The First Settlers and Pioneers
Adapted from an Untitled Document at the Arrow Lakes Historical Society
Photos from A. Devlin’s Personal Archive
Fauquier lies 60 km south of Nakusp. It was chosen as a settling site due to the plentiful supply of fresh water, fertile soil, and suitable climate. Also, because the land was easy to clear due to a forest fire that had swept the area twenty years previously.
Prior to 1895 only trappers and prospectors lived on the site of Fauquier. One prospector, named Dugelle, located a silver claim on Hart Creek. He developed his claim, and sold it to George and Harold Thompson, who were farmers.
In 1897, the first settlers arrived. The three Funk brothers walked over the Monashee and pre-empted three large blocks of land. They cleared their land, and made it into a fine farm. Mr. L. Funk built the first local roads.
Mr. Frederick George Fauquier, son of Bishop Fauquier of Algoma, Ontario, arrived in the area in 1910. He acquired four large blocks of land that extended 1 square mile. He hired native people from the Oatscott reservation near Burton to clear his land. Orchards and quick crops of small fruits were planted. His land brought him great wealth. Fauquier called his farm “the Needles Ranch”.
In 1910, Mr. Fauquier had the rest of his land surveyed into 63 small farm holdings. During this time, the Arrow Lakes was widely advertised as a fine fruit growing area; so his lots found ready sale. People soon moved in and planted orchards all over. Small fruits were already plentiful and provided the local people with much needed cash when they were picked.
The first school was built in 1912. It was made of logs, and at first, it lacked doors and windows. The people held socials and dances in it to raise funds for the windows, doors and other supplies. When it was finished and ready for use, 25 children were enrolled.
In 1913, the town was finally given a name. It happened when Mr. George E. Smeddley built a fine general store and post office. A place had to have a name in order for goods to be sent there. In honor of Mr. Fauquier, his name was chosen since he was the founder of the “Needles Ranch.”