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Steven exported fruit to the British Empire

Street in Summerland named after pioneer orchardist
This 1917 photograph shows Joan Steven (nee Nicoll) and her daughters Joan and Margaret. The Steven home is the home on the hillside at the end of Main Street in Summerland and is the site of the Christmas nativity scene. The building to the left in the photograph is the Summerland Baptist Church, officially opened in January 1909. (Summerland Museum photo)

In the early 1900s, a Summerland pioneer sold fruit from his orchard around the British Empire.

Alex Steven came to Summerland in 1903 and worked for the Summerland Development Co. He was from Caithness, Scotland. He and his brother also ran a livery stable.

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He bought an acreage near the present-day location of Steven Avenue in Summerland. The orchard produced apples, cherries and peaches, which were exported under his own label.

He and his wife Joan were both active in the community. Joan Steven was a member of the school board and also participated in drama groups. She died in 1933.

Alex Steven was awell-known speaker and also contributed to local newspapers.

The family’s house on Steven Avenue was built in 1910. Alex Steven lived there until his death in 1972.

The home has long been the site of a nativity display, visible in December from downtown Summerland.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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