Agriculture along the Crow Route in British Columbia (3 of 5)


Land promotion schemes were big business along the Crowsnest Route in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Claims were often exaggerated in the wide-spread advertising that was circulated in Great Britain, eastern Canada, the United States and in parts of Europe. Newly arrived settlers often found that the "City" promoted in advertising was little more than a frontier town of a few buildings and that the productive orchard land was just a logged-off or fire-scarred hillside. Nonetheless, many people from a great many ethnic backgrounds, stayed and worked the land to develop farms and orchards that would bring fame to the region for is fruit, produce and grains.

(Insert adds for orchard lands)

By the early 1900s, many farms and orchards were in production and high quality fruit was making a reputation for the region. J. T. Bealby, an Englishman who owned a fruit ranch near Bonnington Falls west of Nelson, produced a guide called Fruit Ranching in British Columbia. From the second edition, published in 1911:

"Kaslo possesses excellent soil and some model orchards, and is especially famous as the producer of unsurpassed Gravensteins, a variety with which she beat all comers at Spokane in 1908, and again in 1909. During the last two or three years exceptionally large areas have been planted with orchards at Creston and alongside the Arrow Lakes. Creston bids fair to become a fruit-growing locality of exceptional merit and interest. It is situated in an expansion of the Kootenay River, just before it enters the southern extremity of Kootenay Lake..."

Okanagan and Kootenay producers won many awards for their fruit, particularly apples, cherries and peaches, across North America and in Britain.


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