The Historic O Keefe Ranch In Vernon British Columbia

Experience Unique BC History

The O Keefe Ranch, in Vernon BC, is a unique BC heritage site that offers a look at life and economic development in the Okanagan from the mid 1800's.

A historic British Columbia tourism attraction, we toured the ranch during our summer vacation and enjoyed traditional scones prepared on a griddle over an antique stove, farm animals, traditional saddlemaking, unique pottery, a gift shop and a lot more!

On our day trip to the ranch we toured the historic buildings from the cattle ranching days, where some of the oldest remaining structures in the Vernon BC area remain.

Though summer is the most popular time to visit, there's other events that take place at the ranch throughout the year, including fun things like sheep shearing, father's day events, family day events, a Victorian Christmas event in December, a summer festival and a fall family event.

This is a great fun family attraction, and a super way to spend the afternoon touring and learning about the traditional ways things were done in the early days in the Okanagan BC.

We saw how people dressed, as ranch staff, who played roles and interacted with visitors, also dressed in western wear from the cattle ranching era.

As we toured through some of the historic buildings we saw displays of original furniture, clothing, saddles and tack, vintage farm equipment, armoury and beautiful pottery.

okeefe ranch sign

The O Keefe Ranch Played An Important Role In Okanagan BC History

Cornelius O Keefe, a determined Irishman from Ontario, and two partners began driving cattle north from Oregon, to the Okanagan Valley, to provide food for the miners of the Caribou gold fields in the 1800's.

The O Keefe Ranch, built in 1867, and some of the original buildings still remain where they were built, like the St. Anne's Church, which was built in 1889.

As they discovered that the land they were bringing cattle to was rich with resources suitable for ranching, they bought meadowland just north of Vernon, transported in breeding stock, and began ranching.

The O Keefe Ranch was, at one time, one of the largest cattle ranches in all of British Columbia.

They built their land into a massive 20,000 acres.

Like many early ranches in the Okanagan and British Columbia, the ranch was a community with a post office, blacksmith shop and it's own church.

Cornelius O Keefe was also responsible for obtaining the postal service that began delivering mail once a week, 1872. He was also the postmaster.

The O Keefe family continued ranching until 1967 making the ranch the only ranch in British Columbia to be carried on by the founding family for over a hundred years.

The original family home as well as the mansion (a larger home built later on) still stands and contain many original furnishings and other artifacts.

We took just a few pictures!

okeefe ranch vintage clothing

Beautiful Vintage Colthing

okeefe ranch vintage police car

A Vintage Police Car on the grounds as you enter the Ranch

o keefe ranch guns of the west

Guns Of The West!

o keefe ranch shubert house

Historical Shubert House - This is where Mrs. Shubert still makes traditional Shubert House Scones for visitors to taste!! Delicious!!

o keefe ranch mrs shubert spinning yarn at shubert house

Mrs. Shubert spinning yarn in the kitchen at Shubert House!! We were just waiting for those scones!!

o keefe ranch grounds

The tour guides are all dressed in vintage clothing from the ranching era! The ranch grounds are beautiful and manicured. There is an area with picnic tables where you can enjoy lunch outside.

o keefe ranch pheasant

A colorful bird is one of many pheasants, chickens, turkeys and other animals on the ranch!

o keefe ranch turkey

What a turkey!!

o keefe ranch australian spotted geese

Friendly Australian Spotted Geese

feeding horses at o keefe ranch

Hey!! I want some hay!

How To Get To O'Keefe Ranch

Getting to the ranch is easy.

Just follow Highway 97 north of the city of Vernon BC. You'll pass Atlantis Waterslides on the right, and just a short distance from there, take the exit to stay on highway 97.

9380 Highway 97 North
Vernon, BC
V1H 1W9
Telephone: 250-542-7868

Here's a handy map to help you.

Click on the link below the map to open a larger map in a new window.

Tourism in Vernon BC offers a number of wonderful attractions including Atlantis Water Slides, the Heritage Murals, Planet Bee Honey Farm, and Allan Brooks Nature Centre.

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Authored By: Erika Friedrich Copyright© 2008-2016 All Rights Reserved