After living in the McKellar house for 31 years, Milton and Eva Gorman decided that it was time to move to lower Glenrosa on property they purchased in 1920. There they had an orchard that included the precious commodity, irrigation.
Bob and Stevie (Alice Stevens) Lynn bought the property from the Gorman family in 1945. Their mortgage payment was $25.00 per month for twenty-five years!
Previously, the Lynn’s were married in Saskatchewan and homesteaded there. Bob was very good with horses, and in those early days made his living logging with horses. Stevie was a schoolteacher, and their only child; Jack was born there in 1935. A few years later they moved to Vernon, B.C. where Bob worked in a sawmill. In 1938 they packed up all their belongings and moved once again, settling in Westbank. This time he was a foreman for Ewer Orchards.
During World War II Bob joined the army and was a First Aid Attendant overseas.
After the war when Bob received his discharge papers, he and Stevie moved into the McKellar house in Glenrosa.
Similar to other women living in the area, Stevie worked in the packinghouse near Gellatly Bay in Westbank. Her employer particularly pleased with the way she packed the peaches very gently in the boxes.
The Lynn’s looked after two foster children, Bill and Ken Herbert for approximately three years. While they were living with them they built a merry-go-round in the hills above the house out of wood and attached buckets that children could ride in. This amused the local children for a number of years.
As the family enjoyed horses, they kept a few of them as pets on their property. Their son Jack, at a young age, had his own horse and even rode to school. Flash, one friendly little colt they owned discovered one day that someone had left the back door open. Curiosity got the better of him and he surprised Stevie when he walked into the house. Extra precautions were then taken to ensure that incident didn’t happen again.
Hay was grown and harvested to feed the animals, but because there was so little water in the wells, especially in summer, they barely had enough feed to maintain them, and growing a vegetable garden was out of the question.
During the late 1940s Bob and Stevie became very passionate about children’s camps; piqued by an American they knew who had returned from the war unscathed. As an expression of gratitude, he established Mazama Bible Camp 40 miles west of Omak, Washington. The Lynn’s were involved in that camp and they helped acquire five large army tents, beds, tables, etc., all army surplus materials, and opened the first camp in the summer of 1948. That camp continued until the last day of camp in the summer of 1955 when a severe thunderstorm struck the area causing irreparable damage to the campgrounds.
The camp board met shortly thereafter, and decided to close the camp at Mazama and relocate in Glenrosa. The tents, beds, tables and other materials were transferred to the new camp. Bob and Stevie Lynn donated around 15 acres and neighbours Irwin and Margaret Campbell contributed an additional two acres to establish Morning star Bible Camp. Their first camp opened in the summer of 1956 with approximately 50 children.
Volunteers from the church the Lynn’s were members, the Lower Gospel Hall, (later became the Westbank Chapel) and members of the Penticton Bible Chapel formed the camp board. They built the chapel, mess hall and washrooms, cooked the delicious meals, washed the dishes and performed routine maintenance and odd jobs to keep the camp running.
In the late fifties or early sixties the large concrete swimming pool was constructed, but in 1965 a crack developed in the pool and couldn’t be used that summer. That didn’t stop the kids from swimming. The children were transported to and from Okanagan Lake via Gellatly Road, while standing in the back of Irwin Campbell’s red Chevrolet stake flatbed truck.
Each year the number of children attending Morningstar increased, and they came from all over B.C. Over the years many improvements were made to the facilities, and this camp continues to this day on the original property.
While the Okanagan Lake Bridge was being constructed in the late ‘50s Mr. Lynn was both the First Aid Attendant and Time Keeper. Later he worked for Simpson’s Sawmill in Kelowna, which later became Crown Zellerbach.
In 1965 the Lynn’s improved the outside of the old McKellar house by having white stucco applied. This eliminated the need to paint the exterior walls and provided better insulation from the cold and hot weather.
Bob retired in 1968 due to failing health brought on by Parkinson Disease. In 1973, as the disease was taking its toll, the task of looking after the house and property became too great for Bob and Steevie. Another chapter in the old McKellar house was coming to a close. After enjoying 28 years of wonderful memories, they sold the house to John and Marilyn Vooys and moved to downtown Westbank to experience an easier life.
1) Bob and Stevie Lynn with their son Jack, probably taken in 1945.
2) The McKellar house as it looked in September 2009