A PROSPEROUS COMMUNITY According to the 1909 provincial assessment records, Summerland was the most prosperous Okanagan community. This section of Shaughnessy Avenue is now Lakeshore Drive. The last building in the row is the Summerland Hotel, promptly built following the founding of Summerland in 1902. The location of the hotel is now the vacant lot across the street from the present day trout hatchery. Next in the row of buildings is Empire Hall with the Summerland Supply Company using the lower floor. Next is the Lakeshore Telephone Office (prior to expansion) and the post office, followed by George McWilliams’s real estate office. (Photograph courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Summerland was once most prosperous community in the Okanagan Valley

Fires in 1920s destroyed Lowertown businesses

Summerland founder Sir Thomas Shaughnessy and his wealthy business partners were responsible for much of Summerland’s early prosperity.

By 1909, provincial assessments in Summerland were the highest in the Okanagan Valley.

Summerland’s assessment was $1,060,000 followed by Coldstream ($934,618), Penticton ($845,955), Kelowna ($840,660) and Peachland ($305,200.)

Shaughnessy Avenue, now Lakeshore Drive, was the commercial hub of the community at the time.

The last building in the row is the Summerland Hotel, promptly built following the founding of Summerland in 1902. The location of the hotel is now the vacant lot across the street from the present day trout hatchery. Next in the row of buildings is Empire Hall with the Summerland Supply Company using the lower floor. Next is the Lakeshore Telephone Office (prior to expansion) and the post office, followed by George McWilliams’s real estate office.

READ ALSO: Summerland heritage buildings still standing today

READ ALSO: Road between Penticton and Summerland was built in 1909

A few years later, a fire changed the face of the community.

The fire, on March 13, 1922, started from a from a small stove in the basement of Simpson and Gowan’s store and quickly spread through the downtown.

Fire equipment was minimal and as a result, damage was extensive.

The total loss was $70,000 to $80,000.

Several businesses were heavily damaged as a result.

The Summerland Review lost between $17,000 and $20,000 worth of equipment.

Simpson and Gowan’s store lost stock worth $25,000 and a building worth about $5,000.

The W.J. Robinson residence, worth $10,000, was destroyed, as was the Empire Hall building, worth $500.

Stark’s store, in the Empire Building, was also destroyed. It had a value of $1,000.

The Summerland Hotel, across from what is now the fish hatchery, was built in 1902 by the Summerland Development Company. It was destroyed by a fire around midnight on Nov. 14, 1925.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Revelstoke workers vote to strike

This comes a day after city council gave themselves a raise

Revelstoke Rotary Club celebrates over 90 years of service

Globally, there are over 1 million Rotary members

UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

The mayor’s pay is set to go from $30,000 to $60,000 over three years

Highway 1 closed near Golden

DriveBC estimates the road to reopen at 1 p.m.

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Empty speedboat sinks off Kelowna shore on Okanagan Lake

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Kelowna General Hospital takes steps to prevent spread of coronavirus

So far, at least six people have died and 275 people have contracted the virus worldwide

Pumphouse project puts North Okanagan taps back on Kal

The capital project at the Kal Lake Pump House to make it flood-resistant is near completion

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

Most Read