August Gillard pre-empted land on the shores of Okanagan Lake when there were very few settlers or permanent buildings. He adapted the Native's winter house style to his own needs, and was one of the first people to build on what is now the site of the City of Kelowna.
Any person being the head of a family, a widow, or a single man over the age of eighteen and being a British subject, may, for agricultural purposes, record any tract of unoccupied and unreserved Crown lands, not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres in extent. No person can hold more than one pre-emption claim. The pre-emption had to be staked by the claimer. The claimer had to have personal residence on the land within sixty days after registration. Land may be considered abandoned if unoccupied for more than two months consecutively. The settler shall have the land surveyed within five years from the date of record. After living on the land for two years and improving the value of the land by two dollars and fifty cents an acre the land could be purchased from the government. Cost of the land purchase was one dollar per acre. The payment for this land could be spread over four years From B.C. Settlers Guide 1885
The first large scale agricultural land use was cattle
raising with its attendant need for hay crops. Grain crops were more
limited but of high quality.
"This medal was awarded to Mr. Brent at the Antwerp Exposition, 1883 for wheat grown on this land. There is no better wheat grown."
Built by the Earl of Aberdeen in 1891, it was named 'Guisachan' by Lady Aberdeen for her childhood home in Scotland. Guisachan means 'Place of the Firs'.
The Presbyterian church at Benvoulin was dedicated in 1892. It served for many years, then as the population focus moved ceased to function as a church. It seemed doomed to decay and destruction, until concerned citizens, aided by city, province and federal grants restored it to its original state. Is is now in great demand for weddings and small choral events.