From the Penticton Archives – Life in the Okanagan Valley

News and Clippings from The Penticton Herald Archives

Penticton Herald Newspaper Articles

The Penticton Museum and Archives has the full collection of Penticton Herald newspaper articles available for review. Here are a selection of articles featuring the S.S. Sicamous, and the other steamers on the lake.

MAY 14, 1914

  • Introducing the SS Sicamous

— The “Sicamous” easily Queen of the fleet of Okanagan Lake vessels, is larger and more luxurious than any of the C.P.R. fleet of inland ships, save the “Bonnington” on the Arrow Lakes. The hull is an exact duplicate of the hull of the “Nasookin” now on the Kootenay, being 200 feet in length, 40 feet wide, and 8 feet deep. The height of the “Sicamous” is 53 feet from the level of the main deck to the top of the pilot house. The length over all is 228 feet, and she draws an average of five feet of water.

The hull is of steel construction throughout, and is divided into 20 water-tight compartments. The engines, of the tandem compound jet condensing type, generate from 1,200 to 1,300 horse power, and will drive the new boat at a rate of 19 miles an hour. The entire steamer is electric lighted and steam heated.

The “Sicamous” is rated at 1500 tons gross capacity, and will carry 900 tons net tonnage, besides capacity for 400 passengers, and will carry a crew of 32 or 33.

Construction work was begun on the new boat in September of last year, and she will have cost, when entirely completed, about $180,000. $14,000 of which will have been spent for furnishings.

The dining room, 65 feet long, will seat 70 persons. There are 40 passenger state-rooms, four of which are double suites, and one suite with a private-bath. In addition to the usual state-rooms for the crew, there are special rooms for the mail clerk and express messenger, a cold storage room for meats and poultry, a pastry room, shower bath for the crew, and other conveniences not found on the ordinary inland boat.

The furnishings and fittings of the steamer have been done in Australian mahogany and in teak wood from Burmah, a combination which gives an effect of unusual richness.

The large observation and smoking room back of the upper tier of state-rooms is practically walled with plate glass, and will afford a splendid point of vantage from which to view the scenery of the Okanagan. Writing desks and reading lamps will be put on the balcony above the dining room. The most modern fire fighting devices will be provided, as well as safety devices designed to protect passengers and crew, and six large life boats will be carried.

 


January 7th, 1915

  • Captain Estabrooks Retiring from the SS Sicamous
  • After 17 Years on the Lake, he proposes to spend life on shore
  • WILL RUN FOR COUNCIL
  • To be Candidate in Ward Two—
  • Captain Has Had a Fine Record–Master for 40 Years

After twenty-three years service on Canadian Pacific Railway boats in British Columbia, 17 of which were spent on the Okanagan, Capt. G. L. Estabrook, of Penticton, senior captain of the lake fleet here, has been superannuated.  Capt. Estabrook’s superannuated went into effect at the close of the year, but he remained on the “Sicamous” for a short time until the arrival of his successor, who is expected here this week.

It is understood that Capt. William Kirby, from Slocan Lake, will probably take charge of the “Sicamous.”  Mr. Otto Estabrook, son of Capt. Estabrook, who has been on the boat for some time, will continue to act as pilot.

Under the rules of the C.P.R., Capt. Estabrooks’s superannuation would have come a year ago, but the company desired him to remain on duty for another year in order that he might take charge of the new boat “Sicamous” which went into commission last summer.

To Run for Council

No doubt, feeling that after so many years of activity in the Okanagan, he must prepare to devote his energies to some other useful task, Capt. Estabrook announced this week that is was his intention to run for councillor in Ward 2.

“I will have the time to devote to municipal matters from now on, and if I can be of any assistance to the ratepayers of the ward on the council.  I will be only too glad to represent them,” he declared.

Capt. Estabrook has had a long and interesting career as a boat captain.  He was born in St. John, N.B. and has been a master for forty years.  For many years he was on the St. John river.  He came west in April 1892 taking charge of a C.P.R. boat on the Columbia river.  Then he went to Slocan lake for a time, later returning to the Columbia.  In October, 1898, before there was any real Penticton, and when fruit orchards in the lakeside were not even dreamed of, the captain came to the Okanagan to assume command of the “Aberdeen.”  The boat, which was then several years old, make a tri-weekly rep down the lake.  One man could take care of the mail, another the express, and a truckload would represent all the freight there was to load or unload.

Business Not Rushing

“Sometimes we had one passenger, sometimes none,” said the captain in outlining some of his early experiences here.  There were only three stops between Okanagan Landing and Penticton in those days.  They were Shorts Point, Kelowna and Trout Creek.  Now there are 22.”

From a tri-weekly steamer the C.P.R. has developed its facilities so that it now possesses the “Sicamous,” Okanagan,” “Aberdeen,” “York,” Naramata,” “Castelgar,” and “Kaleden,” as well as several car barges. The “Aberdeen” was other only boat here for eight years, then came the small screw steamer “York.”  The “Okanagan,” and “Castelgar” were next, then the “Kaleden” and finally the “Sicamous” and “Naramata.” The “Aberdeen” has been in service on the lake for twenty-two years, and will probably be permanently taken out of commission in another year or two.

Has Fine Record

Capt. Estabrook has had a somewhat unique and certainly and enviable record as captain.  He never ran a boat aground or put one on the rocks.  He never lost a passenger or a member of his crew.  He has had five fires during his forty years as master, but never lost a boat through them.  He never discommoded a passenger intentionally, and up and down the Okanagan lake Capt. Estabrook’s name is regarded with the most kindly of feelings by valley residents.  He is probably the best known man between Okanagan Landing and Penticton, when “best known” is taken in the personal sense and not in the ordinary way, in which public men are known.

Although now superannuated, the captain is as much a C.P.R. man as ever, and at any time the call of the company would be prepared to take out a steamer for a trip.  But for the fact the regulations provide for automatic superannuation at a certain age, no doubt he would still be on the decks of the Sicamous.  For the decks feels as good as he ever felt he says.

Presented With Chair

The crew of the fine steamer “Sicamous” which Captain Estabrook took command of last summer, presented him with a very handsome morris chair on the last day of the old year.  Accompanying the chair was the following address from the crew:

“We the undersigned crew of the steamer “Sicamous,” beg to present to you this chair as a token of the very high esteem with which you are held by the crew of this boat.  The ever constant kindness and consideration which you have always exhibited to the patrons of your employers has been shared in now less degree by us and we assure you that it has been at all times highly appreciated, and that it will be and inspiration for each one of us in the future.  While we deeply regret that the friendly relations we have enjoyed in the past is to be severed, still we trust that the future will be to you brighter than the past.

