Okanagan Lake’s beach front, next to Penticton’s Rotary Park, wasn’t always owned by the city.
In fact, W.T. Shatford owned the lakefront area and donated to the city in 1910.
A stretch of the beach still officially bears his name as Shatford Park, according to the province’s land records and parcel map.
The donation was made in 1910, and stretches from Rotary Park at Winnipeg Street to Power Street, or Block ‘S’ as it was identified in the letter from Shatford to the town’s reeve at the time.
“We determined at the outset that the waterfront named should always be public property, and that it should not be marred by the construction of unsightly buildings or utilized for commercial purposes,” read the letter, posted to the pages of the Penticton Press – the precursor to the Penticton Herald – on May 28, 1910.
“With this tract beautified, fronting a most charming bit of Okanagan water, and giving access to a beach unexcelled for bathing, Penticton possesses an asset which perhaps is not appreciated at anything like its true value.”
Shatford made the donation on behalf of the South Okanagan Land Company, which signed over the deed to the land to the municipality.
The stretch of land next to the beach took time to develop, and even into the 1930s parts of the Lakeshore “Drive” were barely more than a well-worn track between trees.
The beach is one of two major sites in the city to bear the name of Shatford, with the Shatford Centre next to Penticton Secondary School being the other.
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