and his greatest design. I visited the School before the first fire in 2014. Unfortunately, a second fire occurred in June of 2018. However, there are plans to rebuild the School from original blueprints and it is estimated that it will take seven years to complete the rebuild.
On another occasion in Scotland my V.B.F (Maureen Montfort Selwood) and I visited Mackintosh’s Hill House in Helensburgh. The National Trust for Scotland acquired the House in 1982 as it was considered to be the finest example of domestic architecture by Rennie. The House was built between 1902-1904 for Walter Blackie and his family who owned a publishing business that ran from 1809 to 1991. The House is located in one of the wettest parts of Scotland and is situated on a “hill” overlooking the Clyde estuary. To cover the outside of the House, Rennie decided to use a new type of material, Portland cement. The result is that since its construction there have been major problems with dampness. To solve the problem, the National Trust commissioned architects, Camody Groarke to design and construct a chainmail “box”. Rachel Thompson, visitor services manager describes the “box” as “an amazing 165 tonnes of steel and 8.3 tonnes of chainmail mesh which makes up the “box” that now surrounds the House.” The “box” allows natural light to flood into the House, while encouraging it to dry out after decades of water damage. If you are in Helensburgh and you have a chance to visit the Hill House you will today encounter the “box”.
Now back to J.J. Honeyman. In 1889 he emigrated to Canada, crossed the continent on the C.P.R. and landed in Vancouver. Shortly thereafter he made his way to Vancouver Island and ranched with John Baird on Ployart’s Swamp near Black Creek in the Comox Valley. In 1891, Honeyman established his architectural practice in Nanaimo, first for a year in partnership with F.T. Gregg and then afterwards on his own. On January 12, 1892 in Nanaimo, Honeyman married Mabel Dempster, also a Scottish immigrant. They settled on a ranch called “Tarara” and commenced their family, which eventually numbered four daughters and one son. Honeyman enjoyed rugby and considered himself both a Conservative and a Presbyterian. He was a modest man; when asked if he could provide examples of his professional competence, he replied “I really don’t know. You might ask one of my clients.” Honeyman’s commissions at this time included the A.R. Johnstone block in Nanaimo, 1893, a school in Cumberland, 1895 and Nanaimo Central School 1895-96.
In 1897, Honeyman moved to Rossland where his largest and best-known individual project was the Rossland Court House. Walking up to the front of the Court House, which is located on Columbia Avenue at the corner of Monte Christo Street on a rise above the downtown core, one has a feeling that this massive, dominant structure certainly symbolizes a deep respect for the rule of law and the English origins of the provincial legal system. The historical significance of the building has been exemplified by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada by designating the Court House a National Historic site and recognizing J.J. Honeyman as the architect. (See wall plaque on front entrance of the building).
The Court House was designed in 1898 but not completed until 1901 as a result of the first contractor’s inability to carry out the task. By the time of completion, the building’s cost rose from $38,500 to $58,122 proving that public works cost overruns are by no means new in British Columbia. The edifice featured a symmetrical front facade, corner towers with steep bell-cast roofs and an arched entry and window openings. Pinkish-tan brick cladding was used above the base of local dark granite.
The main court room features an open timber roof, cedar paneling and stained glass windows by Henry Bloomfield and Sons, bearing the provincial arms and those of Sir James Douglas, the province’s first governor, and Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie, British Columbia’s first judge and subsequent Chief Justice.
In the present era one of the platforms promoted by political parties at the Federal, Provincial and local governments and various Societies is reconciliation. One of the debatable current actions of promoting reconciliation is the removal of statues of prominent Canadian leaders who, during their time carried out an injustice. An example of this action took place in 2020 when the Law Society of B.C. approved the removal of the Begbie statue from the Law Society foyer.
In a letter to the editor of the Vancouver Sun, (September 12, 2020) Craig Ferris, President, Law Society of British Columbia, explained the rationale for the decision the benchers made for the removal of the Begbie statue from the Law Society foyer. He indicated that it was because the necessary work of the Law Society in addressing reconciliation, was hindered by the prominence of a statue that made an important segment of the public feel unwelcome when visiting our offices. He emphasized that the Law Society must be an open and inclusive environment in order to do its job on protecting the public interest in the administration of justice for all. The debate about the historical legacy of Chief Justice Begbie reflects the different views about the man and his work, but, the debate should not impede the Law Society from being open and able to fulfil its mandate to protect the interests of all the public. I wonder, did the Law Society miss the stain glass window in the Rossland Court House and other Court Houses constructed during that era; for example, the Fernie Court House and if so, are they going to remove the Begbie windows?
