Subseries - Interviews with Joe Harris

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Interviews with Joe Harris

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  • 1984-1992 (Creation)

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10 audio cassettes
13 transcripts

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Joseph Gleason Harris (1910 July 6 - 1994 December 26) arrived in Penticton in 1917. At age 16 he was invited by Frank Richter, Jr., to the Richter Ranch in Keremeos, from which point he visited the Cathedral Mountains for the first time. This first visit left a lasting impression on him. Later, in 1939, Harris and Herb Clark of Keremeos launched a pack horse business which would take tourists to visit the Cathedrals. In 1944 he entered the ranching industry and in 1946 took over what was previously Ralph Overton’s ranch. This site was later home to Apex Mountain Guest Ranch. 1946 also saw the launch of a heavy equipment business.
Joe Harris and Margaret “Peggy” Burgess married 4 April 1945 and they made their home in Penticton. Together they raised seven children Mary (Smith), Ann (Van Niekerk), Eileen, Jane (Sullivan), Alice (Hancock), Dick, and Pat.
In addition to his business acumen, Joe Harris also had a mind and heart for civic engagement. Harris served as the chairman of the Central Welfare Committee for 15 years throughout the 1930s and 1940s, during a time when the social welfare safety net was much less robust than it is today. From 1950-1957, Harris also served as an alderman on the Penticton City Council. Harris was a member of the Penticton Hospital Board for 16 years and initiated a local volunteer search and rescue group. Harris, a seasoned outdoorsman, participated in many local rescues himself.
Harris was also instrumental in local heritage initiatives and worked as the curator of the R.N. Atkinson (Penticton) Museum from 1973-1984. His deep knowledge of the history of the area poised him to deliver educational lectures to various organizations and to serve as president of the Penticton branch of the Okanagan Historical Society for five years.
Harris was an avid photographer, and won many awards. His photographic record documents local places and events throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.
Joe Harris was a close associate and valuable historical source for Doug Cox during his writing career.
Not all audio recordings associated with transcripts are extant; likewise not all audio tapes have an associated recording. Content of interviews includes personal reminiscences and historical commentaries, predominantly relating to Penticton, BC, and surrounding area.
Subseries is arranged into 4 files.

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Physical condition

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Audiotapes are housed in specialized boxes due to their shape and dimensions; transcripts are housed in conventional acid-free folders. Relationships between audio and transcripts are noted on the housing as well as in the file list.

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This subseries is of high priority for digitization for the purpose of file migration since is it not known how hospitable audiotape is for long term preservation

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Rules for Archival Description (CCA)



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Created 2015-07-07 by Paige Hohmann

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Cox, D. (1995). Joseph G. Harris – 1910-1994. Okanagan History. Fifty-ninth report of the Okanagan Historical Society. pp. 148-158. Retrieved 2015-05-29.

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