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- Multiple media
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- Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the collection and on the information supplied by the donor/creator.
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1906-2009, predominant 1920-1979 (Creation)
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23 audio cassettes
1 VHS cassette
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Scope and content
The Kelowna Sawmill dates from 1892 when it was first established by pioneer, Bernard Lequime, who subsequently sold it to David Lloyd-Jones, another pioneer, in 1901. Lloyd-Jones had a variety of business partners during the time he owned the sawmill. In 1942, Stanley M. Simpson, the owner of S. M. Simpson Ltd., purchased and operated the Kelowna Sawmill until it was destroyed by fire in 1944. The corporate Kelowna Sawmill Ltd. was maintained and became the retail arm of S. M. Simpson Ltd. until 1956, when retail operations ceased.
Stanley M. Simpson arrived in Kelowna in 1913 and operated a sole proprietorship for the next eleven years (1913-1924) until incorporating S. M. Simpson Ltd. in 1924. During those early years, Simpson operated his business in two different downtown locations, as well as running, or partnering in various portable sawmills throughout the area. His sash and door factory on Abbott Street, manufactured and sold windows and doors, custom furniture, and wooden fruit boxes for the expanding Okanagan fruit and vegetable industry. The business operated out of this location until 1948.
Needing a reliable and accessible source of logs, Stanley Simpson bought land at Manhattan Beach along the lakeshore, in Kelowna’s North End. In 1930, he began constructing a sawmill and box factory and three years later, added a veneer plant to the site.
The Province of British Columbia created Forest Management licenses in 1951, when S. M. Simpson Ltd. was awarded Tree Farm License #9. Needing to diversity, S. M. Simpson Ltd. created S&K Ltd. to add a plywood manufacturing facility to the Manhattan site. It began operations in 1957.
In the following years S. M. Simpson Ltd. purchased other sawmills and logging operations, including Trautman Garraway in Peachland (1955), Peachland Sawmill & Box (1955), McLean Sawmills (1957), Lumby Timber Co (1959), Ferguson Brothers Lumber (1962), Stave Lumber (1962) Eagle Pass Lumber (1963), R&L Lumber (1964).
Stanley Simpson died in 1959. Horace B. Simpson, Stanley’s son, managed S. M. Simpson Ltd. until 1965 when the company was sold to Crown Zellerbach, Canada. A branch operation of the U.S. company, this was the first of a succession of owners, and though the Simpson name was attached to the operations for several years, the family was no longer involved.
The fonds consists of two separate streams of documentation. The first consists of documents, photographs, and artifacts pertaining to the operations of a succession of sawmills and wood manufacturing plants founded by Stanley Merriam Simpson (b. 10 August 1886, d. 20 March 1959) and assumed by his son, Horace B. Simpson (b. 17 March 1917, d. 8 September 1994) in the Okanagan area. This comprises a compilation of the images and records of three corporate entities, (Kelowna Sawmill Ltd., S. M. Simpson Ltd., S & K Ltd.) as well as the records and images of S. M. Simpson’s sole proprietorship between 1913 – 1924, prior to the incorporation of S. M. Simpson Ltd.
The second stream consists of the materials generated by Sharron J. Simpson, a Kelowna author, publisher, and activist. Sharron J. Simpson's records within this aggregation are primarily in relation to legal proceedings against the City of Kelowna in pursuit of the maintenance of the Simpson Covenant, which limits use of waterfront land on a former mill site sold by S.M. Simpson to the City under restrictive terms of sale in 1946. In the 2000s, the City sought to dissolve the Covenant; Sharron J. Simpson founded a society to challenge this initiative.
In total fonds consists of approximately 2,642 photographs, in various forms, including duplicates. Records provide documentation of legal proceedings, finances, substantial mill operations, safety initiatives, administration, civic engagement, publicity, and labour relations relating to mill business, general family research, and writing samples. Artifacts include exemplars of production and souvenir materials.
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Uploaded finding aid
Available at UBCO OSC: HD9764.C34 S58 2003
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Revised May 6, 2016 by Lara Maestro
Revised February 18, 2020 by Paige Hohmann
Language of description
Script of description
Cutting, K. and Merriam, R.D. (2015). Merriam Family Tree. Retrieved http://www.merriamfamilytree.org 2015/07/29
Simpson, S.J. (2003) Boards, Boxes and Bins. Kelowna, BC: Manhattan Beach Publishing.