Frank Hewer circa 1910. - Image: Lake Country Museum

Museum to enhance archival collection

Project will create a widely-accessible database of Lake Country’s history while saving records

The Lake Country Museum and Archives has received project approval and funding to digitize a major collection of records and correspondence pertaining to the Rainbow Ranche.

This significant project, partnered with UBC Library Open Collections, will create a widely-accessible database of Lake Country’s history while reducing physical contact and possible damage to the original records.

The Rainbow Ranche Collection was donated to the Lake Country Museum in 2013 by the family of the late James Goldie.

After review, conservation, and preservation of the collection, the LCMA determined that providing public access while limiting handling of the material was essential. The digitization will be done by the UBC Library, who specializes in high quality scanning of archival documents.

The Rainbow Ranche Digitization project is partnered with UBC Library Digital Initiatives, Vancouver Campus and will be fully available on the UBC Library Open Collections website at https://open.library.ubc.ca in the fall of 2017.

The project is funded by the Central Okanagan Foundation and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The Rainbow Ranche was one of the first independent fruit ranches in the Okanagan, owned by several partners and managed by onsite partner James Goldie. The partners maintained a comprehensive correspondence and set of ledgers detailing the first plantings and orchard operations over twenty-seven years.

Ledgers and payroll records show that the Rainbow’s orchards and packinghouse employed a crew of Japanese workers under a Japanese foreman and a crew of European immigrants with a second foreman. The two crews worked side by side and many of the workers lived in bunkhouses at the Rainbow.

The correspondence also provides an insight into work and life in the Okanagan in the early 1900s. The project will digitize the Rainbow’s correspondence and records from 1906 to 1933. Some additional records and ledgers from 1934 to the 1940s will also be included for consistency.

Material dating after the scope of this project, up to 1974, will be a later project.