Founded in 1907 as a prime agricultural area, Naramata was also known in its early years as a cultural centre. People from across the Okanagan would arrive by boat for concerts, plays, operas and regattas. Paddlewheelers regularly stopped at the local wharf carrying freight and passengers up and down Okanagan Lake. In 1914, Naramata received a new link with the rest of Canada when the Kettle Valley Railway was completed on the hillside above the village. Due to the intense volume of rock work it gained the reputation as one of the most difficult stretches of KVR construction.
Today, remnants of the KVR make for great exploration, such as the train tunnels, rock ovens, and the railway right-of-way which clings to the hillside high above Okanagan Lake and is now part of the Trans-Canada Trail.
Naramata has been charming visitors since its early days. Village founder John Moore Robinson built the California -inspired Hotel Naramata more than 95 years ago. Today, the property has been refurbished and offers dining, accommodation and spa services with historical charm.
The Naramata Heritage Museum
Open May – October, Fri – Sun, 2:00 – 4:00 pm or by appointment: call Bert & Stu Berry (250) 496-5597.
Exhibits display early days in Naramata: fruit growing, early farm equipment and artifacts, cultural history including Naramata’s Canadian Players theatre company of the 1930s, the still-active Naramata Community Choir and a fine collection of vintage photographs and documents.