The little group of Oblates made its way into the heart of the Okanagan Valley. Father Pandosy wrote his superiors in October of 1859 that they had settled on a campsite on a small lake, later to be known as Duck Lake. This lay parallel to the great Okanagan Lake.
Winter was fast approaching and the missionaries were ill prepared. They spent a wretched and hungry winter at Duck Lake. The shallow water froze readily around the edges so even procuring a good water supply was difficult. They were forced to eat the horses, which probably would have perished anyway from lack of feed.
After such a hard winter it was obvious to the Oblates that a new settlement area had to be sought. They finally decided on a permanent settlement 12 miles south of their original choice.
This was a far superior spot. Acres of flatland surrounded them and a full flowing river was close by. It was the fall of 1860.
In the fall of 1860 the Natives were still suspicious of the white men. Why would these men in their long black gowns want to live among them? What was their motive? Their hostility grew.
Father Pandosy had, by this time, over a decade of experience with the First Nations people. He must have had a remarkable understanding of their temperament. It was at this most difficult time, the story goes, that Father Pandosy felt that actions could best demonstrate his determination to stay. At the next show of hostility the good father calmly walked over to a large tree. He took his knife from its sheath at his waist, and with the sharp tip traced the outline of a man upon the standing trunk. Then, stepping back, he took what appeared to be casual aim and threw it at the outline. The knife flew with a satisfying "thunk" into the heart of the figure. Silently Father Pandosy walked over, pulled out the knife, and re sheathed it. From that time on the large white man was regarded with new respect. Soon his booming voice became well known and he became a good friend to the First Nations, loved and respected throughout the valley.
John McDougall had been a packer for the Hudson Bay Co. In 1861 he was permitted by them to run a small Trading Post. To the post came the men, some to bring furs, some for provisions and trade goods. The First Nations people came for the Hudson's Bay Blankets, bright cloth and tea. Every item in the store had to be packed in on the backs of horses, mules or men.
As the fur trade dwindled, so did the use of the Brigade
Trail. Gold prospectors tried their luck in Okanagan creeks. News of rich
strikes in central B.C. soon lured them up the Trail which became active
again as a route to the new gold fields.
Some of the families in the area at that time are as follows:
Father Charles Pandosy, Father Pierre Richard, Brother Surel, Cyprian Laurence, Theodore Laurence, Isadore Boucherie, Jules Blondeaux, Parsons Brothers, William Peon, Eli Lequime, Henry Lindley, Joseph Christien, Fredrick Brent, John McDougall, August Gillard, Alphonse Lefevre, Francois Ortolon, Auguste Calmels.