Joseph Gleason Harris (b. 1910 July 6, d.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. 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 1945 April 4 and they made their home in Penticton. Together they raised seven children.
Joe Harris also was heavily involved in civic service. Harris served as the chairman of the Central Welfare Committee for fifteen years throughout the 1930s and 1940s. From 1950-1957, Harris also served as an Alderman on the Penticton City Council. Harris was a member of the Penticton Hospital Board for sixteen years and initiated a local volunteer search and rescue group. Harris 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, 1940s, and 1950s.
Harris was a close associate and valuable historical source for Doug Cox during his writing career.
Scope and content:
Subseries consists of original photographs taken by Joe Harris as well as some pieces collected by Joe Harris and then subsequently transferred to the custody of Doug Cox. Predominant photographic coverage relates to the Cathedral Mountains, south of Keremeos, BC, during the 1930s. Includes a sequence of interviews with Joe Harris, and some associated transcripts.