One of my most memorable and nostalgic games of golf was played last fall1 at Quail Ridge. The land on which the Quail Ridge course has been so carefully and skillfully sculpted was previously owned by my father, Tom Carney. He was a pioneer of the Ellison district, his parents having settled in the area in 1893. Tom was born in 1898 on the Simpson Ranch — now Kelowna Springs Golf Course. He grew up on the Springbank Farm, at the Ellison overpass, which is now part of Okanagan College North campus2.
In 1932, Tom Carney, his wife Maggie and two daughters, Evelyn and Anne, moved to the TC Ranch, which is located on Highway 97 North between Kelowna airport and the Shadow Ridge Golf Course. His grandson, Don Mushta, lives there now.
Tom purchased the land, which is now Quail Ridge, in 1925. It consisted of 1,000 acres of range land. Money was scarce in those days so Tom cut cordwood from the property and hauled it by team and sleigh to the Rutland cannery. This was backbreaking work — no chain saws in those days — and the winter weather was often severe. He cut and hauled one cord of wood (a pile 4′ x 4′ by 8′) for every two acres of land he purchased. The cannery burned down so the rest of the land had to be paid for in cash, which worked out to about one dollar an acre. My father logged the property around 1939 and sold the logs to the Crawford Mill.
The fencing around the property required 150 rolls of barbed wire for nine miles of four-strand fence. The posts, mainly pitch posts from the land, were twenty feet apart. The wire had been salvaged from the battlefields of the first World War by a Belgian syndicate. The wire was shipped to Vancouver and then to Kelowna at a cost of $3.80 a roll — a far cry from today’s prices!3
This article by Anne Carney Richards will be presented in three parts on this blog. This is Part One.
2 now the University of British Columbia Okanagan, UBCO
3 Anne Carney Richards
This is Part One of three parts of Reminiscences of Quail Ridge by Anne Carney Richards. It is published with the author’s permission.