“With best wished to you and your family for many happy and prosperous years, we remain, yours sincerely, W. Jacobs, A.A. MacDonald, Lee Ding, N. Ellis Redstone, J. Walker, F.A. Cuthbertson, H. Gustafson, F. Bradburn. W. Carr, C. Cutler, W. A. Mc Donald, H. Linow, A.G. Loomer, J. Price, H. McMinn, N. Linow, E.W. Aldredge, Lee Dan, D.Mcleod, W. Suckling, J. Simpson, L.V. Francis.”

 And Also a Clock

The presentation from the officers and crews of the steamers York and Naramata was a fine mantel clock possessing a beautiful chime.  The presentation was given on January 4, and read as follows:

“As a token of their esteemed regard, the officers and crews of the steamers Naramata and York beg to present Captain F.L. Estabrook of the steamer Sicamous with their best wishes and the accompanying clock, upon the occasion of his retirement.

“They trust, when enjoying those hours of ease and leisure, to which a long period of duty, faithfully performed, has entitled him, its chimes will bring back to his memory many pleasant incidents, consequent upon his association with the steamer service on Okanagan Lake, and the undersigned who will ever miss his genial and pleasant companionship and assistance in handling the company’s business, to the best advantage to all concerned, and his sympathetic friendship in the time of their afflictions, wish that he may still enjoy many years of health, happiness and prosperity.

For S.S. “York”- J. O. McDonald, master; D. J. Morrison, mate; W. H. Ahilo, engineer; G. Mahon, engineer; J. L. Paddon, purser; P. Baker, C. Holland, sailors; W. Dackett, second engineer. For S.S. “Naramata”- J. A. Weeks, master; S. Maynard, mate; J.P. Sutherland, chief engineer; E. T. Soanes, second engineer; G. Mahon, bargeman; J. Diggle, A.B. Carl Fensberg, deck hand; Wah Tip, chief cook.

 


From the Penticton Herald Newspaper Archives

March 4th, 1915

  • Soldiers leaving for World War I

A number of young men from the lower end of the lake passed through on the Sicamous Monday morning last, en route for Victoria, where they intend joining the forces for the third Canadian contingent, and it will be of interest to our local readers to learn that among them was Frank Hayward, one of our former residents.

 


Penticton Herald Newspaper

April 1st, 1915

Mr. Thos. Powell was a passenger going north on the Sicamous Tuesday morning.

Mrs. Estabrook, Sr., of Summerland has been visiting in town of late, and while here was a guest at the home of Mr. R. Harrington.  While this far up the lake Mrs. Estabrook took advantage of the short distance to Kelowna and spent Tuesday last in the city.

 


Penticton Herald Newspaper

August 19th, 1915

  • Sicamous has Record Cargo

Summerland—On Friday of last week the steamer Sicamous carried on its northbound trip more fruit than was ever carried before by the C.P.R. Steamers on this lake in any one day.  There was put off at the Landing and stored into cars there no less than 3,500 packages of fruit, half of which was going out by express.

 


November 11th, 1915

  • A poem about life in Penticton

The local rhymester asks the privilege of completing a screed begun a few weeks ago.  The correspondent waives responsibility and grants the privilege which will bring its own punishment:

When people really learn to live,

To seek and find the best,

And poor, hard-worked humanity

Has chance to take a rest;

When busybodies shut up shop,

 

And gossips all grow dumb,

And thinking people speak their minds,

While poodle dogs are feed on pap,

Ten we’ll be going some.

 

When hair cuts cost a man four bits,

A shave costs two bits more,

A face massage is taxed the same

Hair singe another four,

When moustache wax costs 15 cents,

And ten cents for bay rum,

With talcum powder for the change,

The barber’s going some.

 

When Mrs. Grundy spins a yarn,

Not meant for soldiers’ socks,

And thinks herself that’s it’s all wool,

The more she talks and talks;

When you’re the hundredth one she’s told,

And yet she says “keep mum

At least don’t say I told you so,”

She, too, is going some.

 

When all her steamboats are alive

With business on the lake,

And trains are crowded with the freight

And passengers they take;

When all her ranches give returns,

Her industries all hum,

And capital is loose once more,

Penticton will go some

 

When correspondents write and write,

Although their points are few,

And ramble ever on because

They’ve nothing else to do’

Let them beware, the Editor

For once is looking glum,

I think I hear him mutter it,

“By George, that’s going some.”

 


From the Penticton Herald Newspaper Archives (housed in the Penticton Museum and Archives Collections)

February 24th , 1916

  • Westbank Writer Tells of Typical Incident in Boat’s Southbound Trips
  • Travelling in the winter through the ice

The Westbank correspondent of the Kelowna Record writes as follows of a typical incident in the Sicamous’ daily battles with the ice on Okanagan Lake:

“The Sicamous and the ice.”  It is not every winter that dwellers in the Sunny Okanagan have the opportunity of walking with ease upon the frozen surface of the lake to meet a boat, or of witnessing mail being hauled for a quarter of a mile on sleds to the shore from an ice-bound C.P.R. steamer.  But such was the experience of several people at Gellatly last Sunday morning.

Word was received last Saturday night at Westbank that the steamer would leave Kelowna at 8 o’clock on Sunday morning in an endeavor to break a passage to Westbank, Gellatly and Peachland. All of which places had been without mail since Wednesday night.  For over a week the Sicamous had not been able to land at Westbank and so on Sunday morning a score of people from the district assembled at Gellatly, situation on a point about one mile south of Westbank wharf, to see if a landing could be made even there; for owing to the continued cold weather and the fact that the boat had not broken her channel for three days, it was seriously debated whether the boat could make any headway through the ice at all.

A heavy snowstorm made it impossible to perceive the boat’s approach, but about 11 o’clock a nearby crushing and rumbling noise told that the long awaited had at last arrived.  Soon the boat’s whistle sounded., Just then the snow clouds lifted and not more that half a mile distant was the Sicamous, her prow thrust bravely into the ice, her stalwart form shaking perceptibly with the strain of combat, her funnel pouring forth a volume of smoke worthy of a man of war, and her paddle wheel kicking up a spray which would shame a good sized waterfall.  The whole scene was intensely picturesque.

Upon close scrutiny one could see the ice being systematically broken down by the weight of the boat and being constantly pushed off to either side of the boat.  Slow but sure the advance continued at the rate of about four miles an hour till after much hard work a point opposite the wharf was reached and then came a halt.  Soon a hang plank was placed on the ice down which some deckhands could be seen descending with several bags of mail; these they quickly placed on a sled and then they started off on a trot to the shore, about a quarter of a mile away.  The people on shore not wishing to miss this rare sport, hurried out to meet the mail carriers, and soon the ice was alive with human forms.  The next glance seaward showed the plucky skipper, Captain Roberson, walking shoreward on the ice.  Mr. D. Gellatly advanced to meet him and one can hardly imagine a more unique spot for and interview.

