Lake Country is aptly named. Its four wards – Winfield, Okanagan Centre, Carr’s Landing and Oyama – have access to three major Lakes: Okanagan, Kalamalka, and Wood. The latter lake was named for pioneers Thomas (1841 – 1931) and Ellen Florence (nee Whelan) Wood (1861 – 1905), who settled in the area in the late 1800s. Lake Country also includes numerous mountain lakes – notably Oyama and Beaver lakes – that are famous for their beauty and sport fishing, challenging the most dedicated anglers.
The above vintage postcard dates from the early years of the twentieth century. It should be pointed out that Long Lake is now known as Kalamalka and Wood lakes. This post card also shows that much has changed during the past one hundred+ years, as civilization has moved into this part of the Okanagan Valley. The rustic path showed in this image became a well-travelled, paved road, used by hundreds of vehicles daily, for business and pleasure purposes. More recently it has reverted to a local road, renamed Pelmewash Parkway, that accommodates vehicular traffic as well as cyclists and pedestrians. Despite all of these changes, one thing has remained constant: lakes continue to play a crucial role in our community. As such, we must be vigilant of their importance, protecting these precious bodies of water – and the creatures that inhabit them – mindful that our lakes are life-giving and sustaining to all who live near them.
Written By Robert M. (Bob) Hayes