The RIch History
Historic O’Keefe Ranch is the North Okanagan’s most popular place to go back in time to learn the ways of living, farming, and values that helped shape this region. As a representation of the European settlement into the Okanagan Valley, it acts as a memorial to the farmers, ranchers, and cowboys who migrated from around the world to make a new life for themselves.
With an age as old as Canada itself, O’Keefe Ranch has been around since 1867. Initially owned by the O’Keefe family, this site served as a stage coach wagon depot and a post office. Eventually, the property turned into an open range cattle site, where thousands of cattle roamed the endless, unfenced ranges of the Okanagan, Thompson, and Cariboo regions. This brought the myth of the “cowboy”, who grew up with the young men that worked on the ranch. The seemingly attractive lifestyle brought men from all over to experience it, when in reality it was often a harsh, low paying, and difficult way of life. Of course, the true cowboys were the native inhabitants that graced this land far before the times of the European settlers.
In the early 1900’s, O’Keefe Ranch grew to 12,000 hectares. Due to the rising popularity of the orchard industry and the ranch’s prime land, the O’Keefe family eventually had to sell. Still in love with the land and lifestyle, the family maintained a smaller portion of the ranch to keep their tradition alive. Fast forward to the mid 1960’s, and the decision was made to turn this beautiful property into a historic site. Old buildings were restored, some relocated, and by 1967, exactly a century after existence, it was open to the public.
Visit the Ranch
Today, the Ranch attracts visitors from all over to experience a variety of different unique buildings, attractions, and events. Guided tours of the O’Keefe Mansion, Log House, and St. Anne’s Church are popular sights, and just a few of the many buildings here. Below is a list of the attractions you can explore:
-St. Anne’s Church
-The Schubert House
-Cowboy Bunk House
-The Log House
-The Meat & Dairy House
-Model Railway Display
-Pioneer Power Club Equipment Displays
Depending on the time of year, visitors can experience seasonal events like the Field of Screams corn maze, a Victorian Christmas, the Winter Carnival, and Canada Day celebrations, to name a few. O’Keefe ranch is one of the most popular attractions in the Okanagan around the major holidays, thanks to their entertaining events and passionate staff that make it all happen.
Something you’ll notice as you stroll around the grounds is the abundance of antique farm machinery and unique breeds of animals. Cows, pics, sheep, horses, goats, and more scatter the pastures and interact with guests. Feed them, watch them graze, and learn about their simple way of life on the ranch.
If you’d like to spend more than a day on this wonderful property, book an RV campsite or a Glampsite and enjoy the rustic experience this place has to offer. Bookings are completed online only through this link. These sites fill up quickly, so be sure to book far in advance.
O’Keefe Ranch offers host to a variety of events in a Victorian style, rustic atmosphere. On the ranch itself, you’ll have your choice at a number of different venues, each with their own charm. Whether you’re looking for a unique wedding venue, and location to host your favourite artist, or want to take your students on a memorable field trip, this historic ranch is sure to impress! In addition, O’Keefe Ranch is also available for the following events & shows:
-Galas & Fundraisers
-Birthday parties & reunions