Summerland, B.C. was a rest stop along the historic “Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail” long before the fields of orchards, farmer’s fields and vineyards currently growing throughout Summerland.
The “Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail” was a roughshod walking trail used by cattle herders, miners and fur trappers between 1815 – 1885. The trail was a transportation route in the Okanagan Valley connecting townships.
As early as the 1800′s, the orchardists started arriving in the community of Summerland to farm the “Rivere a’ la Truite” (Trout Creek Summerland area). The region enjoyed good soil, plenty of sunshine and an abundance of water.
One of the said initial settlers in the region, J Robinson, was quoted as saying, “Heaven on earth with summer weather forever, ” when describing Summerland.
The original townsite of Summerland was located on the shores of Okanagan Lake, near Trout Creek. Incorporated in 1906, Summerland was a thriving community until the great fires of 1922 reduced the community to dust. The idea of starting from scratch meant they could move the village and move they did. With the arrival of the new railway service in 1915, the less reliance on the lake for transportation, and the fires, the community opted to move inland. The Summerland of today sits at this new townsite, which is located above Okanagan Lake and in the shadow of Giant’s Head Mountain.