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The Osoyoos Museum (in 1963)


by Katie Lacey


With the opening of the Osoyoos Museum on June 15, 1963, tribute was paid to Osoyoos' historic past. Incorporated into the new structure is half of the original Provincial Government building, generously donated to the Osoyoos Museum Society by Mr. And Mrs. J. Handberg of Osoyoos.

This building, built entirely of hand-hewn logs, which had been cut above Fairview and hauled to the river, where the building was framed. The logs were then marked, dismantled, made into a raft and rafted down the river and lake to a point opposite the present school. The logs were then hauled up the hill and the building erected. According to information from the late Babe Kruger, D.A. Carmichael and "Whispering" Joe McLellan had the contract to erect his building.

Wm McMynn was commissioned by C.A.R. Lambly, Government Agent, to move the records, supplies etc., from the Camp McKinney office to Osoyoos by pack horse as there were no roads at that time. While fording the Narrows at Osoyoos, McMynn's horse hit him in the forehead. He fell over, unconscious into the water and never recovered. C.B. Greens kept house for Mr. Lambly until his marriage to Hester Haynes, now Mrs. R.B. White of Penticton and it was to this log building that Mrs. Lambly came as a bride in 1897 and here a year later their son Wilfred Lambly was born. The building served as Government office, magistrate's office, two jail cells, constable's quarters and living quarters for the Agent. The government office was moved to Fairview in 1899. After that the log building served as school, for church service for the various denominations, scout hall and dwelling.

In 1961 it was moved to its present location, next to the Municipal building and under the winter works programme of 1962-63, the present building was erected at a total cost of the taxpayer of $4,237.00. Built of laminated 2x4s, with steel posts so that a second storey can be added. At present the library has half the building which has a total floor area of 1,500 sq. ft. The log building is incorporated into the new structure, thus giving the effect of a museum within a museum, and contains pioneer articles and pictures.

A fine collection of local insects have been gathered and mounted by F. Goertz; a collection of drawings by the children of the Inkameep Reserve school, under Anthony Walsh, the Long collection of Indian artifacts.


From the 27th Report of the Okanagan HIstorical Society, 1963, p. 116