Sir Thomas Shaughnessy played role in founding of Summerland

George Barclay’s Trout Creek Ranch was purchased in early 1900s

On Sept. 22 1904, Sir Thomas Shaughnessy and many C.P.R. executives arrived in Summerland for the railway’s annual inspection.

This photograph shows Summerland’s greeting party at the Summerland Hotel. The site of the hotel is now the vacant lot across the street from the Trout Hatchery.

Shaughnessy was a key figure in Summerland’s history.

READ ALSO: Shaughnessy created the Summerland Development Company

READ ALSO: Historic inspection

The community was founded in August, 1902, when Shaughnessy and his company, the Summerland Syndicate, purchased George Barclay’s Trout Creek Ranch.

The Barclay cattle ranch was roughly 1,400 hectares in size. The company later acquired another 200 hectares of government land.

Under the direction of Shaughnessy and with the managerial skills of J.M. Robinson, the new Summerland Development Company and the community of Summerland grew.

The Okanagan Electoral District list of “Persons Entitled to Vote” of Nov. 5, 1906 included 443 permanent Christian residences in the Summerland area.

Section 92(8) of Canada’s Constitution Act of 1867 permitted provincial legislative powers over municipal institutions.

With the passage of the Municipal Incorporation Act of 1896 by the British Columbia Provincial Legislature, communities were given the opportunity to incorporate.

Those intending to incorporate required a Letter Patent to apply. The names on the petition had to be residents of the community for six months prior to the petition and the petitioners had to be “not less than 100 male British subjects of full age”. And finally, a significant number of names on the petition had to be a “like proportion of landowners.”

The community of Summerland met the requirements of the Municipal Incorporation Act and Summerland was incorporated, as the municipal seal bears out, on Dec. 21, 1906. A subsequent municipal election took place on Jan. 14, 1907 when a total of five candidates ran. All five were elected by acclamation.

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