- Est 1955 -

This land was a gathering place long before European and Asian settlers arrived in the 1800's. The Okanagan and Shuswap people gathered food and settled in this region for thousands of years. They followed game and fish into the upper Shuswap River system and both nations fished for Salmon at Shuswap Falls. Legend has it that the Coyote created the falls or the "great kettle of fish" so that he could invite all of his friends to gather for a feast and celebrate the bounty of life that this land offers. Many of the stories of these ancient people remain locked away in mystery as stories yet to be told just like those of the first trappers, explorers and surveyors that made their way through the mountainous passes of the Monashee.

Donald McIntyre was one of the first Europeans to view the area. The story goes that as he bushwhacked through the dense undergrowth of narrow ravines, he finally surfaced in a vast meadow just as a thick fog began to break.As the sun lit up the mountain landscape and the sky cleared he dropped to his knees and exclaimed to God in his mother tongue of Gaelic "Ohed di monashied" which means "This truly is the Mountain of Peace".

Today, the heavens continue to present this inspiration to both locals and visitors alike, but always within a veil of mystery. British Columbia's greatest surveyor probably would have agreed. George Dawson followed McIntyre's footsteps, or at least tried to. Mapping the new colony for Queen Victoria, Dawson tackled this vast wilderness, and lost his bearings. Taking his site points from the high vistas of the Monashee foothills and then using the Shuswap River as a reference point, Dawson attempted to track the landscape and the Shuswap River Valley; however, it appears he became confused at the scattering of lakes that could be viewed from every vista that he climbed. Many of the lakes looked the same. On his map, which became the official map of the new colony, Dawson had missed Mabel Lake, mistaking it for Shuswap Lake. Some say the error caused many a prospector and settler to believe that the Cherry Creek Goldfields were located near the present site of Enderby, a 100 mile error of location. Mabel Lake and its valley became a mysterious lost valley off the map which may be the reason why the area remains sparsely populated and a pristine part of the Okanagan to this day. Dawson's error on the Shuswap didn't prevent prospectors and settlers from navigating White Valley from the present site of Vernon. They still came, but moved cautiously so as not to disturb the bull moose that called the misty valley home.

The valley in which Lumby is situated is called White Valley, some say because of the white fog often found settled in the valley, others say it was named after George LeBlanc a French Canadian who had a mine on Cherry Creek and who was one of the first pioneers to settle in the area. Leblanc's business partner was Peter Bissette (also spelled Bessette) who was the first person to pre-empt land in the immediate vicinity of the present townsite of Lumby and is described by historians as the founder of the French Canadian settlement at Lumby.

Since the late 1860's Lumby has had a few names including Bull Meadows, Bissit and White Valley. In 1890 it was Louis Morand and Quinn Faulkner who would lay out the actual townsite and who decided to name the townsite after Moses Lumby, the Government Agent in Vernon. For years there was speculation that Lumby convinced Quinn and Faulkner to name the town in his honor in exchange for a liquor license, however historians proved this to be false as the town was named after Moses Lumby had died in 1894. It seems that Lumby was respected for his work ethic, honesty and integrity. It took 25 years for Lumby to officially incorporate as a village in 1955.

History of Lumby and Area

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1882 Vernon Street, Lumby, British Columbia, Canada