While in Rossland, Honeyman also designed a number of residential properties, for example a home for his wife’s brother Charles Dempster. Also, it is probable that Honeyman met George D. Curtis who would eventually become an architectural partner. Curtis was born in Ireland on August 1, 1868; his family had been officers in the Royal Navy for generations. He studied at London’s Finsbury Technical College from 1884-85 and for the next three years he articled with a London firm. In 1889 he emigrated to Canada taking up survey work in the 1890’s. The C.P.R. had built a branch line to Nelson, which had become an important West Kootenay mining supply centre and by 1897 Curtis opened an architectural office there. He undertook various commercial, religious, residential and public commissions in Nelson, Rossland and Greenwood. His projects in Nelson included St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, (1898-1900), a good example of a Gothic English perpendicular parish church, while his Cathedral of Mary Immaculate, (1898-99) is a mature example of Roman Classicism, favoured by the Catholic Church in Canada at the time. In Greenwood, Curtis designed the City Hall, built in 1902-3 as the provincial government building and courthouse and a public school.
As they crossed paths in the Kootenays, they both decided that there was a greater business opportunity on the coast. They both decided to move to Vancouver and in 1902 they established their architectural partnership. In Vancouver their firm established itself as one of the most prominent and prolific firms in the city. They were responsible for a number of churches, public buildings, private residences, apartment buildings, industrial structures and banks.
Honeyman and Curtis undertook a number of projects for the C.P.R. Curtis took over the supervision of the original portion of the Empress Hotel in Victoria when Francis Rattenbury (at the time the most recognized architect in B.C.) resigned in 1906, and continued to supervise the ongoing expansion programme, 1909-1914, that included two new wings and the Crystal Ballroom, all designed by W.S. Painter. In 1911 they designed an addition to the Hotel Vancouver for the C.P.R. Corporate clients included the Bank of Montreal, for whom they designed a stone-clad Temple Bank at Main and Hastings, built 1929-30, that marked the end of the local use of classicism. Its columned entrance, pedimented doorway and sculpted heraldry were intended to invoke confidence and a timeless sense of stability. Also, they were responsible for the building of two other Bank of Montreal structures, one on Main Street at East Broadway, 1929, and another on Main Street near Prior Street, 1929.
Another of Honeyman and Curtis’s landmark projects was the Vancouver Fire Hall No.6, 1907-09, located in the West End. At the time of its construction it was the “only fire hall in the world completely equipped with Auto Engines”. This brick and stone building has a metal tile roof and strong horizontal emphasis, contrasted with a vertical hose tower. The partnership also received a number of church commissions. St. John’s Presbyterian, 1909, in the West End was an impressive stone Gothic Revival structure with a tall corner turret. The First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1925, in North Vancouver reflected Christian Sciences’s preference for classically inspired forms. Another notable church was Shaughnessy Heights United Church, built in 1928-30; a beautifully proportioned stone-faced structure reminiscent of a traditional English parish church.
Most of their initial residential commissions were in Vancouver’s West End. From 1912 until 1929 their domestic work was located in Shaughnessy Heights, Point Grey and North Vancouver. For Matthew Sergius Logan, lumberman and Parks Commissioner and advocate of the Stanley Park sea wall, they designed a grand Craftsman-style home on Point Grey Road, 1909-10. The Shaughnessy home of industrial supplier, Bryce W. Fleck, 1929, in the Tudor Revival style, includes bay windows, stained glass and curved gable above the entrance.
The firm’s prosperity, allowed the partners to build their own substantial homes and establish vacation properties for their families. In 1908 Curtis cleared land outside Comox and in 1912 built a small cottage; this property is still owned by the Curtis family. In 1913 Honeyman built his own home in Kerrisdale, which he called Kildavaig after a Scottish home in which he had once lived. By this time, Kerrisdale had become a desirable location, “Just far enough from the noise and bustle of the city for peace and contentment”. Kildavaig stands in excellent condition today. In 1929 he also built a cottage at Hood Point on Bowen Island, used by succeeding generations of his family.
