This 3,000 resident town, along with 5,000 resident Spullumcheen (4 kilometres to the north), are in the middle of a fertile agricultural valley. The town is named for William Charles Heaton-Armstrong, the head of the London bank that financed the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway in 1892 (he visited the area that year, too). Today the town is known for its cheese.
The area around Armstrong was inhabited by the Secwepemc (Shuswap) and Okanagan First Nations, who interacted with fur traders from the Hudson’s Bay Company, who established various trade routes in the region.
Settler came to the North Okanagan nd the area around Armstrong attracted by the fertile soil and favorable climate made it an ideal location for agriculture including crops, fruit orchards, dairy farming, and grain production.
The Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 1880s brought increased accessibility and facilitated the transportation of goods and people. The town was named in 1892 by the Shuwap & Okanagan Railway (a subsidiary of the CPR) for London-based financier William Charles Heaton-Armstrong, who visited the town that year.
These are the annual events in Armstrong: Springfest Outdoors Show (April), O’Keefe Ranch Mother’s Day (May), BC Llama Show (June), Arabian & Mini Horse Shows (June), O’Keefe Ranch Father’s Day (June), Blacksmith’s Gathering at O’Keefe (July), Vintage Motorcycle Rally at O’Keefe (July), 7th Annual Old Time Fair at O’Keefe (July), 5th Annual Cowboy Festival at O’Keefe (July), Okanagan Llama Sale (July), Interior Provincial Exhibition & Stampede (September), Hot Air Balloon Rendezvous (October), Demolition Derby (October), BC Cutting/Reining Horse Shows (October), Armstrong Christmas Lightup (December), O’Keefe Ranch Victorian (December).
Armstrong & Spullumcheen Museum, Archives, and Art Gallery
3415 Pleasant Valley Road,
Box 308, Armstrong, BC V0E 1B0
250-546-8318 or 250-546-9422
Area history is featured in exhibits that highlight the railway, agriculture and turn-of-the-century settlers.
Open Thursday to Monday from June through September, an weekends in winter.
Armstrong Cheese Factory
Pleasant Valley Rd
Visitors can view the factory activity through a viewing window, and see a video and slide display.
Cheese is generally made on Saturdays, Mondays and Thursdays depending on milk supply.
The Olde School House
One of mainland BC’s oldest schoolhouses is now a restaurant that serves lunches and afternoon teas.
Fresh strawberries and other fruits area served in season, with Devonshire cream.
View the building and restoration of horse-drawn carriages. Call for appointment.