In 1922 seven young orchardists from Oyama paid a visit to the Summerland Experimental Station. (Photo courtesy Diane Eyles Turner)

Learn a little about your home: Oyama settlers after the First World War

Every week, the Lake Country Museum will showcase Lake Country history

In 1922, seven young, tanned orchardists from Oyama visited the Summerland Experimental Station, presumably to learn some of the science behind growing apples.

Jim Brown, 25, single, immigrated to Canada with his parents in 1903 and in 1922 the two-generation family was established on Broadwater Road.

They planted nine acres of their land by 1922. Bill Talbot, age 32, married to Evelyn, arrived in Oyama in 1920 and purchased an established orchard with 270 trees.

Charles Lewis “Tony” Cliffe, 28, married to “Molly,” immigrated from England in 1921 and purchased on Broadwater Road.

Cliffe came to Oyama because he had met the Aldreds in 1919 in England where they ran a store.

He had 8.3 acres of planted orchard. Cliffe and Molly moved to Vancouver in 1925 and in 1931 sold their land to Bill Allingham.

READ MORE: Heritage Week kicks off around the Central Okanagan

Harry Aldred, 24, single, immigrated to Canada in 1911 with his parents who ran a store at the crossroads in Oyama before returning to England for the duration of the First World War.

On their return to Oyama, the elder Aldreds established a store beside the Oyama School while Aldred purchased lot 40, not yet in production in 1922.

Aldred later went into the trucking business and remained in Oyama until his death.

Duncan and Rupert Eyles, 26 and 23, both single, came to Oyama following a recommendation from an Oyama orchardist, W. T. Heddle, to their father, who owned W. H. Eyles Fruit Merchants in Bristol, England.

Eyles financed the trip and the purchase of land for his sons on Oyama Road in 1919.

They worked at the Heddle packinghouse but soon built a shack on their property and planted their orchard.

Rupert sold his property to Duncan in 1925, who in turn sold it to Derek Eyles in 1959.

Charles Townsend, 31, married to Maud, immigrated to Canada in 1911 and went to war, after which he purchased an established orchard with 425 trees planted before the war. He further planted another 360 trees.

These seven men were but a few of the many young men who settled on the east bench of Oyama in the immediate post First World War era.

Many purchased lands originally part of the Wood Lake Fruitlands Company.

Enthusiasm was high because the war years had been very profitable for established orchardists.

Duane Thomson is the president of the Lake Country Museum and Archives. Every week, the Lake Country Calendar will publish a column highlighting our community’s past.

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