The one commission outside the Lower Mainland that Honeyman undertook was related to his life-long Scottish friend James Cameron Dun-Waters. He would design and construct a house and a barn on Dun-Waters’ Fintry property. The design of the Manor House in 1911 was a sprawling Tudor Revival house. This first house burned down during renovations in 1924. He designed a second house to replace it, with rich materials and spaces, including gracious verandahs. Of particular interest was Dun-Waters’ trophy room, with trophy heads hung on the walls and the construction of a separate cave where his prize Kodiak bear would stand on moss-covered boulders; with a waterfall flowing down the rocks and disappearing under the floor inside the cave off the trophy room. I wonder, did Dun-Waters come up with the idea of a cave to display his prize trophy or did Honeyman? I think I will go with Dun-Waters. In National Trust estates in England and in Scottish Trust estates I certainly have come across trophy heads on the walls in some estates but I have never come across a cave designed within a trophy room to house a prize trophy.
To house Dun-Waters’ Ayrshire cattle, Honeyman designed and constructed a barn. Honeyman decided to build a polygonal barn, (usually more than four angles and sides) and the architectural pattern he chose was an Octagon (eight angles and sides). The octagonal design appears to have its origin in ecclesiastical structures. In 1970 archaeologists found the remains of an octagonal Romano-Celtic temple, dated AD325 in Chelmsford, Essex. Almost five hundred years later, probably one of the finest built octagonal structures built, is Charlemagne’s palace chapel, (now the cathedral) at Aachen (now Germany).
One of the outstanding examples in England is located in the mediaeval village of Pembridge, Herefordshire. Beside the Church of St. Mary the Virgin stands the Bell Tower, a separate building with an octagonal design. The structure dates from the early 13th century though only the four huge timber corner posts remain from the original building. It was restored in 1898 and 1957. On entering the belfry with its massive wooden beams, I had the eerie feeling that reminded me of standing in the middle of the Fintry barn. Structurally, the octagonal Bell Tower is related to the wooden stave churches of Norway. The irony of this comment for me relates to my sabbatical at the University of Oslo where on a weekend venture with my V.B.F. we came across one of these magnificent octagonal stave churches.
In the 18th century, polygonal buildings experienced a revival however, not in ecclesiastical buildings but in farm buildings, particularly “cow houses”. As a result of agrarian reforms in Britain new innovations in farming led to the development of new model farm buildings. One such building was the “cow house” constructed in direct response to the wintering of cattle. Most of the “cow houses” in the beginning had an interior design which was circular, octagonal or hexagonal in form. Also, architects argued that these types of structures provided the most efficient use of space for the smallest amount of material. However, they had less appeal to the average farmer who found the design too complex and the initial construction costs higher than average. Despite these costs they became very popular with architects between 1800 and 1937. At this time there were more than 30 pattern books published devoted to farm buildings in Britain.
Capitalizing on the success of British architects the idea of polygonal barns diffused to North America and flourished throughout the 19th century. In the United States numerous polygonal barns were built in New England and the Mid-Eastern States. In the 1880’s the idea of polygonal barns diffused across the border and began to appear in Eastern Canada and then across the Prairies to British Columbia. In 1995, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada commissioned a survey of polygonal barns constructed between 1888 and 1925. For British Columbia the study indicated that there was only one octagonal barn. It was located at 7071 No. 9 Road in East Richmond. It was known as the Ewan Cattle Barn, a 12-sided structure measuring 50 ft high and 100 ft in diameter and built of local red cedar. Alexander Ewan was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and emigrated to B.C. in 1864. Economically, he became involved in the fishing and agricultural industries. He built one of the largest canneries on the Fraser River and in 1893 on his 640 acre farm, he constructed his octagonal barn to house and feed up to 100 head of cattle. The inventory seems to have missed the Dun-Waters’ Fintry octagonal barn. When Dun-Waters commissioned Honeyman to build a barn, Honeyman must have known of the popularity of polygonal barns and particularly those using the octagonal pattern. In fact, the Crown Lumber Company, 1900-1915, advertised an Octagonal Pattern No. 3381 plan of a ready-made (today prefabricated) polygonal barn.
