According to the earliest maps of the Okanagan Valley, the Summerland area was called Nicola Prairie. This name meant the land of Nicola; Grand Chief Nicola. In 1845, Chief Nicola was protected by 80 bodyguards. In 1902, when Summerland was founded, only three Indigenous families remained: the Johnny Pierre, Antoine Pierre and William Manuel families. The children of these three families attended Summerland’s first official school in 1904. This photograph shows William Manuel’s home in the lower left corner. The road, left of the home, would become Rosedale Avenue. The home was surrounded by Alf Richardson’s lumber yard. Today, the Manuel house would be located close to the Summerland Animal Clinic. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

According to the earliest maps of the Okanagan Valley, the Summerland area was called Nicola Prairie. This name meant the land of Nicola; Grand Chief Nicola. In 1845, Chief Nicola was protected by 80 bodyguards. In 1902, when Summerland was founded, only three Indigenous families remained: the Johnny Pierre, Antoine Pierre and William Manuel families. The children of these three families attended Summerland’s first official school in 1904. This photograph shows William Manuel’s home in the lower left corner. The road, left of the home, would become Rosedale Avenue. The home was surrounded by Alf Richardson’s lumber yard. Today, the Manuel house would be located close to the Summerland Animal Clinic. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Summerland was once known as Nicola Prairie

Downtown Summerland was once Penticton Indian Reserve #3

Summerland was once known as Nicola Prairie, named after Grand Chief Nicola.

The Nicola Prairie name is listed on some of the earliest maps of the region. The name meant the land of Nicola. In 1845, Chief Nicola was protected by eighty bodyguards.

In 1902, when Summerland was founded, only three Indigenous families remained: the Johnny Pierre, Antoine Pierre and William Manuel families. The children of these three families attended Summerland’s first official school in 1904.

READ ALSO: Land once belonged to Grand Chief Nicola

READ ALSO: Pierre family played role in Summerland’s history

William Manuel’s home was near Alf Richardson’s lumber yard. Today, that home would be close to the Summerland Animal Clinic on Jubilee Road East near Rosedale Avenue.

Indigenous families played an important role in what is now Summerland. The community’s downtown once was Penticton Indian Reserve #3.

The reserve was a cattle ranch and farm operated by the Pierre families. The Antoine Pierre family home was located close to today’s museum. The Johnny Pierre home was located near present-day Washington Avenue.

In 1886, Johnny Pierre settled what is now downtown Summerland and used water from Eneas Creek to irrigate crops of hay and potatoes. At the time, what is now Summerland’s downtown was Penticton Indian Reserve #3. The reserve was a cattle ranch and farm operated by the Pierre families.

In 1904, the Penticton Indian Reserve #3 was exchanged for land adjacent to Penticton Indian Reserve #1.

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