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The Reid family owned the Benachie Ranch in Lavington from 1903 to 2004. William and Elizabeth Reid moved to Vernon from Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1903 with 7 of their 9 children - William Jr (Billy), Robert (Bob), James (Jim), Charles (Charlie), Katherine (Kate), Jessie and Annie. The land for the ranch had been acquired by William Jr. in a prior trip to Canada in 1900 – 160 acres through purchase from Ellen Bessette and 320 acres through the pre-emption process. The Reid ranch included a mix of farming activities - the family had Shorthorn cattle imported from Scotland for milking, an apple orchard, and planted a variety of grain crops. After the deaths of Elizabeth (1914) and William Sr. (1918), William Jr. and Jim took over the ranch. At this point Annie and Jessie took over Elizabeth's role of curing ham and bacon and selling homemade butter and eggs. The other siblings worked elsewhere – Bob worked for the Vernon Fruit Union as an electrical engineer, and also worked in a sawmill with Charlie.
Several of the siblings married and had children. Jessie married Eugene Bellevue and had 5 children: Ken, Maurice, Rosene, Rita, and Anne. The children went to live on the ranch with William and Annie after Jessie died in 1926. Annie married George Cruickshank in 1912, and stayed on the ranch. Robert married his wife Bella and had a son Leonard. They eventually built a house in Winfield. Charlie moved to Vancouver and married Margaret Pothecary (née Deschamps) in 1944. They had a daughter Wendy, in addition to Margaret’s daughter Peggy from her first marriage.
Jim died in 1951, Kate in 1955, William Jr. in 1965, Charlie in 1968, Robert in 1975 and Annie in 1979. After William Jr.'s death, the ranch passed to Annie, and after Annie’s death it passed to Jessie’s son Ken Bellevue. Ken worked for BC Hydro, but held onto the ranch until his death in 2004.
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Created December 13, 2017