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Page last updated June 4, 2020

© Michael Kluckner

The Antwerp Ranch house, seen from the hillside behind and looking more or less south across the valley. Highway 6 crosses the picture in front of the house, in 2001.

Although not nearly as significant as the Coldstream Ranch to the history of the Vernon area, the Antwerp is additional evidence of the influx of foreign investment into British Columbia in the early years of the 20th century. In this case, not surprisingly, it was Belgian investors named Peters, Vaudenwerngert and Laureus who bought ranchland in the beautiful valley east of Coldstream and engaged builder Tom French to erect the house for them in 1910. The house is in original condition, unfortunately not the case for the barn just out of the picture to the left. CN and CP trains share a rail line that still operates through the valley connecting Lumby with Vernon.

(Information source: Greater Vernon Heritage Resource Inventory. Hobson and Associates, 1986)

From Dirk Gorrebeeck, 2020: I came across your painting of the Antwerp Ranch after I stumbled upon a photograph sent from the States to a Belgian family. I might be mistaken when I write States. It may as well be Canada. I know he was in Detroit in the 30’s so I presumed he was in the States all the time. Unfortunately the card was sent in an envelope together with a letter which are lost…
We think the immigrant who sent this image was a mister Van Herck, who moved back to Belgium somewhere in the 30’s.

I was wondering if the farm on the picture and the one in the painting are the same. Maybe there are other ranches by the name of Antwerp Ranch?
The text on the picture says (in short) :
Best greetings… There’s a mark of across on my head. I am shaved bold, the American way. The house and the horse shed are also marked with a cross. This snapshot was taken by Arthur in hay time 1912 on the Antwerp Ranch. The two men are Mr. Thormann from the Alsacia Ranch and myself. We were the two pitchers… I have been pitching all the hay season..

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Artwork and text ©Michael Kluckner, 2001, 2002