In the Pacific Northwest, the Jesuits founded nine Jesuit Missions including a settlement at Garnet Lake in Summerland.
On Aug. 9, 1845, by agreement between Grand Chief Nicola (1793-1859) and Father Giovanni Nobili (1812-1856), a settlement was founded at Nicola Prairie (Summerland.)
Construction of buildings and gardens was under the direction of Novice Anthony Goetz (1812-1882) and “Métis Baptiste.”
They were all reassigned to California in 1848 during the gold rush.
The camp was abandoned during the California gold rush but regained its importance during the Cariboo gold rush.
Father Superior Joseph Joset insisted that all structures at the site be removed, so other religious orders could not use the facility.
Father Nobili buried a couple of personal items at the site in 1848. These were unearthed in 1986.
The District of Summerland bought the property in 1994 for a park.
Mayor Don Cameron officially opened the Priest Camp Historic Park in February 1998.
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