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iN VIDEO: See Fintry Estate before new housing came in 1965

An outbuilding at Fintry Estates in 1965.
Image Credit: Submitted/Francois Arseneault Reel Life
April 15, 2021 - 7:00 AM

Old black and white film footage of the Fintry Estate and the nearby delta show what it was like before a housing developer brought in the modern housing near the century old manor house.

The footage comes from a 16 mm film that Vernon’s Francois Arseneault found about 30 years ago. He thinks he found it somewhere in the Okanagan but can’t remember just where.

He cut about 17 minutes of film into two YouTube videos. He suspects the original was produced by the company trying to market lots on the delta.

A field at Fintry.
A field at Fintry.
Image Credit: Submitted/Francois Arseneault Reel Life

“It just has the feel of a sales pitch,” Arseneault told iNFOnews.ca. “I spoke briefly with someone who was connected with the Fintry establishment back in the day. There was some sort of development being planned – a much more significant development than there is today. I don’t know all the details of that development back in the 60s but there was a big push to make it quite a large residential area and a vacation spot.”

Arseneault provided the videos to iNFOnews.ca after reading a recent story on the park.

READ MORE: iN PHOTOS: The founder of Fintry was no remittance man, he just looked like one at times

The history of Fintry Estates, on the west side of Okanagan Lake, dates back more than 100 years when James Dun-Waters bought land there, built a water-powered electricity plant, a manor house and farm.

The Fintry Packing House.
The Fintry Packing House.
Image Credit: Submitted/Francois Arseneault Reel Life

He died in 1939 and different owners managed the lands until it became a provincial/regional park in 1996.

The longer video, called “1965, The Fintry Delta and development plans, Fintry, B.C. runs 12 minutes and 16 seconds.

The film that Arseneault found has no sound track but he does add some commentary to the videos.

Roads being built to create the new subdivision.
Roads being built to create the new subdivision.
Image Credit: Submitted/Francois Arseneault Reel Life

The longer film shows extended views of the lakeshore and Fintry Falls, an outbuilding and the packinghouse on the lakeshore.

It also shows development drawings and a view, at the film’s 8:05 minute mark, of a field with the future Shorts and Morden roads being built.

A drawing of the proposed new development with what looks like tennis courts.
A drawing of the proposed new development with what looks like tennis courts.
Image Credit: Submitted/Francois Arseneault Reel Life

The shorter video, at four minutes and five seconds, is called: 1965, The Fintry Manor House, Fintry, B.C.

He split the original film into two because modern attention spans tend to balk at 17 minutes of video, he said.

This one focuses on the manor house itself.

The Manor House
The Manor House
Image Credit: Submitted/Francois Arseneault Reel Life

‘Captain Dun-Waters first arrived in Fintry in 1909,” Arseneault’s commentary says. “The Manor House was completed in 1911 using granite quarried from the nearby cliffs for foundations, exterior walls and massive fireplaces.

“The house has spacious living quarters with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a sitting room, living room, dining room and full basement, part of which was a secure cellar for the private stock of Dun-Waters’ Laird of Fintry Whiskey.

“The original house was destroyed by fire in 1924 but the foundation walls remained intact. Dun-Waters rebuilt the house on the same footprint, adding the trophy room and stone grotto to showcase the Kodiak bear.”

Inside the Trophy Room at Fintry Manor.
Inside the Trophy Room at Fintry Manor.
Image Credit: Submitted/Francois Arseneault Reel Life

Arseneault has more than 2,000 videos in his Reel Life series made from mostly old, silent films from all over the world that he’s collected over more than 30 years.

His Reel Life catalogue can be viewed on a map here. Many are in the Thompson and Okanagan regions.

 

This image, at the 9:35 point of the development video, seems to show the Manor House being renovated, possibly with new windows.
This image, at the 9:35 point of the development video, seems to show the Manor House being renovated, possibly with new windows.
Image Credit: Submitted/Francois Arseneault Reel Life

For a more modern, drone view of the Fintry delta check out this video.

Day trip to Fintry (Okanagan Valley, BC Canada) from Daniel David Films on Vimeo.

READ MORE: TRENDING NOW: Videographer captures gorgeous view of Fintry


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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