Soon everyone gained confidence and all walked out to get a view of the ‘good ship Sicamous’ at close range.  She certainly presented an interesting sight- the paint had long since disappeared from her lower hull, her sides were coated with several inches of ice and her paddle wheel looked like a miniature ice castle.  The upturned ice around her sides showed a thickness of five inches, and some of the crew said that during the trip from Kelowna they had passed through ice over twelve inches in thickness.  It is interesting to note that the boat makes a passage practically equal to her owned width, and also that she advances the ice before any visible effect is proceed upon the ice.  Hence it was safe to walk close enough up to the bow of the boat to touch it, which several people did.

After about one half hour spent in clearing away ice, oiling up, etc., the Sicamous proceeded to Peachland and about three hours later she was observed heroically fighting her way back to Kelowna.

 


August 24th , 1916

KELOWNA BOARD OF TRADE WANTS BETTER LAKE SERVICE

Would Have Connection Made With Boat and Morning Train

Kelowna- The inconvenience caused by the lack of proper connection between the morning boat and the train from the Coast at Penticton was the subject of a resolution moved by Mr. C. E. Weddell at the board of trade meeting on Tuesday evening last.  It was pointed out that the Kettle Valley train from Vancouver via Hope, arrived at Penticton at 7 o’clock, two hours after the boat for the north had left.  This meant that passengers for Kelowna and other places had to remain in Penticton a whole day.

It was arranged that the secretary should get in touch with the railway officials to see if the schedule of the boat or train could not be modified so that delay would be eliminated.

 


From the Penticton Herald Newspaper Archives (housed in the Penticton Museum and Archives Collections)

February, 1918

  • Soldiers Returning from World War I

Last night four veterans; returned from the great war in Europe, and the fact that something unusual was happening was advertised by the loud and constant blowing of the siren of the Sicamous as she approached her home port.

A considerable number of citizens were on hand to celebrate the occasion and two of the soldiers were given hearty greetings as they descended the gang plank.  The other two, however appeared to be entirely ignored.  One of them limped and the other did not appear to be any to well.  Those two struggled through the press about the gangway, and after looking around to get their bearings, started alone up the long length of the dimly lightened wharf.

Would it not be a nice thing for some organization in Penticton, the Soldiers’ Comforts Association, the Red Cross, the patriotic Society or the municipality to arrange for a reception committee whose duty it would be to obtain information whenever returning heroes are expected back, to meet them, whether they are Penticton boys or not, extend them a welcome, offer them some refreshment, and see that they are hospitably sped upon their way to their destination.  Penticton’s reputation for hospitality will surely suffer unless she sees that every returning soldier, whether resident or transient, is properly welcomed when he returns from the firing line.

 


August 5th, 1926

  • An Ogopogo sighting from the SS Sicamous

Several passengers on the Sicamous Wednesday morning are said to have seen the Ogopogo from the boat near Westbank at a distance of 100 yards.  They state that it had a scaly, knobby body, somewhat like that of a crocodile, and it was about as big through and the wheel of an auto, with a length not less than 50 feet.  It was diving and splashing and making a great disturbance in the water.  The report of these passengers on the boat was confirmed as to description by a Kelowna man who saw the creature at a distance of about sixty yards, earlier in the week off Kelowna.

 

  • A poem about Ogopogo – by Devlinsky (1926)

To Okanagan Lake

I’ve hiked around thy shore, O, Lake

Sometimes I rode a bike;

On a Ford oft I’ve sped

Thy beauties I rave about-

O, glorious sunset glow,

Sweet perfume and blossom bloom

Where luscious apples grow.

 

I’ve sat upon the “Sicamous”

From the Landing to Peachland,

Then on to Penticton

Where her bowsprit rules the strand.

But it seems I’m denied

What others saw, O lake.

You never gave me a glimpse

Of your wondrous, wily snake.

 

Your serpent, O lake,

As the collage glider beat

The way it does the charleston

On his slimy, finny feet

The Pentowna isn’t in it

They all say for speed

The way to do the nose dive

When raving after feed.

 

Well, I should know, O Lake,

This scaly monster shy

Could not from depths be lured

By just a word or sigh,

So there’s no regret, O Lake,

Next time I may not fail,

Yet I’ll swear takes stronger stuff

Than Kelowna’s ginger ale.

-Devlinsky.


 

January 23rd, 1930

 WINTER BINDING B.C.LAKES WITH CHAINS OF ICE

               

The Canadian National boat Pentowna has now ceased operation on the lake on account of the ice conditions at Kelowna and Summerland.  On Tuesday morning the Pentowna left Summerland but was unable to get away from the dock at Kelowna in the afternoon.  The ice barrier formed up the lake at the Orchard City has not been broken as yet and there will probably be no resumption of service until the present cold spell is lightened.

While the C.P.R boat Sicamous is still able to reach Summerland she has considerable difficulty, particularly in the stretch opposite Kelowna.  The ferry was only able to cross by keeping a channel open.  A few days more of calm chilly weather will probably see a complete tie0 up of boat service on Okanagan Lake.  Peachland is about the only place on the lake where there is little or no ice.

It was reported that the ferry failed this morning to get across the lake.

The Sicamous is only able to operate north of Kelowna b having a barge break ice in front of her.

The lack of a steady wind is what is permitting the lake to freeze over.

Penticton’s coldest temperature came early last Friday morning with three below zero at the government thermometer on Orchard avenue.  The Bench here and the Experimental Farm at Summerland showed six below.  Oliver and Osoyoos have been to ten below, with Kelowna down to 16 or 18 and Vernon more than 20 below.


January 30th, 1930

SICAMOUS STILL FIGHTING ICE

Lake Boat Gets as Far South in Lake as Greata

 

Vancouver, Jan 29- Tugs and ships of the Canadian Pacific Railway are continuing their battle against the worst ice conditions in years on Okanagan Lake, C. A. Cotterell, General Superintendent of the BC district announced today.

Lake ice now extends from 12 miles north of Kelowna , south to Penticton, but the sheet of ice between two miles south of Kelowna and six miles north of Summerland is thin, and ships are able to penetrate through a narrow channel.

Ice in the Summerland area is now too heavy to continue regular sailing schedules to that point, and the CPR tug “Naramata” is fully occupied keeping the channel open in the Kelowna area.

Through the thin ice in a small channel it is possible to reach Okanagan Centre.

