In the 1940s, horses were still in use by some delivery people and farmers. Adolph Roth was delivering milk for Guisachan Dairies and several other dairies also had horses. Milk wagons were similar to Bennett buggies, with the chassis of an old car and a homemade body.Â
Some farmers who were not too far from town brought their produce to the packing houses and canneries by team and wagon. Loads of tomatoes and other vegetables would be transported down Pandosy Street from the Okanagan Mission and Benvoulin areas. One time, some of us hitched a ride on a tomato wagon. The road was very slow and rough.
The Jenkins Company used horses up until the 1920s. The barn on Water Street, built about 1926, had a hay loft at the south end, and the stables below had grooves in the concrete floor to convey the urine to gutters away from the animals. A rake was used for the other animal waste.
The Kelowna saw mill used horses to move lumber around the yard, but some of the carts were pushed by people. They wheeled some of the lumber over an elevated bridge across Water Street.
Of course, with so many working horses in Kelowna, there was a need for blacksmiths. There were two blacksmith shops on Lawrence Avenue, as
I recall, one just west of Water Street about where Adanac Auto Body (Roger Sasseville) was later located. The other blacksmith shop was further east, between Chapman's yard and George Anderson's Tire Hospital, on the corner of Pandosy. I believe that the name on the front of that building was Dunn and Runcie. I presume that Pat Runcie was a partner.
The shop where Jenkins had work done was Bob Hunter's. This was on Water Street, south of the fire hall, where Kelowna Motors built a new garage in about 1946. Bob Hunter was able to make just about anything out of iron. For our vans and truck decks, he made hinges and angle irons for the sides with stake pockets, etc. He also welded many things for us.
After Bob Hunter left Water Street, Â he had a shop behind his house, which was on Poplar Point Drive, next to Gordon Haug's place. Here he continued to work with iron, as well as casting various objects from aluminum. He made some good looking pheasants to attach to screen doors or whatever. Bob also made ash trays, with a dignified-looking couple on the front. Turned over and seen from the back, they were not so dignified looking.
An example of a blacksmith shop can be seen at the Father Pandosy Mission, on Benvoulin Road. It has a forge with a leather bellows. Numerous smithing tools are on display, even a device for shrinking wagon tires onto the wheel. Someday, I hope we will restore this shop.
A. Charley Adam has lived all of his life in Kelowna. He is a descendant of the pioneer Clement family. This article is part of a series submitted by the Kelowna Branch, Okanagan Historical Society. Additional information would be welcome at P.O. Box 22105, Capri P.O., Kelowna, B.C., V1Y 9N9.