tHAT IS a nice boulder
One particularly large rock has stood as a landmark in the Greater Vernon area for thousands of years. Technically known as an erratic, one theory suggests that it was deposited by a large glacier that was creeping southward and scouring out the Okanagan Valley during the Ice Age.
The boulder is located a few yards north of Highway 6, just before the intersection with Grey Road. It is located on private property, but can be seen from the Highway when safe to do so. Back in 1877, as reported by a Dr. G. M. Dawson, the erratic demanded attention at a whopping 22-feet long. However, by 1982 it had been eroded to only 12 feet in length and nowadays it is even smaller, which makes it easy to miss unless one knows where to look.
The erratic, made from layers of feldspar and quartz, has a notable crack down one of its sides. Evidence suggests that in the early days, a fir tree had made its way out of the rock, but was struck by lightning in 1916. The damage from this lighting strike caused a large portion of rock to break off and tumble down the hill.
While there are many glacial erratics strewn throughout the Valley, this particular rock has seemed to fascinate Vernonites for generations. In 1926, the first edition of the Okanagan Historical Society (OHS) Report included an article about the boulder. The article’s author, Arthur H. Lang, was concerned that given the erratic’s rapid erosion, it would disappear within the next fifty years.
More than this span of time had passed when the OHS next reported on the erratic in 1982, saying that although it was now 6 feet shorter, it was still withstanding the test of time. This continues to be the case in 2023.
To explore more of Vernon’s history, check out our other blog posts!
Gwyneth Evans, Head of Archives