Transfer of passengers from train to boats being made at Greata’s, between Summerland and Peachland.

Tugs and ships have had difficulty on several occasions with floating ice which breaks away from the shore lines closing available channels.  The Railway Company was forced on Monday to abandon service to Summerland, when a north wind caused ice to break away into the channel.  Ice breaking in this area is being carried on by the tug “Naramata” and steamer Sicamous, which also operates in the Kelowna and Greata area.

A break in the long siege of sub-zero weather was reported from Okanagan points today, and indications point to a betterment of navigation on the interior lake.


From the Penticton Herald Newspaper Archives (housed in the Penticton Museum and Archives Collections)

July 30th, 1931

  • Hotel To Stay, Will Boat Go?
  • C.P. May Rebuild At Sicamous On Modest Scale

Latest announcement relative to the C.P. hotel at Sicamous is that the company will maintain it. General understanding is that the present building will be torn down and that a new hotel of modest character will be erected.

Sicamous Lake furnishes splendid fishing and there is excellent hunting in several regions reached from Sicamous. The mosquito nuisance is also being reduced. There are, however, few attractions for the ordinary pleasure seeker, such as can be found at Banff or Lake Louise.

Rumors have been repeated that the C.P.R. will remove the Sicamous boat from the lake at the conclusion of the present summer’s business, but so far no authoritative statement has been made. Officials have said that they realize that the boat must go sometime but that time has not been fixed as yet.

Supervision of the C.P. boat service on Okanagan Lake, formerly under Revelstoke to some extent and also under the lake and steamer branch at Nelson, has now been placed under Supt. T.K. Crump of the K.V. division at Penticton. The accounting will remain at Nelson.

 


July 7th, 1932

No Change in Boat Service

C.A. Cotterell, B.C. Superintendent C.P.R. Thinks Boat Will Remain

“There is no change contemplated for the lake boat service at the present time,” was the welcome news given out by Mr. C.A. Cotterell, superintendent for the Canadian Pacific Railways in B.C., on his arrival in Penticton Tuesday evening on an inspection tour.

When asked if the railway was considering tieing up the C.P.R. stern-wheeler Sicamous this coming winter, he answered that there was no contemplated change at present and, as far as he knew, the Sicamous would be continuing in operation.

Mr. Cotterell arrived early Tuesday evening and stayed overnight at the Incola Hotel, leaving Wednesday morning for the Coast.

He could not say if there would be much movement of wheat westward over the Kettle Valley division this fall. The prairies have a good crop, but whether the Kettle Valley will be utilized to lessen the main line load, the superintendent was unable to say. He said he would like to know the answer to that question himself.

As far as the possibility of any use of oil burners out of Vancouver and through the Kettle Valley run is concerned, there might be the occasional engine of this type, but there would be no extensive use, he said. Coal will still remain as the principal fuel here.

Mr. Cotterell was eager to ascertain the condition of the fruit crop and the possibility of a bumper yield in the South Okanagan. He looked over the Penticton Co-operative Growers’ packinghouse and was shown a few samples of the cherry pack and also watched the packers at work.


July 28th, 1932

Okanagan In Service But Does Not Carry Passengers This Year

 

For the first time in its long history of 25 years, the Canadian Pacific wooden-hull steamer Okanagan is not taking passengers this year. The Okanagan started on its trips up and down the lake on Thursday last, July 21, taking freight and express only.

Orders had been issued, however, that this year no passengers would be taken. The Penticton office of the Canadian Pacific has not any official reason for the instructions.

The Okanagan is used each summer to supplement the Sicamous in carrying freight and express. She comes south each morning, returning north in the late afternoon. Usually she has carried any passenger traffic offering. The discontinuance of this practice may foreshadow the disappearance of the vessel from Okanagan Lake service.


August 25th, 1932

Miss E.L. and Mr. S.E. Darragh attended the dance on the S.S. Sicamous and report a splendid time.

 

 


September 22nd, 1932

Pentowna Is To Tie At Kelowna

Single Daily Service Keeps Same Situation As Double Run

Timetable changes on railways, now going into effect, show little change insofar as Canadian Pacific service in and out of Penticton are concerned, but quite a radical alteration on the Canadian National.

The C.P.R. (K.V.) train out of Vancouver will leave for Penticton and the Kootenay at 7 p.m. daily instead of 6.50 Arriving time here is unchanged. The boat Sicamous will arrive in Penticton from up the lake at 7.50 p.m. instead of 7.30.

The Canadian National MS. Pentowna will resume her single daily run on Monday with a complete change. Instead of leaving here in the morning and returning from Kelowna in the afternoon she will in future stay at Kelowna all night, coming down to Penticton each morning and going north each afternoon. This means that the crew will reside at Kelowna, as is the case when the double daily run is in effect.

Changes are also made on the Canadian National main line, particulars of which are given on another page. The service is being speeded up with less stop-overs. A Coast-Kelowna sleeper will be operated.

Pentowna times are to be: Leave Kelowna southbound 8.30 a.m., arrive Westbank 9.10, Peachland 9.45, Summerland 10.50, Naramata 11.10, and Penticton 11.45.

Northbound leave Penticton 1.45 p.m., arrive Naramata 2.20, Summerland 2.35, Peachland 3.40, Westbank 4.15, and Kelowna 5 p.m. The train leaves Kelowna at 6 p.m. for Vernon and Kamloops, making good connection with both east and west main line trains at Kamloops.

 


November 3rd, 1932

  • Boat Steward Dies Suddenly
  • Mr. William Ferguson Expires From Attack of Heart

Death came with startling and tragic suddenness to Mr. William Ferguson, Sicamous boat steward, at noon on Sunday.

Mr. Ferguson had been out in his garden on the Meadows and coming into the house, mentioned that he felt sharp pains. In a moment or two he expired. Heart trouble was the cause of death.

The late Mr. Ferguson had been 23 years in the boat service of the Canadian Pacific, chiefly on Okanagan Lake, although he also spent some time on Kootenay boat runs. He was steward on the Sicamous, having also occupied a similar position on the Okanagan. His courteous, pleasant manner in the discharge of his duties as steward won for him a good word from all travelers on the lake boats, and in the days before the spread of autos and busses, passenger traffic on the Sicamous and Okanagan was heavy.

Deceased was only 45 years old. He was born in St. Ninians, Stirlingshire, Scotland. He was married at Okanagan Centre nine years ago and his wife survives him.

A brother, Jim Ferguson, 4537 Sixteenth W. Vancouver, accompanied by his wife, came up for the funeral on Wednesday afternoon at 2.30 o’clock from the United church. A sister, Mrs. M. McCallum, 3732 Sixth W., Vancouver, also came to Penticton for the obsequies.

