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Thomas Shorts a key figure in Okanagan transportation history

Okanagan's first ferryman

Thomas “Captain” Shorts operated B.C.'s first ferry company with a rowboat on Okanagan Lake.

The folks at BC Was Awesome have produced a new video chronicling the pivotal figure in Okanagan history.

An entrepreneur through-and-through, Shorts ran the first rudimentary ferry service up and down Okanagan Lake. He transported goods as well as people from Vernon all the way to Penticton and back, and his business flourished over the years.

His efforts later led to paddlewheeler service that was the transportation link up and down the valley before highways linked Okanagan communities.

A bit of a scruffy character, Shorts was also credited as claiming to find an Ogopogo bone; he left a trail of tall tales in his wake.

BC Was Awesome is a British Columbia history TV show co-produced by Vancouver Is Awesome and Artaban Productions. A book of the same name is set to be published in time for the province’s centennial celebrations in 2021. Watch all of the episodes for free on YouTube.



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