Lake Country museum opens Applebox Belles

Virtual exhibit celebrates the women who worked in the Okanagan’s packinghouses.

The Applebox Belles at the Vernon Fruit Union

The Applebox Belles at the Vernon Fruit Union

A crate from the past is being opened with the launch of a new virtual exhibition at the Lake Country museum.

Applebox Belles: The Women of Lake Country’s Packinghouses, funded in part by the Virtual Museum of Canada, presents the stories of the women who shaped the history of the Okanagan’s packinghouses.

Part of the early apple-packing industry in the Okanagan, the women were known by such names as the “Summer Girls” and the champion “Apple Wrapper Flappers.”

“These determined women became the workforce of the packinghouses, sorting, wrapping, packing, and stamping,” said Shannon Jorgenson, manager of the Lake Country museum. “They transformed a routine job into a highly skilled profession over the course of a half-century until technological changes altered their roles. Their legacy is presented through personal reminiscences, stories, and photographs in this compelling exhibition.”

The Lake Country museum has worked in partnership with the community of Lake Country, the Greater Vernon Museum & Archives, the Kelowna Archives, and the Okanagan Historical Society for more than a year to develop this historic exhibition, with assistance and personal interviews with the Belles and their families.

The exhibition is presented in English and French with closed captioning and transcripts of videos in both languages.

The Virtual Museum of Canada’s investment program helps smaller Canadian museums and heritage organizations work with their communities to develop virtual exhibits that engage online audiences in the stories, past and present, of Canada’s communities.

The public can view the exhibit by visiting the Lake Country Museum site at lakecountrymuseum.com/our-collections/exhibition-online-applebox-belles-the-women-of-lake-countrys-packinghouses/

For more information about the exhibition, contact the Lake Country Museum at 250-766-0111 or visit lakecountrymuseum.com.