Honeyman’s Fintry barn contains 2,784 square feet including the silo area. It sits on a 20-inch high concrete foundation, and the floor area and feeding troughs are also constructed of concrete. Each of the 15 stalls contains a stanchion and there are three milking pens and a calf pen. The exterior of the barn is covered in fir board and batten. Undoubtedly, Dun-Waters was quite pleased to have such a distinctive barn to service his initial herd of 17 pedigree Ayrshires. Also, the cattle must have been pleased! Over the next few years, Dun-Waters expanded the herd and by 1931 he had 130 Ayrshires, probably one of the largest herds in Western Canada. On your next trip to Fintry do not miss taking a tour of the magnificent Fintry barn.
For Honeyman and Curtis the numerous commissions of the 1920’s fell off dramatically at the beginning of the Depression. Along with others in their profession, their partnership was devastated by the Great Depression, and they both retired by 1931. Honeyman died at home in Vancouver on February 18, 1934. Curtis, in ill health, retired to Comox in 1931 and died there on September 8th, 1940. Honeyman certainly had an interesting architectural career and I hope you enjoyed the script.
Just a final thought. Since Honeyman is recognized by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in Rossland, the Fintry Board of Directors might want to consider a plaque recognizing his work on Fintry’s unique Octagonal Barn and the Manor House!
The photos of the Rossland Court House were taken by my V.B.F.
We are really appreciative of these last days of warmth and sunshine, but as the leaves turn golden and slowly drift from the trees, we are reminded that autumn in all its glory is on its way.
At the Fintry Manor House we have had an extraordinarily busy month as staycations seem to be the order of the day this year. People are exploring what is in their backyards and some are discovering Fintry for the first time! The Fintry Campground closes Thanksgiving weekend and so too will the Fintry Manor House, so you have one more weekend to come and refresh yourselves on Dun-Waters’ history, grab that Laird of Fintry T-shirt or one of our books, e.g. Trips and Trails of the Okanagan.
This month, we have a real treat for you! Our Vice-President and historian Paul Koroscil has made many trips to the UK over the years researching Dun-Waters’ life before he moved to the Okanagan. Following is a compilation of some very interesting facts and recollections as he walked in Dun-Waters’ footsteps.
Stay healthy everyone,
Friends of Fintry Provincial Park
Researching James Cameron Dun-Waters. Some recollections in England and Scotland by Paul Koroscil
One of my major research interests was emigration and resettlement in B.C. in the 19th and early 20th century. If the researcher explores the movement of immigrants from the homeland to the new environment knowledge of the immigrants’ social and economic background prior to emigrating provides the researcher with possible clues to understanding their adaptability and success or failure in their new environment. It was this research niche that I decided to embark upon and hopefully my findings would result in a small addition of knowledge to the settlement area. Hence, the publication of two editions of “The British Garden of Eden, Settlement History of the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia.” Why the Okanagan Valley? A number of reasons certainly influenced my decision to explore the past. However, probably the major reason for my interest in the topic relates to my critic and very best friend (V.B.F.) Maureen Montfort Selwood whose family heritage is embedded in England and Scotland and emigrated to the valley in the latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th century. Another significant reason relates to the fact that every year we have returned to the U.K. to spend time visiting her relatives and at the same time, it gave me the opportunity to return to England where I lived as a post-doctoral student at the University of Cambridge. Thus these early visits to the U.K. during my research semesters were spent gathering material on individuals for the “Garden of Eden” book. One of the individuals that I chose to research was James Cameron Dun-Waters.
With the I.T. revolution and digitization one could argue that the researcher does not have to leave his/her home office to gather information/data on a particular topic. One simply needs to use one’s computer, iPad or telephone to research the topic. However, if the researcher is investigating a particular individual’s homeland and lifestyle the I.T. revolution/digitization does not include material that may not have been digitized in archives, museums and private collections, nor does it include the individuals one meets during the research in the homeland. This was certainly the case in my experience researching Dun-Waters.
Dun-Waters’ educational background included Wellington College and the University of Cam- bridge. At the age of 14 he was enrolled at Wellington College, Crowthorne, Berkshire.
