The Fintry Estate, a heritage site with a colourful history, encompasses 360 hectares and several heritage buildings. When Dun-Waters purchased the delta in 1909, his first priorities were to build a home and to create a water system from Short’s Creek. During his ownership of the land, Dun-Waters also cleared much of the delta for farming and built a Pelton Wheel water-turbine system to harness energy from the creek. Fintry quickly became one of the most comprehensive agricultural estates in the Okanagan Valley, complete with landscaped gardens, a 40-acre orchard, sawmill, additional residences for farm personnel, stables, four upland hunting lodges, a quarry, a roofed-in electrically lit curling rink, and one of the only circular (octagonal) dairy barns in the province.
The Manor House
After a year of living in the small house on the property, Dun-Waters began building the new house. He contracted friend and architect John J. Honeyman to design the Manor House and Kelowna stonemason John Abbot Bailey to construct the house, and he installed a water system for irrigation and domestic use.
The Manor House was completed in 1911, using granite quarried from the nearby cliffs for the foundation, exterior walls and massive fireplaces. The house had spacious living quarters with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a sitting room, living room, dining room and full basement, part of which was a secure cellar for the private stock of Dun-Waters’ ‘Laird of Fintry’ whisky. The original house was destroyed by fire in 1924, but the foundation walls remained intact. Dun-Waters rebuilt the house on the same footprint, adding a trophy room and stone grotto to showcase the Kodiak bear.
Fintry Octagonal Dairy Barn
Fintry’s octagonal dairy barn is believed to be the last standing eight-sided barn in BC and one of only a few in Canada. Dun-Waters again contracted John J. Honeyman to design and build the barn in 1924, requesting this innovative design to house his Ayrshire cattle. The dairy barn features a central silo ringed by stanchions and pens. The concrete floor was unusual in 1924, but much safer for cattle and men than a wood floor. The barn is one of Fintry’s premium buildings with permanent exhibit boards created by the Friends of Fintry, opened by Mayor Sharon Shepherd and Art Harrop in 2006.
When Dun-Waters purchased the property in 1909, the agricultural base of the Okanagan was changing. Orchards were replacing ranches and sternwheelers opened the lake for transport and shipping. By 1920, Dun-Waters had cleared and irrigated over 200 acres of the bottomland and planted over 5,000 fruit trees. In the decade from 1927 to 1936, the Fintry orchards produced an average 22,000 boxes of fruit a year.
The packinghouse was fitted with a second Pelton wheel turbine to generate electrical power for the cold storage of the fruit and the fruit-sorting machine. The packinghouse operated from 1924 to the early 1940s and was continued by the Fairbridge Farm School after Dun-Waters’ death.