The late Mr. Ferguson was overseas with the signaling corps.

Pall bearers named were: Capt. G. Robertson, Capt. Weeks, Ian Sutherland, J.Z. Johnson, J.Z. Owens and J.S. MacRae.

 

~ Westbank Girl Quietly Wedded  ~

Frances M. Prior Becomes Bride Of G. N. Beveridge

 

Westbank- A wedding of interest to many throughout the valley was quietly solemnized on Monday afternoon, January 2, at the home of the bride’s parents in Westbank, when Frances Maude Elizabeth (Bessie), only daughter of Mr. And Mrs. L. J. Prior, became the bride of Gavin Kerr Beveridge, elder son of Mr. And Mrs. Alexander Beveridge, of Vancouver.

Only relatives and a very few intimate friends were present.  The ceremony was performed by Rev. A. McMillan, of Rutland, a former pastor of the bride.  Miss Alma Langstagg, of Vernon, attended the bride, while the groom was supported by Alfred R. Prior,

 

 


From the Penticton Herald Newspaper Archives (housed in the Penticton Museum and Archives Collections)

February 9th, 1933

 

Canadian Pacific Railway

TIME TABLE OF TRAINS AND BOATS

Eastbound—

 

TRAIN No. 12

 

Leaves Vancouver 7:15 p.m. daily

Ar. W. Summerland 9:30 a.m. daily (Bus service connects week days with northbound steamer at Summerland wharf)

Ar. Penticton depot 10:10 a.m. daily

Lv. Penticton depot 10:35 p.m. daily

Ar. W. Summerland 11:35 p.m. daily

Arrives Vancouver     1:45 p.m. daily

 

LAKE SERVICE

 

S.S. Sicamous will leave Penticton daily except Sunday at 9 a.m.; arrive Naramata 9:35 a.m., Summerland 10:00 a.m., Peachland 10:50 a.m., Kelowna, 12:05 p.m., Okanagan Landing, 2:35 p.m., and Sicamous (by train) 7:50 p.m.

Southbound, leave Sicamous (by train) daily except Sunday at 12:20 a.m., arrive Okanagan Landing 2:45 p.m., boat leaves Okanagan Landing at 3:10 p.m., arrives Kelowna 5:20 p.m., Peachland 6:40 p.m., Summerland 7:40 p.m., Naramata 7:55 p.m., Penticton 9:00 p.m.

The following schedule between Sicamous and Okanagan Landing will be in effect until further advised:

 

TRAIN No. 707

Daily except Sunday

 

Lv. Okanagan Landing….2:40 p.m.

Ar. Vernon ………………2:55 p.m.

Lv. Vernon……………….4:50 p.m.

Armstrong…………..5:28 p.m.

Enderby……………..5:50 p.m.

Ar. Sicamous ……………6:50 p.m.

 

TRAIN No. 708

Daily except Sunday

Leaves Sicamous at 11:20 a.m., arrives Vernon 1:15 p.m., Okanagan Landing 1:45 p.m.

 

MAIN LINE TRAINS

Train No. 3 from Toronto ar.

Sicamous 8:10 p.m. for Vancouver.

Train No. 1 from Montreal ar. Sicamous 11:00 a.m. for Vancouver.

Train No. 4 from Vancouver ar. Sicamous 3:10 a.m. for Toronto.

Train No. 2 from Vancouver ar. Sicamous 10:50 a.m. for Montreal.


May 11th, 1933

  • Lots Of Fun On Kelowna Trip
  • Nearly 100 Penticton Scholars Jaunted Up Lake For Festival

The school choirs, under the supervision of Mr. O’Connell and Miss Batchelor, took the Sicamous for Kelowna on the morning of Saturday, April 29. The boys’ choir brought home the shield. On the whole, the local marks were high, even though with this exception Kelowna bettered them.

About 85 children went up to sing, many others going for the enjoyment. It would be interesting to note the way in which the youngsters spent their dimes and nickels. On the trip up, chocolate bars were bought on board boat. At Summerland there was a nan on the wharf who threw them a whole box of apples, one by one, after the manner of a star pitcher. “ It made a guy’s hands smart, but the apples were nifty.”

Fresh air and keen excitement sharpens appetites, and in many cases double lunches that had been scowled upon as “Too big, ‘n’ the fellows will tease me,” were eaten as one meal. The schoolboy spirit is strong and in such cases resources were pooled.

Some went to the café, called upon their dignity and dined in state at a nicely-set table, from which they rose with sighs of contentment, and sugar cubes in their pockets.

Returning to those in the park, there is offered a fair example of a full course meal.

“Four (maybe five, they weren’t so awful big) juicy oranges; a double-decker ice cream cone, chocolate and pink; half a packet of wintergreen life savers (we divvyed them up); a bottle of pop; three chocolate bars; a nickel’s worth of popcorn, and half a dozen cookies.” There were followed by a short interval for reflection, and then a banana.

One ambitious lad counted his money and searched the town for its largest roll jelly cake. He was both disconsolate and uncomfortable when forced to admit that he could not manage it all by himself.

Jigsaw puzzles lured the youthful spenders, but some of these got spilled and just a little bit mixed with the other fellow’s.

The trip home offered a series of thrills. There was the deadly menace of 35 0r 40 trusty water pistols, also Kelowna purchases. Snipers were placed in strategic locations, top of a ladder stair, or round a corner. Woe then to the unwary individual as he made his way about ship, and lucky, too, the patrolling teacher if he escaped entirely unscathed.

They romped from the pilothouse to the engine room, where an old sailor told them tall stories. They wrote their names in the captain’s boat, and not satisfied with that, on all the ship’s blotters. When interest lagged, the pistol gang took up sides and waged battle.

Inside, comparative silence reigned. There the youngsters read and compared their experiences of the day.

It was 11 o’clock when the boat docked at Penticton, and to waiting parents the children exclaimed that, “Oh Cats, it was fun!”

 


May 25th, 1933

Canadian Pacific Railway

TIME TABLE OF TRAINS AND BOATS

Eastbound—

 

TRAIN No. 12

 

Leaves Vancouver 6:45 p.m. daily

Ar. W. Summerland 6:53 a.m. daily

(Bus service connects weekdays with northbound steamer at Summerland wharf)

Ar. Penticton depot 7:25 a.m. daily

Lv. Penticton depot 7:35 a.m. daily

Arrives Nelson …….8:45 p.m. daily

 

Westbound-

TRAIN No 11

Leaves Nelson …….10:20 a.m. daily

Ar. Penticton depot 10:30 p.m. daily

Lv. Penticton depot 10:35 p.m. daily

Arrives Vancouver  10:15 a.m. daily

 

LAKE SERVICE

S.S. Sicamous will leave Penticton daily except Sunday at 7:55 a.m.; arrive Naramata 8:30 a.m., Summerland 8:55 a.m., Peachland 9:45 a.m., Kelowna, 11 a.m., Okanagan Landing, 1:30 p.m., and Sicamous (by train) 6:50 p.m.

