Between 1904 and 1912, BC motorists were required to display “a lighted lamp, or lamps … any time after dusk and before dawn … to display prominently the number of the permit issued” – i.e. their licence plate number.
The number 1743 was issued to George J. Fraser of Penticton and in (1913), the lantern came into the possession of the proprietor of the “Penticton Garage” (also believed to be the Grand Forks Garage (shown below) where the Valley 1st Credit Union office is located) and remained with his family for a century before surfacing earlier this year.
Chris Garrish of Penticton in a note to ODN says: I collect license plates and recently acquired a very unique “plate” from around 1912 when motorists were required to paint their number on the side light so people could identify the number at night. I checked to see who the number was registered to and the first entry is for a “George Fraser” who lived on Lakeshore Drive in Penticton at the time. Admittedly, I am playing a hunch but am wondering if this George Fraser might be related to the George Fraser who lives in Osoyoos.
So, I appreciate you putting me in touch with George and am hopeful that he might be able to shine some light on this (and might this other George Fraser be his grandfather and did he live in Penticton around 1911-12)
My grandfather opened a real estate and insurance office in 1941 and also became a notary public. Sold it to TG Wilson in 1947. From his book, “The story of Osoyoos”, p. 30 & 36.
In reply George Fraser (only child of Dorothy and Douglas Fraser) of Osoyoos says: My grandparents first went to Kelowna, where my father was born, then to Penticton, and then to Osoyoos in 1917.
Lakeshore Drive sounds right – quite possible they were in Penticton during the 1911, 1912 period: My grandfather’s name was George Johnston Fraser, without the “e” on Johnston. I do know that when they moved to Osoyoos in 1917, that he drove a team pulling a wagon and stayed overnight at Fairview. That of course does not preclude him from having a car in years before that.
I have never read anything to make me believe that they brought a car to Osoyoos.
My grandfather lived in Penticton from 1910 – 1917. He obviously was interested in automobiles: in 1914 he took on the Valley agency for the sale of Studebaker cars. (He regretted this!).
With thanks Chris Garrish, George Fraser, Brian Wilson (OATS) – check links below