(Photo contributed)

Fintry Mansion looking for live-in caretakers

The Fintry Manor House, located in a provincial park, is 50 kilometres from Vernon and Kelowna on the west side of Okanagan Lake.

People usually look for a home, not the other way around.

In this case, home is a stately mansion nestled in a garden landscape by the western shore of Okanagan Lake. And the group that manages it is searching for caretakers to live there year-round.

The Fintry Manor House, located in a provincial park, is 50 kilometres from Vernon and Kelowna. The Friends of Fintry society is taking applications from history buffs, heritage lovers and people who embrace rural living. In exchange for free rent at the Fintry manor house, they’re expected to take visitors on house tours, supervise student guides in summer and do a little gardening.

Related: Fintry manor house receives funding

Related: Fintry Queen still looking for a home

“We need a presence there for security purposes,” said society president Kathy Drew. “We’d like to have a permanent couple who can help with tours and bring the house to life. We want the house to have a heart.”

In lieu of wages, the caretakers will live rent-free in a modern suite with kitchen facilities. This year-round position is ideal for people who like working with the public and enjoy history and heritage. The job suits a couple but individuals are eligible.

Duties include securing the Manor House, some gardening, helping with fairs, guiding tours and supervising student guides from May to October. Caretakers provide their own cable TV and personal phone services, while the Friends of Fintry society pays half the cost of hydro and propane.

The manor house was built by Scottish aristocrat James Dun-Waters in 1912. He’d become enchanted by the Fintry Delta years earlier while touring with his university chum Earl Grey, the Governor General of Canada.

An avid big-game hunter, Dun-Waters sold his shares in the Glasgow Herald newspaper and bought more than 1,100 acres of undeveloped ranch lands. He hired an architect friend to design and build the house, a spacious bungalow made of stone quarried from the hillside. He immigrated with his wife Alice in 1910 and the couple established a mixed farm with orchards, vegetables and beef cattle.

After Alice died and fire gutted the house in 1924, Dun-Waters restored it and added a room to display the trophy heads of his hunting trips. He donated most of the land to charity and died in 1939.

The manor house, known for its granite foundation, massive fireplaces and old-world grandeur, changed hands several times until the B.C. government bought the 20-acre estate and converted it to a provincial park in 1993. The Friends of Fintry, a non-profit group, began operating the house soon after.

“BC Parks recently built a private suite in part of the house where caretakers and summer students can live. The society hopes to boost its profile and tourist traffic by hosting more tours of the house and property,” said Drew.

To apply, contact Kathy Drew at info@fintry.ca or call 250-542-4139 for more information. Deadline is Jan. 31.

Related: Fall Fair returns to Fintry estate

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