Mabel Lake Beach, Enderby
Enderby is situated along the Shuswap River in the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia and has an abundance of watersports available right on its doorstep. Canoeing and kayaking is popular in the calmer waters and river trips will take you to the river channels. For breathtaking views across the North Okanagan and Shuswap River hike to the top of Enderby Cliffs that tower high above the city. Play a round of golf, drop a fishing line or take an historical walking tour of the town. In the winter snowmobiling and other winter sports are enjoyed in the hills surrounding Enderby.
Enderby and the gentle waters of the Shuswap River have played a key role in the history and growth of the North Okanagan as a vital transportation route for the Shuswap Indians and the early European settlers. It was in the vicinity of this river that the Spallumcheen tribe of the Shuswap Indians lived for hundreds of years, hunting and fishing along its banks. And it was just south of the present townsite that overlander Alexander Leslie Fortune pre-empted land in 1866, thus becoming the first white settler in the North Okanagan. Fortune’s place on the bend in the Shuswap River made an ideal stopping spot for steamboats and paddlewheelers from Kamloops shipping supplies to settlers in the Okanagan.
Enderby was named in 1887 after a Jean Ingelow poem, in which the villagers were saved from a rising tide of water by the chiming of church bells playing the tune The Bridges of Enderby. With the completion of the Shuswap and Okanagan Railroad in 1892, the small town began to grow and prosper, with the construction of a flour mill, sawmill, and brickyard by 1895. The business district expanded accordingly, and the decision was made to incorporate the city in 1905.
The Shuswap River has retained its importance as a navigable river, but canoeists and kayakers have taken the place of steamboats. The river now links the small developed communities in the rural district, from Kingfisher in the east to Mara in the north, and the city of Enderby remains the centre of services for the rural area.