History of Earlscourt

1864 to 1912
Thomas Gardner Earl (1829-1925)
    A '49er who left New Jersey for San Francisco for the gold rush, and then headed up the fraser in 1858 for gold but turned to horticulture. Earl lived in lytton from 1864 till 1912 managing award winning Apple and Pear orchards becoming the first Apple grower in BC of any magnitude with about 300 acres in fruit trees.

Tho G Earl Signature
Earlscourt Apples

Earlscourt Apples Diamond S

1912 to 1959  
David Spencer - R.V. Winch
    David Spencer (1837-1920) of Spencer Department store fame (Subsequently bought by T. Eaton) continued orcharding about 17,000 trees until the late 1940's when a spring freeze killed many blossoms and the harvest outlook was grim.  David's son, Colonol Victor Spencer (who was in the ranching business and owned a number of ranches including the Douglas Lake Ranch) took the opportunity to remove the apple trees and started a herd "with the prime objective of helping to improve the cattle in British Columbia.".  He bred Hazlett bulls and imported stock from England to produce Tone and Lionheart cows.

    Winch was a relative of Spencers and owned a parcel upon which he began construction of the Earlscourt mansion in 1912.  He employed the notable Maclure & Fox Architects for several projects at Earlscourt. Other notable endeavors of his included building the Winch building in Vancouver from which he ran Winch insurance and other businesses. Winch Grocery existed in 1888 and was famous for it's system of conveying meat.
1959 to 1962
Norman Gregory
    Horse Rancher

1962 to Present
Raymond V. Mundall M.D.
    Born in Pheonix AZ Mundall practiced medicine in Oakdale, CA and operated 100 acre almond  ranch.  He moved his family to Lytton for an early retirement in 1962 soon after purchasing Earlscourt but became discouraged when a shop full of equipment burned to the ground in November 1963.  He moved back to CA the summer of 1964 and then to Sedona AZ where he built another medical practice before heading to Belize C.A. as a missionary to build a hospital. During this time the farm was managed by several tenants and became the birthplace for Fountainview Farms in the mid 70's.   Plagued by yet more fire, the Apple Packing House burned to the ground in Jan.1972, suspected to be the works of  a local pyro.  Raymond moved back to Lytton Feb 1, 1991 for retirement and encountered more fire, a greenhouse burned July 1992,  forest fire threatened the farm in early August 1992 and the mansion burned to the ground March 1993.
Operations currently include fruit orcharding, alfalfa hay, horse training, cattle, and market gardening. 

Other links of interest:

History of Apples in Canada

History of fruit growing in the BC Interior

Kelowna Museum

The life of David Spencer

The Winch Building     another link

Vancouver Magazine "We are what we ate"