The college is located on a 400 acre estate and the main college building was designed by John Shaw Jr. the architect chosen by Prince Albert. The imposing brick structure reflects the French Rococo design while the chapel was designed by George Gilbert. On the estate a number of residential houses were used to accommodate the students. At the entrance to the main building is a large plaque stating:
“On the 24th January, 1859 our visitor, Her Majesty Queen Victoria opened the College as a national monument to the Great Duke of Wellington on the 21st June, 1909. Our visitor His Majesty King Edward VII presided at the Jubilee Speech Day.”
On spending a day in Crowthorne my V.B.F. and I met John Edwards, Secretary, old Wellingtonian Society. He took us on a historical tour of the college and one could imagine the daily student life of Dun-Waters who was at the college from 1879-1881. It was during this time that Dun-Waters developed a passion for sporting activities, such as track and field, rugby and cricket. The only disappointment of the tour related to the residential house, Davenport, that Dun-Waters resided in at the college. John Edwards said that Davenport was demolished but he would find a photograph of the house and mail it to me. On my return to Canada I did receive a photo of Davenport, Dun-Water’s residential house. It was truly a memorable day at Dun-Waters’ Wellington College. After leaving Wellington College at the age of 19 he was admitted as a pens (pensioner – an ordinary fee-paying student) to Jesus College, University of Cambridge in1884. The athletic skills that he developed at Wellington College continued at Cambridge where he distinguished himself in sporting achievements rather than academics. For example, in 1884,1885 and 1886 he ran an athletic blue (mile) and in the 1884 event he set a Jesus College record of four minutes, forty-four and four-fifths seconds, beating second place finisher C.E. Tyndale-Biscog. On the following day the 14th November, he won a three- mile race beating Tyndale-Biscog by 20 yards in seventeen minutes and three-fifths seconds. Another sport that he exceeded at was cricket. In a match between Jesus XI and (Trinity) Hall XI played on 4th June 1887 he was well on the spot with the ball and took altogether nine wickets in this match. Dun-Waters’ outstanding athletic achievements at Jesus College was recognized in 1886 when he became President of the Cambridge University Athletic Club.
As President he would have been involved with two major sporting events, rugby at Twickenham and the Thames Boat Races between the Blues and Oxford. At a dinner at Kings College I sat beside Gerald Davies, one of the rugby players, who was playing in the annual match and after he graduated he would become a rugby reporter for The Times newspaper.
He indicated that I would thoroughly enjoy the match that attracted 50,000 spectators.
So, I followed in Dun-Waters’ footsteps to the annual match and imagined he was cheering for the Blues as I did.
Being at Cambridge, like Dun-Waters, I experienced other aspects of student life such as visiting a favourite pub (a definite) or attending a guest University lecture (a possibility for Dun-Waters). However, Michael Clegg, a long-time former Board member of the Friends of Fintry, was a student at Jesus College and would undoubtedly have experienced Dun-Waters’ daily routine at Jesus.
Another aspect of Dun-Waters’ life that I wanted to explore were the homes that he lived in.
In this regard, I was very fortunate to meet a gentleman, Douglas S. Wilson, who in retirement was a local historian. He had a son on Vancouver Island and on one of his trips to B.C. he visited Fintry. The first home (estate) that Dun-Waters inherited was Craigton House in 1888.
However, Douglas Wilson pointed out that the Victorian home was demolished but he was kind enough to provide me with a photograph of the home. Also he provided me with a Xerox copy of a private typescript on the history of Fintry, Stirlingshire. Recently a copy of the typescript was given to our Curator Dan Bruce for the Fintry archives.
In 1890 Dun-Waters acquired his second home, Culcreuch Castle (estate) which comprised some 6,000 acres for £58,000 from Lady Hume Spiers.