Southbound, leave Sicamous (by train) daily except Sunday at 11:10 a.m., arrive Okanagan Landing 1:35 p.m., boat leaves Okanagan Landing at 2 p.m., arrives Kelowna 4:10 p.m., Peachland 5:30 p.m., Summerland 6:30 p.m., Naramata 6:45 p.m., Penticton 7:50 p.m.

The following schedule between Sicamous and Okanagan Landing will be in effect until further advised:

 

TRAIN No. 707

Daily except Sunday

 

Lv. Okanagan Landing…2:30 p.m.

Ar. Vernon ………………2:45 p.m.

Lv. Vernon……………….4:50 p.m.

Armstrong…………..5:28 p.m.

Enderby……………..5:50 p.m.

Ar. Sicamous ……………6:50 p.m.

 

TRAIN No. 708

Daily except Sunday

Leaves Sicamous at 11:10 a.m., arrives Vernon 1:05 p.m., Okanagan Landing 1:35 p.m.

 

MAIN LINE TRAINS

Train No. 3 from Toronto ar.

Sicamous 8:05 p.m. for Vancouver.

Train No. 1 from Montreal ar. Sicamous 10:05 a.m. for Vancouver.

Train No. 4 from Vancouver ar. Sicamous 3:05 a.m. for Toronto.

Train No. 2 from Vancouver ar. Sicamous 10:50 a.m. for Montreal.

 

  1. KIRKPATRICK

Agent, Penticton

REID JOHNSTON

Agent, West Summerland

Canadian Pacific Express Company operates on all Canadian Pacific trains and boats.

 

October 5th, 1933

 

Pentowna On Single Trips

__

Double Daily Run Came To End on C.N.R. Schedule

October 2

__

According to information received from the Canadian National Railways, effective October 2, timetable changes affecting train service between Kamloops and Kelowna took place.

On the southbound trip the train will leave Kamloops at 2.20 a.m., Armstrong 6.00 a.m. and Vernon 6.45 a.m., arriving at Kelowna 8.30 a.m., daily except Sunday.

Insofar as the return trip is concerned, the new schedule calls for the train to leave Kelowna at 6.50 p.m., Vernon 7.25 p.m. and Armstrong 8.05 p.m., reaching Kamloops at 10.50 p.m., daily except Sunday.

Passenger service on the line between Kamloops and Vancouver remains unchanged. A through sleeper will continue to operate between Vancouver, Vernon and Kelowna.

The Okanagan Lake boat service will revert to the winter schedule effective October 2. Leaving Kelowna daily except Sunday, at 8.40 a.m., MS. “Pentowna” will reach Penticton at 11.55 a.m., with calls at intermediate ports en route to Kelowna, arriving there at 5:00 p.m., making close connection with the train which leaves Kelowna at 5.50 p.m.


January 11th, 1934

  • Is Mail Carrying By Truck Coming?
  • Hauling Contractors Have Been Asked to Give Price On Valley Service

That the steamer Sicamous may shortly come out of the water, but whether permanently or merely for overhaul is not known, was indicated this week when hauling contractors were asked for prices on mail carrying.

It is stated that contractors in both Penticton and Summerland were asked by the post office department to provide estimates.

The carriage of mail would be from Penticton to Summerland, thence West Summerland, thence K.V. station and back to West Summerland, thence north to Peachland and Westbank and to Kelowna via the ferry. The southbound run would apparently omit the K.V. station near West Summerland.

The service would be daily except Sunday, north in the mornings and south in the afternoons.

It is said that the Sicamous has not been out of the water for six or seven years and is reported to be at present running under permit. Hence the carrying of mail by truck may be merely a temporary expedient while the steamer is being overhauled, or it may mean something more permanent.

 


January 25th, 1934

Canadian Pacific Railway

__

TIME TABLE OF TRAINS AND BOATS

__

Eastbound—

 

TRAIN No. 12

 

Leaves Vancouver    7:15 p.m. daily

Ar. W. Summerland 9:30 a.m. daily

Ar. Penticton depot 10:10 a.m. daily

Lv. Penticton depot 10:15 p.m. daily

Arrives Nelson        11:20 p.m. daily

Connection with steamer northbound is made at Summerland daily except Sunday at 9:40 a.m.

__

LAKE SERVICE

 

S.S. Sicamous will leave Penticton daily except Sunday at 9 a.m.; arrive Naramata 9:35 a.m., Summerland 9:55 a.m., Peachland 10:45 a.m., Kelowna, 12:00 noon, Okanagan Landing, 2:30 p.m., and Sicamous (by train) 6:50 p.m.

Southbound, leave Sicamous (by train) daily except Sunday at 11:10 a.m., arrive Okanagan Landing 1:35 p.m., steamer leaves Okanagan Landing at 3 p.m., Kelowna 5:10 p.m., Peachland 6:30 p.m., Summerland 7:30 p.m., Naramata 7:45 p.m., due Penticton 8:50 p.m.

The following schedule between Sicamous and Okanagan Landing will be in effect until further advised:

__

 

TRAIN No. 707

Daily except Sunday

 

Lv. Okanagan Landing….2:30 p.m.

Ar. Vernon ………………2:45 p.m.

Lv. Vernon……………….5:45 p.m.

Armstrong…………..6:23 p.m.

Enderby……………..6:45 p.m.

Ar. Sicamous ……………7:45 p.m.

__

 

TRAIN No. 708

Daily except Sunday

Leaves Sicamous at 11:10 a.m., arrives Vernon 1:05 p.m., Okanagan Landing 1:35 p.m.

 

MAIN LINE TRAINS

Train No. 3 from Toronto ar.

Sicamous 8:05 p.m. for Vancouver.

Train No. 1 from Montreal ar.

Sicamous 10:05 a.m. for Vancouver.

Train No. 4 from Vancouver ar. Sicamous 3:05 a.m. for Toronto.

Train No. 2 from Vancouver ar. Sicamous 10:50 a.m. for Montreal.

 

  1. KIRKPATRICK

Agent, Penticton

REID JOHNSTON

Agent, West Summerland

Canadian Pacific Express Company operates on all Canadian Pacific trains and boats. New reduced rates. Prompt handling, with pick-up and delivery service.

