The Shuswap’s oldest apple tree is living proof of a relationship between the area’s first settler and the permanent residents, members of the Secwepemc First Nation.

Located on Adams Lake Indian Band Reserve west of Salmon Arm at Pierre’s Point, is an apple tree planted by Tom Snass, a Francophone fur trader. According to historic records of conversations with Christine Edwards, Christine Allen, and Harry Tomma, Snass received permission to set up his post from the Neskainlith, Adams, and Little Shuswap Band Chiefs. Snass was given the Secwepemc name Xemups.

According to historian Peter Scales, Snass’ arrival date is uncertain, but by 1851 he had built a cabin and a trading post. Later he was joined by Pierre Moyese (Nexe7yelst), a member of the Adams Lake Indian Band.

Snass cleared fifteen acres of land and planted three acres in fruit trees. Snass left his property to Moyese, which reverted back to the Adams Lake Indian Band in 1946 when Moyese passed away. 

The remaining apple tree is located on Switsemalph No. 6, near the Adams Lake Indian Band office, on Pierre’s Point Road. The tree is close to 143 years old and bore fruit last August.


Note: Neskainlith is an older variation of the current name Neskonlith.

Photo credit:
Scales, Peter
Shuswap's oldest apple tree c 2018

Pierre Moyese's death certificate can be found online in the BC Archives and Records Service.