On another occasion visiting Fintry with my V.B.F., I made arrangements to meet two colleagues. One colleague was on sabbatical at the University of Dundee and the other colleague and his wife were in Scotland to attend a Highland Cattle meeting. We met my colleagues at an appointed time at the Fintry pub and I then took them on a field trip of the Culcreuch estate. I also arranged to book accommodation at the Culcreuch Castle Hotel. Staying in the Castle and noting the various rooms of the house and having breakfast in the dining room certainly gave me a feeling for Dun-Waters, living in his second home. Just an interesting note on Culcreuch…..in September of 2006 The Times listed
the 13th century hotel in Stirlingshire for sale. The advertisement stated: What you get: Four-teen twin, double or family rooms, eight self-catering lodges, conferencing and banqueting facilities plus 86 acres. Where it is: At the foot of Campsie Fells, near Fintry which regularly picks up the award for Scotland’s Best Kept Village; 20 miles from Glasgow, 42 from Edinburgh. Up- side: Become a Baron! As the ancestral home of the Barons of Culcreuch, the title comes with the sale. Downside: Expect plenty of visitors – at the moment it is a hotel complete with bar, restaurants and staff. Cost: £2.5 million. Contact: Knight Frank, www.knightfrank.com.
One sporting activity he developed a passion for was fox hunting. In 1898 he decided to pursue this activity in the rolling countryside of Shropshire. He rented Lutwyche Hall, Easthope and he accepted the position of Master of Wheatland Hounds. During the hunting season Dun-Waters and Alice commuted between Culcreuch Estate and Lutwyche Hall. In 1901 he decided to move permanently to Shropshire. After disposing of his land holdings, he acquired his third permanent home Plaish Hall, Plaish, Church Stretton in 1902. Plaish Hall is probably the finest Tudor designed home in Shropshire. On moving to Plaish he was asked to accept the master- ship of the South Shropshire Hunt Club where he enjoyed a great deal of success as he received the loyal support from landlords and farmers, as was evidenced by the almost entire absence of barbed wire in the country.
The feeling I had for Dun-Waters’ third home was certainly there but a stronger feeling was for the location of the house and the surrounding undulating landscape. Standing outside the home, I could just imagine Dun-Waters leading the fox hunt with his dogs which he felt were the best hounds in England. On another part of the property was a substantial kennel built for his hounds. As an aside, on another visit to Plaish we visited the owners of the kennel property and they indicated that the building had been renovated and they turned the former kennel into a Bed and Breakfast. Not far from the house, Dun-Waters set aside a graveyard for his beloved dogs. He put down a small slab of cement for each dog. While the cement was still fresh he used his finger or a stick and carved the name of the dog. What I found interesting about this procedure is that he did the same thing for Alice’s grave, where she is buried on the front lawn of the Fintry Manor House.
While on a visit to Glasgow, my V.B.F. and I visited the Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park. However, being in Glasgow Dun-Waters was on my mind and I made my way to the Glasgow Herald. I met the editor who was very accommodating discussing the history of the Herald. I then spent time in their library/archives room where the editor pointed out the historical sources of the Herald. Sitting in the room I could imagine Dun-Waters, who was a major shareholder in the Herald, making his way from Culcreuch to attend an annual meeting in the board room of the Herald.
After a Friends of Fintry board meeting Dan Bruce, our Curator, gave me a short piece of correspondence with the name Lochinch Castle and suggested on my next research semester to gather some information on the castle. Dun-Waters became convinced that Ayrshire cattle, which he had on his estates in Stirlingshire, would thrive in the Okanagan.
In a conversation with Elizabeth Long he stated:
“The Ayrshires are Scotch cattle and good cattle,” he explains, “So why should not Scotsmen in this country grow Ayrshires? Then, too, pure bred cattle are the only thing the Old Country farmer has to sell to this country, so why should not Scotch farmers in Canada buy them?”
His enthusiasm for Ayrshires led him to develop one of the finest herds in Western Canada. Knowing the breeding quality of Ayrshires coming out of Southwest Scotland, Dun-Waters made arrangements on at least three different occasions to purchase cattle from the 12th Earl of Stair, John James Dalrymple (1879-1961) of Lochinch Castle and Castle Kennedy, Stranraer, Wigtownshire.
Victorian Lochinch Castle was located at either end of an isthmus between two lochs, (the White Loch on the west side and the Black Loch on the east). The two-storey with a basement home was designed by Brown and Wardrop and was built in 1864-8 of cream coloured Lancashire stone. Architecturally it has been described as depicting a “relaxed Baronial manner with a few French touches, the mingling of styles perhaps an allusion to the Franco-Scottish alliance of the clients, the tenth Earl of Stair and his wife Louisa, daughter of the Duc de Coigny”.
