The Baron Manor was built by the Bryce Family in the early 1900’s then sold too Carol von Mackensen where he built onto the existing house. Before coming to Canada, Carol von Mackensen spend a few years in the German Military and married a rich heiress in 1902 but by 1904 was offered the equivalent of $250,000 dollars Canadian to divorce her. Carol von Mackensen took the money, and was granted an honourable discharge from the army in 1904. (Carol von Mackensen was the nephew of world war one General August von Mackensen who became an extremely successful field marshal, then after the war being appointed councilor in 1933 by Hermann Goring, yet he was suspected of being disloyal to the Third Reich, nothing was proven against him. )
Baron Carol von Mackensen chose Port Kells for the farming community he would move too. With his money in hand he built The Baron Manor ( as it is known by today ). It is said that, The Baron would throw huge Christmas parties in his 16 room house every year inviting everyone in the area. The locals dubbed the place “ The Castle “ due to the turreted tower that the Baron had built in 1910.
In 1914 when War broke out in Europe, the Barons popularity sank, it probably wasn’t helped with the fact that he flew the German flag from the top of the building. The house was constantly frequented authorities where they located several hidden rooms and passageways and tunnels under the property. One day a young constable found papers and map hidden in the dirt of a flower pot, which supposedly had places marked that favoured Germans for after they had won the war. The map and any evidence has been lost due to a government office fire in the 1960’s.
In 1915 Baron Carol von Mackensen was put into an internment camp in Vernon BC, where he stayed until the war ended in 1918. The government seized all assets from him and deported him out of the county back to Germany in 1919. The Baron would live out his days in Germany longing to return back to Canada and to his property, he spent his final years trying to reclaim his assets and restore his reputation in Canada. He was unsuccessful and died in Germany in 1967.