Barclay’s ranch is site of present-day Summerland

Property was purchased by Sir Thomas Shaughnessy in 1902

George Barclay owned and operated the Trout Creek cattle ranch which is today the site of most of present day Summerland.

Barclay arrived in Summerland in 1890 and was one of the first non-Indigenous pioneers to settle in the area.

On Sept. 4, 1897, he married Caroline Cornwall, daughter of the Lieutenant Governor Clement Cornwall.

By 1900, Caroline wished to return to her home at Ashcroft and the ranch was for sale.

Summerland was founded in August, 1902 when Sir Thomas Shaughnessy and his company, the Summerland Syndicate, purchased George Barclay’s Trout Creek Ranch. The Barclay cattle ranch comprised 1,400 hectares. The company later acquired another 200 hectares of government land.

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Under the direction of Shaughnessy and with the managerial skills of J.M. Robinson, the new Summerland Development Company and the community of Summerland grew.

The Okanagan Electoral District list of “Persons Entitled to Vote” of Nov. 5, 1906 included 443 permanent Christian residences in the Summerland area.

Section 92(8) of Canada’s Constitution Act of 1867 permitted provincial legislative powers over municipal institutions.

With the passage of the Municipal Incorporation Act of 1896 by the British Columbia Provincial Legislature, communities were given the opportunity to incorporate.

Those intending to incorporate required a Letter Patent to apply. The names on the petition had to be residents of the community for six months prior to the petition and the petitioners had to be “not less than 100 male British subjects of full age.” And finally, a significant number of names on the petition had to be a “like proportion of landowners.”

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The community of Summerland met the requirements of the Municipal Incorporation Act and Summerland was incorporated, as the municipal seal bears out, on Dec. 21, 1906.

A subsequent municipal election took place on Jan. 14, 1907 when a total of five candidates ran. All five were elected by acclamation.

On Jan. 21, 1907 in the Band Block, in what is now Lowertown, the candidates were officially sworn into office: J. M. Robinson was declared the Reeve and J. C. Ritchie, R.H. Agur, J.R. Brown and C.J. Thomson filed certificates of office as councillors. At this first council meeting, following a ballot vote,

J.L. Logie was given the position as secretary treasurer with a salary of $200 a year.

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