10 Facts – Armstrong

Incorporated on March 31, 1913 the city of Armstrong, located in the North Okanagan, is known by many as the originating location of Armstrong cheese but it has many other interesting facts linked to its history:

Location of Armstrong, BC

  1. The city itself is located in the Spallumcheen Valley, the name of which comes from the Shuswap language and has a variety of very apt meanings including: ‘beautiful valley’, ‘flat meadow’, ‘meeting of the waters’, and ‘prairie-banked river’.
  2. This region had long been populated by the Okanagan people when the first fur traders arrived in the area in the 1800s.
  3. The city itself was named after E.C. Heaton Armstrong who was a London banker responsible for the finding of the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway.
  4. At the time of the completion of the railway, Armstrong consisted of a single box car which served as station and the home of the rail agent.  Welcome to Armstrong
  5. George Patchett built the first house in the city in 1891.
  6. The first mayor of the city was James M Wright who was elected in 1913.
  7. Traditional economic fields include logging, agriculture and grain farming, and ranching.
  8. As mentioned above, the city is known for the Armstrong cheese that shares its name; this cheese-making tradition is due in large part to the influence of Dutch immigrants who settled in the area after WWII.

    The Armstrong cheese 'Special Occasions Cheeses'; image from:  armstrongcheese.ca

    The Armstrong cheese ‘Special Occasions Cheeses’; image from: armstrongcheese.ca

  9. Another well-known aspect of the city is its Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede which has been an annual event since 1899.

    A historic shot of the Armstrong IPE. Image from www.castanet.ne

    A historic shot of the Armstrong IPE. Image from http://www.castanet.ne

  10. The last surviving member of the 1862 Cariboo Overlander Expedition, Augustus Schubert, died in Armstrong in 1946 at the age of 91.

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