Summerland pioneer Harry Dunsdon and his family have played a prominent role in the history and growth of the Okanagan community.
Dunsdon pre-empted his land in Summerland on April 2, 1894, just west of the Garnett brothers’ property. He was also responsible for building Summerland’s first dam, in the Garnet Valley area, in 1894.
Dunsdon named the ranch house Harrowdene. This name came from his hometown in Middlesex, England. The family home was across a field from the prestigious Harrow School. Several of Summerland’s first pioneers had been students at the school.
On June 1, 1904, Dunsdon married Annie Stevens. The wedding, at St Peter’s Anglican Church on Giants Head Road, was the first wedding on record in Summerland. The couple had one daughter and six sons.
Stevens had sailed to Canada from England in May, 1904. Her family and the Dunsdon family had been next-door neighbours in Middlesex.
Other members of the Dunsdon family have also been prominent in Summerland and beyond.
Steve Dunsdon was the first president of the Summerland Legion in 1960 to 1961. He was the Dominion President of the Royal Canadian Legion from 1984 to 1986.
Nicole Dunsdon was crowned Miss Canada in 1992. She was the second Summerlander to receive this honour, after Cynthia Kereluk in 1984. This was the last year the Miss Canada Pageant was held.
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