During some particularly cold winters Kalamalka Lake freezes over. Harold Thomson, who was raised in Oyama, said that in his experience Kalamalka Lake froze once every ten years and the adjoining Wood Lake froze nine out of ten years. Hauling freight on the lake was not very common. However, the accompanying photograph, taken circa 1911, shows an excursion that was apparently without incident.
Not all ventures on to the ice were so uneventful. On February 12, 1923 Oyama resident Vernon Ellison was crossing the south end of Long (Kalamalka) Lake with a team of horses pulling a load of logs taken from Geer Bay to the Ellison property on the west side of the lake. The team and load went through the ice and were lost.
Arnold Trewhitt recalls Vernon telling him that he cut the harness with an axe in an attempt to free the struggling horses but both they and the logs sank. Ken Ellison2 recalls that the load was of green pine logs and therefore it sank along with the horses.
The brief description in the Vernon News3 gives little more detail.
1 Photograph from the George Goulding Collection at the Lake Country Museum and Archives.
2 Ken Ellison, correspondence of February 9, 2016.
3 Vernon News, February 15, 1923.
Many thanks to Liz Ellison and Ken Ellison and to Arnold Trewhitt for their amazing memories and resources.