PRIEST CAMP This drawing depicts a Jesuit mission in 1847. The Priest Camp near Summerland was the first non-Aboriginal settlement in the Okanagan Valley. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Priest Camp near Summerland was created in 1845

Agreement formed between Grand Chief Nicola (1793-1859) and Father Giovanni Nobili (1812-1856)

In the Pacific Northwest, the Jesuits founded nine Jesuit Missions including a settlement at Garnet Lake in Summerland.

On Aug. 9, 1845, by agreement between Grand Chief Nicola (1793-1859) and Father Giovanni Nobili (1812-1856), a settlement was founded at Nicola Prairie (Summerland.)

READ ALSO: Pierre family settled in Summerland in 1886

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Construction of buildings and gardens was under the direction of Novice Anthony Goetz (1812-1882) and “Métis Baptiste.”

They were all reassigned to California in 1848 during the gold rush.

The camp was abandoned during the California gold rush but regained its importance during the Cariboo gold rush.

Father Superior Joseph Joset insisted that all structures at the site be removed, so other religious orders could not use the facility.

Father Nobili buried a couple of personal items at the site in 1848. These were unearthed in 1986.

The District of Summerland bought the property in 1994 for a park.

Mayor Don Cameron officially opened the Priest Camp Historic Park in February 1998.

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