 


January 25th, 1934

Revised Timetable For K.V. Boat and Train Service Announced

 

Following the announcement last week that the Coquihalla will be closed for at least two months, the new timetable for Kettle Valley division passenger trains has been given out.

Train No. 11 will arrive in Penticton at the usual time of 10.30 p.m. daily, but does not arrive in Vancouver until 1.45 p.m. the following day.

 

Train No. 12 leaves Vancouver daily at 7.15 p.m., arrives at West Summerland at 9.30 a.m., at Penticton depot at 10.10 a.m., and at Nelson at 11.20 p.m.

 

S.S. Sicamous connects with train No. 12 at Summerland instead of Penticton. It will leave here at 9 a.m., arriving Naramata 9.45, Summerland 9.55, Peachland 10.45, Kelowna 12 noon, and Okanagan Landing at 2.30 p.m. The return trip will be made an hour later than the previous schedule, it is said. The hour for arrival here is 8:50 p.m.


March 1st, 1934

Ed Williams Spends Fifteen Minutes In Okanagan Lake Waters

Mr. Ed Williams of the MS Pentowna crew had a narrow escape from drowning last week when he fell from the lower deck of the Canadian National boat and was in the water 15 minutes before being rescued.

The near-drowning accident occurred near Peachland and 15 minutes elapsed before Mr. Williams could be pulled from the icy water. He had been “treading water” during that time, and had managed to keep afloat, despite the extreme coldness.

The sudden immersing in the wintry Okanagan Lake did Mr. Williams no harm, however, for as soon as he could be dried out and could don fresh clothing, he was back at work.


March 15, 1934

LAKE SERVICE

S.S Sicamous will leave Penticton daily except Sunday at 7:55 a.m.; arrive Naramata 8:30 a.m., Summerland 8:55 a.m., Peachland, 9:45 a.m., Kelowna 11:00 a.m., Okanagan Landing, 1:30 p.m., and Sicamous (by train), 6:50 p.m.

Southbound, leave Sicamous (by train) daily except Sunday at 11:10 a.m. arrive Okanagan Landing 1:35 p.m., steamer leaves Okanagan Landing at 2 p.m., Kelowna, 4:10 p.m., Peachland 5:30 p.m., Summerland, 6:30p.m., Naramata, 6:45 p.m., due Penticton 7:50 p.m.

The following schedule between Sicamous and Okanagan Landing will be in effect until further revised.


April 19, 1034

No Changes For C.P. Lake Runs

Continuance of Sicamous – Vernon Train to Kelowna is Cancelled

 

Contemplated changes in the Okanagan lake and rail service, scheduled to take place on Monday, April 16, have now been cancelled, and there is little likelihood that they will be put in force this summer, according to official statements here.

Orders were issued  earlier last week for Trains 707 and 708, on the Sicamous – Vernon run, to be continued south to Kelowna. They were to leave Vernon at 1:15 o’clock and arrive at Kelowna at 2:45 o’clock in the afternoon.  The train would leave Kelowna at 3:30 o’clock and arrive back in Vernon at 5 o’clock.

It was also reported that the S.S. Sicamous would run to Okanagan Landing on three days each week, and on the other three she would only go as far as Kelowna.

Several months ago the passenger train between Okanagan Landing and Vernon was discontinued, and traffic was hauled by automobile.

Rumors have gone the rounds that the S.S. Sicamous has seen her last run.  The Canadian Pacific, according to reports, would bring a powerful tug, the Grant Hall, from the Arrow Lakes to serve the Okanagan Lake.  This tug was to be shipped to either Penticton or Vernon for assembly within a short time, and would serve the lake ports, while the S.S Sicamous would go onto the run of the Okanagan rush work in the fruit season.

Local officials have hear no work of this prospective change, and stated that it was not likely that the Grant Hall would be moved from the Kootenays, as it was used for weeks in emergency tie-ups there last fall, and was generally essential to the service.

 


December 13th, 1934

  • Sicamous Will Be Overhauled Early in Year
  • C.P.R. Steamer To Be Off Run For About Six Weeks
  • MAIL CONTRACTS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON
  • .A. Mather, New General Manager, Visits Penticton

 

Shortly after the first of the New Year, the Canadian Pacific paddlewheel steamer, S.S.Sicamous, will be taken off her regular Okanagan run for six weeks’ overhaul.

This announcement has not been officially confirmed, but it is generally conceded that this will be the course of action.  Full information as to the contracts which will be let for mail runs is expected to be forthcoming next week.

This will be the first occasion on which the Sicamous has ever been given a complete overhaul.  She will be taken out of the water at Okanagan Landing.

It is understood that some of the mail contracts have already been let, while others will be determined in the course of the next few days.  These arrangements are being made by the Post Office Department.

It has also been intimated that the C.P.R. passenger train from Sicamous will run through to Kelowna, arriving daily about 3 p.m. If arrangements are made to take the mail across on the ferry to a waiting car or stage, it would be landed in Penticton about 6 o’clock.

On Official Visit

Penticton was visited briefly on Tuesday evening by Mr. W. A. Mather, newly-appointed general manager of western lines, Winnipeg, who is making his first official visit since 1918.  He was through the South Okanagan recently on a holiday trip.

A quiet-spoken man, Mr. Mather did not make any important announcements of changes to be made on any of the western lines.  He was anxious to obtain information about the Okanagan, and seemed to consider that B.C. is showing improvement.

Mr. Mather was accompanied on his official inspection trip of British Columbia lines be Mr. C.A. Cotterell, assistant general manager for the West, and Mr. F.W. Alexander engineer of maintenance of way, Winnipeg.  The party continued east on Wednesday morning.  Mr. Mather will make various stops at the principle prairie points on his return trip.

While in Penticton, the C.P.R. party was met by Mr. W.J. McLean, new Kettle Valley superintendent, and various members of his staff, and Mr. W.J. Allerton, manager of the Incola hotel.


December 20th, 1934

  • Changes in Service While Sicamous Laid Off Are Explained To Board
  • C.P.R. Officials Meet Executive Members of Penticton Body
  • BUS SERVICE IS TO BE UTILIZED
  • Sicamous Will Be Reduced in Size of Her Superstructure

 

Arrangements in connection with maintenance of C.P.R. services in the valley during the time the Sicamous will be laid up for inspection and overhaul were discussed with the executive of the Penticton Board of Trade, Wednesday, by Mr. C.A. Cotterell, assistant general manager, Vancouver.

Mr. Cotterell intimated that the last trip prior to her layoff would be taken by the Sicamous on Saturday, January 5.  She will go North on Sunday, January 6, and on Monday will be taken out of the water at Okangan Landing.  She will be off the run for two and one-half months, possibly a little longer.

