100 YEARS OF AGRICULTURAL HERITAGE
In 1895, George Greata purchased what is now our land— a beautiful spot mostly accessible by water. Or pack mule. He had the thought that this would be a perfect spot to grow fruit, and he was right, but being on a bench above the lake he had a problem. Water. It’s hard to make it flow uphill.
Not to be deterred, in 1900 he did something remarkable. He built a wooden flume to carry water from a creek. The flume was approximately five miles long, and no small undertaking in those days. But that water made a working orchard possible and in 1901, he planted 50 acres of apples. Greata Ranch was born.A TIMELINE
THE LONG FAMILY
George Greata owned the orchard until around 1910 when he sold it to a consortium of investors from Vancouver, BC – the Westminster Trust Company. The man hired to manage the orchard, John Long, became the orchard’s next owner in 1923. The Long family planted peaches and cherries, and owned Greata Ranch until 1965.
The Longs presided over the longest period of expansion and growth at Greata Ranch, building an even longer flume from Brenda Lake. During their ownership, the land became synonymous with the highest quality fruit, and well regarded as a leading Okanagan Valley orchard. It was during the 1940s that Ross Fitzpatrick first visited and tasted that fruit, the memory of which would lead to where we are today.
The Longs sold Greata Ranch to Elwyn Cross in 1965, but the winter of 1965/66 was a particularly cruel one across the Okanagan. Much of the orchard was killed off by the cold temperatures, and Mr. Cross chose not to replant. Greata became dormant except for a few shacks and people dropping off unwanted appliances and other garbage. That was until 1994, when Ross Fitzpatrick, who owned CedarCreek Estate Winery, recalled those sweet peaches he’d tasted almost 50 years earlier, and purchased this historic site.NEXT