Advance with Courage: Lord and Lady Aberdeen in the Okanagan Valley

Lord and Lady Aberdeen
The Aberdeens Sampling the Coldstream Apples, c.1895
Credit: Kelowna Public Archives #1682
Coldstream Ranch fruit orchards, c. 1895
Credit: Vernon Museum and Archives #2497

Explore the little known story of this remarkable aristocratic British couple, Lord and Lady Aberdeen, who in 1890 purchased land in the Okanagan Valley sight unseen. Follow the Aberdeens’ time at Guisachan Farm and the trail north, when in 1892 they purchased the Coldstream Ranch. “Advance with Courage” tells the less known story of their time in Canada and of their profound impact on the Okanagan.  It is a rare visual and written account of their time in the Okanagan Valley through Lady Aberdeen’s Kodak photos, her journals and archival materials. This is their story.

The exhibit was created with the help and financial support of the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) Community Stories Investment Program. The Virtual Museum of Canada, managed by the Canadian Museum of History with the financial support of the Government of Canada, is the largest digital source of stories and experiences shared by Canada’s museums and heritage organizations.

The Community Story exhibit Advance with Courage took two years of hard work with the support of many volunteers under the direction of COHS staff Lorri Dauncey.  Lorri, with help from Shannon Jorgenson, created this exhibit on the Aberdeens’ time in the Okanagan Valley. Special thanks to the following volunteers that helped make this exhibit happen:  Carolyn MacHardy, Bob Hayes, Tara Hurley, Madelaine Albert, Alexandra Dauncey-Elwood, Jim Elwood, Ursula Surtees, Wayne Wilson, Sandra Harwood, Riley Grandel, and Alicia van der Sluijs.

The exhibit includes an easy to read history of the Aberdeen’s time in the Okanagan Valley. This on-line resource will be used by middle, high school as well as university students, and those with an interest in local history.

The Advance with Courage exhibit can be accessed on the VMC website:

Two earlier VMC on-line exhibits created by COHS are: