Students from Summerland’s Okanagan College often posed for photographs on the Big Rock. The rock was on the northern slope of Giant’s Head Mountain. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Students from Summerland’s Okanagan College often posed for photographs on the Big Rock. The rock was on the northern slope of Giant’s Head Mountain. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Summerland’s Big Rock had been deposited during last ice age

Rock was once a prominent feature on Giant’s Head Mountain

By David Gregory

Halfway up the northern slope of Giant’s Head Mountain in Summerland there once was a large glacial erratic, known as the Big Rock.

Glacial erratics were formed during the ice age. Geologists have estimated that during the last ice age, ice in the Okanagan Valley was three kilometres thick. As the glacial ice travelled, it would scrape up boulders and sometimes move them a considerable distance. As the ice melted the erratic would be deposited in its new location.

READ ALSO: Active volcanoes in South Okanagan

READ ALSO: Summerland college operated from 1906 to 1915

In the Okanagan First Nation language, Giant’s Head Mountain was named kɬtu̓ pus. Another, perhaps more ancient name, was ackɬtp̓ us. The translation of this name is controversial.

The name most likely was based on the profile of the face of the mountain, but the name may have come from this glacial erratic. This unusual rock could be seen from a considerable distance.

The Okanagan Nation has a legend, The Legend of the Boulder. This story describes various animals attempting to push a boulder up the mountain. The smallest animal, an ant, eventually won the competition.

From 1906 to 1915, Summerland’s Okanagan College was located on the slopes of Giant’s Head Mountain. The college in Summerland and the Vancouver College were the first post-secondary institutions west of Brandon, Manitoba. The Big Rock was located close to the student residences. College student photographs were often featured with the Big Rock.

In the mid-1970s, there were concerns that the Big Rock may actually roll into town and it was decided to bury the rock. The location of the ‘burial’ is close to the heritage sign at the top of Milne Road.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

history

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Glacial erratics were formed during the last ice age. As the glacial ice travelled, it would scrape up boulders and move them. As the ice melted the erratic would be deposited in its new location. (Image contributed)

Glacial erratics were formed during the last ice age. As the glacial ice travelled, it would scrape up boulders and move them. As the ice melted the erratic would be deposited in its new location. (Image contributed)

Just Posted

The Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society will be expanding its offerings to seniors this year and hopes to return its Cyber Seniors program when one-to-one training is once again allowed. (Photo contributed)
Shuswap organization aims to help seniors become more cyber savvy

BC Hydro report finds seniors reluctant to use

The Salmon Arm RCMP are investigating a Saturday, April 10 gathering at Blackburn Park for provincial health order violations. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm RCMP investigating Blackburn Park rally

Police say more than 200 people in attendance

Salmon Arm Homes for Rent/Sale Etc. is a popular Facebook page used by those with places for rent and people in need of them. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Carpenter building homes in Salmon Arm unable to find place to rent

Property manager says it’s easier to find work in Salmon Arm than a place to live

(Natalia Cuevas-Huaico - Kelowna Capital News)
Morning Start: Foot bones don’t harden until you’re an adult

Your morning start for Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Salmon Arm City Hall is closing between noon and 2 p.m. effective April 12, 2021. (File photo)
Pandemic precautions change hours at Salmon Arm city hall

Public will still be able to access services online during two hours when facility closed

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Skaha Lake Middle School. (File photo)
COVID exposure at Penticton middle school

Skaha Middle School is the latest in growing lists of exposure in the Okanagan

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Forward Elan Bar Lev Wise of the West Kelowna Warriors (right, shown playing for the Vernon Vipers in 2019) has been suspended nine games by the B.C. Hockey League for being the instigator and aggressor in an after-the-game fight with Vernon’s Kjell Kjemhus Monday, April 12, at Kal Tire Place. Kjemhus was given a two-game suspension for his role. (Black Press - file photo)
West Kelowna Warriors forward handed lengthy suspension

Elan Bar Lev Wise fought Vernon Vipers forward Kjell Kjemhus after BCHL game was over Monday, April 12; Kjemhus suspended two games

A five-storey, 60-unit building has been proposed for 8709 Jubilee Rd. E., Summerland. The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing on March 22. (Image by GTA Architecture)
Zoning, OCP amendments adopted for Summerland housing development

Additional variances will be needed for controversial five-storey, 60-unit housing development

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

Most Read