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Page last updated October 10, 2003

© Michael Kluckner

Written 2002: "9058 Kal Lake Road, a substantial mock-Tudor with a splendid wraparound porch, probably built around 1910. I think it is from a generation later than the Coldstream Ranch buildings--the sort of "hobby orchard" a semiretired person of some means might have built. I stopped to paint it because it I liked the tableau--the bright early morning sun in late October, the massive weeping willow and the flat orchard stretching out behind, which was dotted with small pickers' shacks. Also, although the house was tenanted, it looked as if it is being held speculatively as its condition is in decline, as it were."

Notes from Sean Henry: The place was always known as the "Patricia Ranch." It was the main residence on a major dairy farm (you are probably right in thinking it was a "model" operation put up by British expatriates) erected some time in the early part of the 20th century. My grandfather, A.T. Howe, acquired the property as part of his holdings of orchards and other businesses. He originally lived on Kalamalka Lake, but moved in the early 1940s to the house in your sketch.

As well as the dairy operation, it also comprised orchards - all in all a rather impressive estate. There were a number of similar properties in the Coldstream district, which from the 1890s up to WW II was an outpost of the British Empire - being populated by many British expatriates of means, plus a number of retirees from the British Army in India, and the British Indian Army. Most people think that only Victoria was a "bit of old England." In fact there were pockets of the same culture in many other places in BC such as Coldstream and several places in the Kootenays. Sadly, it was mortally injured, as were many other aspects of society, by WW I. Many of the men went away to war and never came back. For example, at Walhachin near Ashcroft (another "model" community) all the male members of the community joined up and [many] were killed. The end came after WW II as the remnants of the original British group were dying off from old age, to be replaced by an array of non-British immigrants.

My grandfather was British, but originally settled in Toronto. In about 1910 he was told he had a heart condition and was not going to live very long. He had read about the Okanagan Valley being a "garden of Eden" so he packed up and moved there in 1913 to spend his final days in pleasant surroundings. He purchased a house by Kalamalka Lake, which included a small orchard. As time went by and he remained alive, he became interested in the fruit business and began acquiring more properties. For the reasons noted above, after WW I many orchards were put up for sale at distress prices. My understanding is that is when he bought the Patricia Ranch. In the end he owned several thousand acres of mainly orchards and his own packing house. He finally died in 1947 at the age of 92 (in the house you have portrayed). So much for medical advice!


Note from Pat Duggan: "I was born and raised there along with my 6 siblings. I am Patricia Nuyens (now Duggan) - and I always liked to think that I was named after the ranch but who knows. My parents bought the ranch in the 1940's and we were there until they passed away a few years ago. My brother tried to keep the place but it has now been sold and is undergoing massive renovations and will become a bed and breakfast.

"It was designed by O.B. Hatchard and built between 1912-14 for Lady Patricia Grosvenor, who owned it and who was trying to arrange for the use of the ranch as an agricultural school for young ladies emigrating from England. [After the war] it was sold for taxes and A.T. Howe purchased it (one of many holdings he had) and ran a small orchard on it as well as, by 1937, one of the best Jersey cow dairies in the Interior that won many national and international awards. My parents, George & Myfanwy Nuyens, bought the place from A.T. Howe . . . in 1949 through the Veterans Lands Affairs and raised seven children there. We had a many a wonderful gathering at the place with Christmas for the whole family every year up until the year 2000. It was a wonderful house to grow up in and certainly had the room we needed. My father passed away in 1998 and my mother passed away in 2000 . . . .My brother was going to try to take over the place and restore some of it however he was unable to meet the commitment and the house was sold early this year and has now undergone extensive renovations and will be used for the bed & breakfast."

Architect Otto Beeston Hatchard (1879-1945) started his career in England, then worked in Africa including a period as chief architect to the Sudan government before arriving in Vernon in 1910. During the next five years he designed a number of bungalows, including this one, in the fashionable British Arts and Crafts style, spent the war as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, then in the early Twenties moved to California apparently due to health problems contracted while on active service. See Luxton, Building the West: the Early Architects of British Columbia, p. 377.

Note from Sherry Hudson: I bought the property in February of this year in order to restore it to its original splendour, as I recently did with another registered Heritage site at 1768 Otter Lake Road in Spallumcheen, which was also a Bed & Breakfast, called Heritage Homestead Inn. The house at 9058 Kalamalka Rd is now nearing completion and will be opening soon as Aberdeen Manor, in honor of Lord and Lady Aberdeen who originally owned the property when it was part of the Coldstream Ranch in the late 1800's. Lady Aberdeen initiated the formation of home nursing care (by coincidence, I am a certified care aide specializing in home care!) and was instrumental in the beginning of the women's movement in Canada at the turn of the century. When the property was turned over to the British Colonial Intelligence League under the direction of a Lady Christian the house was built and opened as the girl's agricultural school and boarding house where young women came to live and learn about the rural lifestyle in Canada's wild west. (Interestingly, I previously ran a small-scale guest ranch for young Japanese women who did the same, which I plan to continue in Coldstream.)

The house has been returned as much as possible to its original state, with all the fir flooring being dug out from several layers of linoleum, all the woodwork refinished and verandah being rebuilt using the same lumber, all planed to like-new condition.The only major change (the Heritage designation is affected if walls are removed or more than 10% of the exterior is altered) was the superintendent's bedroom off the kitchen being bumped out 4 ft for use as a formal dining room, one small bedroom upstairs divided into laundry and a new bathroom and the attic being developed into living space for myself. The beautiful old building out back, once a horse barn and later used as housing, has been kept as found in its entirety and will someday be further restored for use as a home-based business, a garden shop.


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Artwork and text ©Michael Kluckner, 2001, 2002