A Pieceful Life

A Pieceful Life


I'm so glad that you stopped by, and hope that you enjoy your visit. Here you will find pieces of my life - quilting, cross-stitch, family, travel, friends.
My name is Peg - I am a 60ish wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend - and if we're not already related or friends, hope to become your friend too.
We live in the eastern end of the beautiful Fraser Valley, about 1.5 hours east of Vancouver, BC. Empty nesters, we have one son living just a few minutes away, our other son and daughter live in Alberta.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

O’Keefe Ranch

Vernon is a city through which we’ve driven many times – on our way to somewhere.  But somehow we never had the time to stop.  Well, on this trip, we decided some time there would be a good idea.

So off we headed, with no plan for what to see or where to go, other than a park we’d been told would be well worth the visit.

030.Polson Park, Vernon

Oh, how we would have loved to stroll and picnic there – but: ‘no dogs allowed’.  So that let us out.  We did a drive through and saw lovely gardens, tennis courts, jogging paths, an outdoor stage.  But, oh well.

The water fowl enjoyed a visit from this little girl:034

Then we headed for old downtown, which was lovely with brick sidewalks and shade trees, but nothing caught our eye as a place we wanted to particularly explore.

After that we thought we’d check out some RV parks for future reference, and then we saw the sign:035.O'Keefe Ranch

(Oops, I cut off the top of it).

We’d often talked about visiting this historic site, and now we had our chance (and dogs are welcome!).


Much of the lifestyle of the O’Keefes has been preserved in their original mansion:

085.O'Keefe Mansion  087

Here’s just a few glimpses of what’s to be seen inside:090115114093113101

The serving dishes in one display each had a different bouquet of flowers in the center, indicating that they were all hand-painted:


An elegant life-style indeed!

Outdoors and in other buildings were displays of various artifacts that showed this elegance wasn’t the rule of thumb, but rather it was a simple life of hard work for most.  For example, these were the kind of stoves they used:


Believe it or not, in the first year of our marriage, we lived in a house with a similar type of stove, but it was oil-fueled, not wood-fueled.  So at least I didn’t have to chop wood LOL!

Then there is the blacksmith shop:062

Just look at these bellows, and imagine pumping that rod hour after hour to keep the fire hot:


And the cook’s house:

051.Cook's house052

The cook may have prepared the meals to be served in that elegant dining room, but s/he went ‘home’ at the end of the day to a one-room cottage.

As much as the O’Keefe family lived elegantly, I’m sure it took many years of hard work to attain and then maintain that lifestyle.

There is a church and cemetery on the ranch, and I took the opportunity to do a little cemetery crawl.  When I can do some more study of the family history, I’ll share some of that with you.

Happy history!                 Blessings, Peg


  1. Okeefe ranch is so fun. I like the candy shop : )

  2. Another nice tour - not sure which order I read these in. Loved the mansion and the difference between the owners and the real people that did the work. I doubt I could have lived in the mansion, knowing that the workers had so little and were forced to live so frugally.

    I adored the photo of the little girl feeding the ducks.

  3. After many dutiful trips to vernon, we have not been back in ten years... And prefer not to. From the first time i saw vernon in 1980, i had to steel myself to go there i so much prefer the south okanogan towns!

  4. Great pics of the ranch! I've never stopped in, maybe I will now.

  5. I drive through Vernon a fair vit, too. I will put the ranch on my list of places to visit. There are a couple of good antique stores in Vernon, but other than that it isn't one of my favourite places. And they are really strict about the no dogs in Polson Park rule! We stopped for lunch in the park, and whilst we were taking our dog out out of the cab and putting him in the camper, a park officer came right over and told us off! Even though we were only moving him from cab to camper and he hadn't so much sniffed at a blade of grass. So back into the cab he went and we left.

  6. I recently attended an event at O'Keefe Ranch and had the time of my life. There was roping, a stage coach ride and a full cowboy meal, followed by a sing-along by the campfire. They do this every Friday evening throughout the summer and thought it would be interesting to see.
    I agree that downtown does not have much to offer visitors, but there are other things to see such as a Wild Brid sanctuary, Davison Orchards, and a Honey Bee Farm. Oh yes and then there is Fintry Provincial Park that also has a wonderful history to it along with another historic mansion.