A PROSPEROUS COMMUNITY According to the 1909 provincial assessment records, Summerland was the most prosperous Okanagan community. This section of Shaughnessy Avenue is now Lakeshore Drive. The last building in the row is the Summerland Hotel, promptly built following the founding of Summerland in 1902. The location of the hotel is now the vacant lot across the street from the present day trout hatchery. Next in the row of buildings is Empire Hall with the Summerland Supply Company using the lower floor. Next is the Lakeshore Telephone Office (prior to expansion) and the post office, followed by George McWilliams’s real estate office. (Photograph courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Summerland was once most prosperous community in the Okanagan Valley

Fires in 1920s destroyed Lowertown businesses

Summerland founder Sir Thomas Shaughnessy and his wealthy business partners were responsible for much of Summerland’s early prosperity.

By 1909, provincial assessments in Summerland were the highest in the Okanagan Valley.

Summerland’s assessment was $1,060,000 followed by Coldstream ($934,618), Penticton ($845,955), Kelowna ($840,660) and Peachland ($305,200.)

Shaughnessy Avenue, now Lakeshore Drive, was the commercial hub of the community at the time.

The last building in the row is the Summerland Hotel, promptly built following the founding of Summerland in 1902. The location of the hotel is now the vacant lot across the street from the present day trout hatchery. Next in the row of buildings is Empire Hall with the Summerland Supply Company using the lower floor. Next is the Lakeshore Telephone Office (prior to expansion) and the post office, followed by George McWilliams’s real estate office.

READ ALSO: Summerland heritage buildings still standing today

READ ALSO: Road between Penticton and Summerland was built in 1909

A few years later, a fire changed the face of the community.

The fire, on March 13, 1922, started from a from a small stove in the basement of Simpson and Gowan’s store and quickly spread through the downtown.

Fire equipment was minimal and as a result, damage was extensive.

The total loss was $70,000 to $80,000.

Several businesses were heavily damaged as a result.

The Summerland Review lost between $17,000 and $20,000 worth of equipment.

Simpson and Gowan’s store lost stock worth $25,000 and a building worth about $5,000.

The W.J. Robinson residence, worth $10,000, was destroyed, as was the Empire Hall building, worth $500.

Stark’s store, in the Empire Building, was also destroyed. It had a value of $1,000.

The Summerland Hotel, across from what is now the fish hatchery, was built in 1902 by the Summerland Development Company. It was destroyed by a fire around midnight on Nov. 14, 1925.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Column: One parenting book certainly doesn’t fit all

Like the fingerprints they are born with – each child is different.… Continue reading

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department receives $25k grant

Money used on a truck with low volume, high pressure water pump to fight wildfires

Ryga Arts Festival to include virtual and in-person events

Arts festival in Summerland will run from Aug. 15 to 23

Okanagan and Shuswap MPs want federal funds to help stop invasive species

Concerns raised that spending favours Eastern Canada.

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read