This website celebrates the fascinating history of the Okanagan Valley. Its geology includes a chain of extinct volcanoes, glaciated landforms and the oldest rock in British Columbia. Its human history spans over 7,000 years. This valley's history includes First Nations, the fur trade, the gold rush, the cattle industry, and more recently the dairy, fruit and wine industries.
The Okanagan Historical Society (OHS) is one of the oldest societies in British Columbia dedicated to the preservation of local history. Incorporated in 1925, the society published twelve reports with articles about various historical topics and, after the Second World War, has published a report every year. The first volume was a mere thirty pages; the present volume is over 220 pages.
This book and past reports can be purchased at local museums and book stores, from society members and from branches of the society. For further information, or to order a copy of the Report, please contact the Corresponding Secretary.
The Okanagan Historical Society is composed of seven branches that represent semi-autonomous organizations focused on their local communities from Osoyoos to Salmon Arm. These branches have at least two or three meetings each year and host lectures, picnics, tours, and banquets. They are involved in a variety of local history projects. Articles of historical importance to each branch are submitted to the branch editor who vets the essay and passes it onto the editor of Okanagan History.
The Executive Council is responsible for maintaining three lots at the old Fairview townsite near Oliver and the Father Pandosy Mission site in Kelowna. Members of the executive council ensure that Okanagan History is indexed annually, and collaborate with other heritage organizations to ensure the preservation of historic trails.
The Student Essay Contest sponsored by the Okanagan Historical Society is cancelled for the year 2024 due to a medical emergency.
The Okanagan Historical Society Annual General Meeting will be held Sunday April 21, 2024 in Penticton. It will be hosted jointly by the Oliver Osoyoos Branch and the Penticton Branch.
Okanagan History, the 87th Report, is now available. It includes two excellent articles written by our student essay winners as well as stories and biographies from the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen valleys in B.C.