Dun-Waters also revealed another aspect of his character in his Ayrshire promotional campaign; he was generous. In 1929 he offered to help fund the purchase and transport of 24 cows and one bull of registered Ayrshire cattle from the best herds in Scotland for the Departments of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, University of British Columbia. John Young was recruited by U.B.C. Professor H.M. King to develop a dairy farm which would support a teaching and research programme at U.B.C. In June 1929, Young, with cattle and family, boarded a ship in Glasgow and arrived ten days later in Quebec City. After six weeks of quarantine the cattle were put into rail- cars and trained to Vancouver. They arrived on August 10th in the middle of the Canadian Pacific Exhibition (now the P.N.E.). Following a pipe-band led parade through the exhibition, they were then trucked to their new home at the University Farm in Point Grey. On my visit to Lochinch Castle I went out to the home farm to search out the cattle operation. Unfortunately, the Ayrshire cattle had been replaced by a Holstein-Friesian herd. However in my research I was able to dis- cover a June 1931 photo of Ayrshire cattle grazing by the loch side at Lochinch Castle.
I will end my short précis of some recollections during the Ken and Jan Waldon regime (the founders of the Friends of Fintry). After a Fintry board meeting Jan asked me to search out some background information on Alice on my next research visit to the U.K.
Alice was born on June 19, 1866 to Charles William Orde and Francis Isabel Orde (nee Jacson) at Nunnykirk Hall in the sub-district of Rothbury in the County of Northumberland. The Hall lies in the heart of the Northumbrian countryside 10 miles from the market town of Morpeth. Nunnykirk Hall was one of John Dobson’s finest early country homes. In 1825 the Hall was rebuilt for William Orde on his inherited 2,500 acre family estate that included six farms.
“Very nobly Greek, with exquisite ashlar (square hewn stone) masonry. The stonework of much of the house has banded rustication after the fashion of French Neo-classical architecture. The five-bay centre of the Garden Front was a Queen Anne house which Dobson refronted and to which he added (two) lower projecting wings. The ground floor between the wings has an Ionic loggia of four columns”. The home is still owned by the Orde family but it is now leased out as a special needs school.
Growing up at Nunnykirk, Alice probably had the same feeling for the outdoors and eventual interest in a sporting life as Dun-Waters. For me this feeling for the latter case was confirmed when I had a visit with Michael Orde. In his home there were a number of large prints hanging on the walls of a room depicting the chase of the foxhounds. In every National Trust estate home that my V.B.F and I have visited there was always a room or a hallway that displayed an individual family portrait painting in an extra-large gilded frame. Again, in Michael Orde’s home I was quite startled to see a very large portrait painting of Alice hanging on a wall leading up to the second floor of the house. The next time you visit the Manor House at Fintry you can view a small replica of this painting.
On the 11th December, 1888, a year after leaving Cambridge, Dun-Waters married Alice. The marriage took place at St. Mary the Virgin, Parish Church of Morpeth.
“The event had been looked forward to not only by the people of Morpeth, but generally throughout the county. The hour fixed for the ceremony was half-past two o’clock. Long before that hour the church, with the exception of seats reserved for the wedding guests, was filled with a deeply interested congregation, while the long walk laid from end to end with carpet, from the main road to the south of the porch was lined on both sides by some hundreds of people.”
The interest in the marriage was no doubt due to the fact that her father was a prominent lawyer who held such offices as Justice of Peace, High Sheriff and Chancellor of Quarter Sessions for Northumberland from 1854-1873. Undoubtedly, the Orde family was part of the established elite and the marriage was certainly the social highlight of the year in Morpeth.
Walking up the long pathway from the road to the church, I could well imagine the people lining that pathway and Dun-Waters and Alice coming out of the church and walking on that carpeted pathway.
In conclusion, I hope that you enjoyed the read.
Just a few comments: In researching Dun-Waters and following his footsteps certainly was an adventure for myself and my V.B.F. Collecting non-digitized material at libraries/archives proved to be successful most of the time. Also, I was able to photograph the buildings and landscapes associated with Dun-Waters which reinforced my imagination during a particular time in his life.
Finally, I must say that one of the pleasures doing the research were the people I met who were extremely kind and helpful.