Meantime, the C.P. passenger train from Sicamous will run through to Kelowna.

Passenger and mail service from Kelowna to Penticton will be taken are of by bus (Greyhound).  Mails and passengers will arrive here shortly after 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

While the Sicamous is on the ways, she will be shorn of much of her superstructure, the idea being to cut out one deck completely and eliminate many of the staterooms.  This change will lower the height of the stately vessel which has been a conspicuous sight of the lake for many years.  The alteration is expected to mean a saving of two tons of coal per day in running expense, also a 6 percent saving in maintenance.

Many Officials Here

Officials accompanying Mr. Cotterell on his visit to the Okanagan in this connection were, A.T. McKean, general freight agent; E.F. Sturdee, general passenger agent; P.A. Dunne, superintendent Pacific division C.P. express; H.J. Mcguire, district mail agent and baggage, and C.W. McBain, industrial agent. W.J. McLean, superintendent K.V. division, was in attendance at the conference here, held Wednesday afternoon at the Incola.

Mr. Cotterell told the board members that at the time of discussion on possible restriction of services by the railways some seasons ago, he had said that when anything definite was contemplated he would interview the trade boards on the subject in order to gather their views.

Under government regulations, Mr. Cotterell explained, it is necessary to lay up the C.P.R.’s Okanagan Landing – Kelowna – Penticton streamer by steamboat inspectors, and the C.P.R. will take advantage of the enforced lay-up to make certain improvements calculated to reduce operating expenses without sacrificing the ship’s facilities to shippers and passengers.

The alterations, the assistant general manager explained, will consist of removal of one of the decks and removal of all but five staterooms.  Mr. Cotterell said that recent figures showed only an average of one and three-quarter rooms were sold per day and by leaving five rooms on the ship after alteration the company was making ample provision for any business of this kind that might offer.

The Sicamous will make her last run down the lake from Okanagan Landing to Penticton, Saturday, January 5, and on Monday, January 7, will be dry-docked at Okanagan Landing.

As the steamer will be laid up during what is usually the slack season, and in view of the special arrangements which have been made to handle traffic, the change is expected to create no inconvenience for residents and shippers throughout the valley, Mr. Cotterell said.

New Train Schedule

Starting Monday, January 7, the C.P.R. its Sicamous-Okanagan Landing train through from Sicamous to Kelowna, continuing daily except Sunday service.  This train will leave Sicamous at the same time at present – 10:45 a.m., arrive Vernon 12:40 p.m., leave Vernon 1:15 p.m., arrive Kelowna 2:45 p.m., leave Kelowna 3:45 p.m., arrive Vernon 5 p.m., leave Vernon 6 p.m., and arrive Sicamous 8 p.m.  This schedule calls for a 35-minute stop at Vernon for lunch on the southbound trip and will be a popular feature with travelers, the C.P.R. expects.

So far as passengers, mail and express are concerned, substitution of through train service for that performed be the Sicamous will be a boon to Kelowna.  Okanagan Centre and other points along the line, as the train will reach them considerably earlier than the boat.  In the case of Kelowna, the train will arrive one hour and ten minutes earlier than the present arrival of the Sicamous.  This is of particular advantage to Kelowna business houses which ordinarily receive their mail quite late in the business day, as well as to passengers.

Postal officials have made adequate provision for distribution and collection of mail in areas affected by the withdrawal of the Sicamous, Mr. Cotterell said, using train and other services.  Canadian Pacific Express officials have made similar arrangements to handle their shipments.

Freight for points on the west side of Okanagan Lake, not directly served be the railway, will be taken care of by means of tug and barge service from Kelowna, Mr. Cotterell continued.  No charge is contemplated in existing tug and barge service between lake points generally, he explained, and this service, together with through train to Sicamous, will give shippers and passengers satisfactory means of communication with the Coast and East.

Members of the board expressed their appreciation of the attitude taken by the company officials and agreed that, under the circumstances brought about by the government regulations, no other steps could be taken.  Mr Cotterell said the Sicamous has been running on permit, instead, calling for immediate inspection.


August 30, 1951

1951: Sicamous Comes Home – City Royalty Welcomes Famous Stern-Wheeler

(from the Penticton Herald Canada 150 Article Series)

Like a tired but proud old lady, the still seaworthy S.S. Sicamous — a vessel steeped in the colorful history of the Okanagan Valley — came home on Monday to her final resting place.

Hundreds of Penticton citizens left their homes and offices to extend to the famous paddle-wheeler the royal welcome she deserved. They lined the beach as the S.S. Sicamous moved slowly into shore, arousing pleasant nostalgia in the hearts of pioneers who saw vivid pictures of the old lake steamer plying the Okanagan Lake, of the Sicamous seemingly joining the revelry of moonlight cruises.

The pathos of the ship’s arrival — heightened by a light drizzle of rain — was most evident in the features of a grizzled old-timer who watched the high-riding ship, with its golden bells and checkered red-and-white flag fluttering in the breeze, continue her final voyage.

Said the old-timer, gazing through misty eyes: “I never though she would come to this.”

The S.S. Sicamous is home but not as a derelict and weather-beaten hull, its importance as the main transportation link between Okanagan communities forgotten. The old lady will have her face lifted. She will be dressed in a new and gleaming coat of finery and serve as a tourist attraction, a centre for your activities, under the sponsorship of the local Gyro Club.

Her curtain call after an outstanding role in the drama of Okanagan progress marks the end of an era in which the valley has changed from frontier land to Canada’s major fruit-producing area. And when a giant CPA airliner droned over her, the S.S. Sicamous seemed to salute the New World with a “you take it from here”.

There was also something rather tragic in the motionless stern wheel, the wheel that had pushed the Queen of the Okanagan through thousands of miles of lake water. And it was evident that the Queen would have been happier to make her last rip under her own power, without the assistance of the diminutive but powerful M.S. Okanagan.

“This Is Her Home”, Says Skipper

One valley veteran with a special reason for the lump in his throat was Otto Estabrooks, son of the original skipper of the S.S. Sicamous when she began her career in 1914. Mr. Estabrooks, who later served as mate and also skippered the vessel, boarded her at Summerland with press and radio personages.

Now holidaying from his run on the Columbia River with a CPR ship, Mr. Estabrooks is hoping to retire on the same day that the Sicamous is beached. “She was a fine boat and it’s a good thing she’s here,” he said. “For Penticton was really her home port. She was tied up here every night and what wouldn’t Kelowna give for another chance of getting her! I’d have bought her myself if I’d had the chance.

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