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1990: 1990 - Rawsthorne Road

Rawsthorne Road, located in Oyama to the north of Highway 97, is a cul-de-sac branching off from Wall Road. The road was first established sometime during the 1990s with the plans for a subdivision.

The first of the Rawsthorne family, for whom the road is named, arrived in Vernon around 1911. Stephen Rawsthorne, who was born in England in 1885, came to Canada in 1910, first settling in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where he worked on a farm and delivered milk using a horse and buggy. Stephen found Saskatchewan winters too cold and he moved to Vernon in 1911.

In Vernon, Stephen met Lily Simister who came to Canada from England. They were married on December 13th 1913 at All Saints Anglican Church in Vernon. Stephen worked on several farms in the Coldstream and surrounding areas and it was at one of these farms (the Middleton farm in Oyama), that Stephen met Col. and Mrs. A. E. McKay. The McKays were planning to return to England and were looking for someone to take care of their properties in Oyama. Stephen and Lily agreed to take over the care of the farm in 1918.

Lily and Stephen Rawsthorne had seven children: Stephen Jr. who was born April 12, 1914 (died August 4, 1998); Lilian Grace (Mills), born April 22, 1917; Barbara Mary (Boer) born October 27, 1918 (died May 7, 1979); William, born February 23, 1920 (died three months later on May 11, 1920); George, born December 18th, 1921 (died May 31st, 1935); John, born June 14, 1923 (died December 15, 1954); and Philip, born January 12, 1925. All the Rawsthorne children were born in Vernon, British Columbia.

When the Rawsthornes first moved to the McKay property, they lived in a small log cabin that Stephen expanded to give the family more room. When the McKays left, it was understood that Stephen and Lily would move into the large McKay home. The home needed some repairs so the Rawthornes didn’t move in until 1919.

There were some fruit trees planted on the McKay land and Stephen planted more. He also had horses and cows and sold milk to the Vernon Creamery.

Part of this property on Kalamalka Lake was sold to Duane, Harold and Dorothy Thomson in 1965. They established a tourist resort which they named Halfway House in honour of the stagecoach Halfway House which remained on the property. In 1975 Sandra Harder (daughter of Harold and Dorothy) and her husband, David Harder, bought the resort and renamed it Klub Kalamalka.

Stephen Rawthorne died on January 28, 1978. His wife predeceased him on May 11, 1967.

Philip and other descendants of the Rawsthorne family still reside in Oyama and the surrounding area.

Source: Mills, Grace. “Family History”; and Lake Country Museum archives.