Salmon Arm’s first Central School on Harris Street, built in 1908, before it burned down on Jan. 31, 1917. (Photo courtesy of Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Associan at R.J. Haney Heritage Village)

From pool to police station, many uses of city hall site recognized

Salmon Arm council approves heritage recognition for land housing city hall, Fletcher Park

You might just think of it as a necessary evil – the place you go to get a dog licence or pay your taxes.

But it turns out land currently housing Salmon Arm city hall, the law courts and Fletcher Park has been home to everything from a hockey rink and a pool to two schools, a library and a police station since settlers arrived.

City council recently approved including the 1.35 hectares of land at 450 and 500 Second Ave. NE in the city’s Community Heritage Register. That’s because it has been a community gathering place for more than 100 years, according to the Community Heritage Commission’s statement of significance.

Read more: 2016 – Street names mean much more

In 1908, Central School was built there but was short-lived, burning to the ground on a cold winter day in January 1917. Rebuilt in 1919, it carried on as a school until 1950. Two years later it became ‘city’ hall for the then-District of Salmon Arm and soon the Okanagan Union Library moved in. City hall continued in the building until 2006 when it was torn down to make way for the current but then-controversial city hall and law courts.

Read more: 2013 – Thirteen properties added to city heritage register

Read more: 2014 – Signalling a new relationship

Prior to 1915 and, perhaps, climate change, outdoor hockey was played on the site in winter, with softball and lawn bowling in summer. It was also home to a children’s playground. In 1952 the Kinsmen Club of Salmon Arm completed a wading pool on the southwest corner and, five years later, a swimming pool was added, thanks to a bequest from Fred Fletcher. That pool is now just an artifact, drained and filled with earth in 1985.

A health clinic, which also housed a seniors association, was built on the southeast corner and demolished in 2005. In the 1960s, the RCMP detachment was constructed on the northeast corner and occupied until 1999. The land was also home to a skate park from 1977 to 2007 when the current playground and spray park were built.

To help keep the history alive, a plaque will be put up onsite.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Members of Salmon Arm Kinsmen Club construct the Kin Wading Pool in Fletcher Park in the 1950s. (Photo courtesy of Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association at R.J. Haney Heritage Village)

Legion parade, circa 1940, beside Salmon Arm Central School on Harris Street. Members of the legion, the pipe band, children and adults gather on the school grounds. (Photo courtesy of Salmon Arm Muserum and Heritage Association at RJ Haney Heritage Village)

The District Hall of Salmon Arm, formerly the Central School, pictured in 1981. The sign reads: ‘Salmon Arm Parks Leisure Service Dept.’ (William S. Hare photographer/Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association at R.J. Haney Heritage Village)

Just Posted

Man and woman in their 60s identified by RCMP as bodies in Anglemont residence

Police investigation continues, say no suspects are being sought at this time

UPDATE: Power back on for much of the Shuswap

Outages due to downed wires and a transmission circuit failure

Salmon Arm’s Shoemaker Hill closed for winter

Snowfall prompts quick closure of steep and winding stretch of road

Letter: Air quality monitoring suggested for Highway 1 in Salmon Arm

Writer highlights health impacts from motor-vehicle traffic exhaust

Secwepemc Lakes Tourism projects look to support Indigenous youth, entrepreneurs

Collaboration includes Neskonlith, Adams Lake, Splatsin and Little Shuswap Lake bands

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

‘Homes not shelters’: Those living on Kelowna streets rally for rights

On Tuesday, Leon Avenue residents came together to demand change

North Okanagan councillor pitches homeless camp at city hall

805 bylaw calls in 10 months were for inappropriately set-up camps

Vernon car fire deemed suspicious

SUV found fully engulfed with nobody around at 4 a.m. Tuesday on Commonage Road

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Police surround Peachland neighbourhood

The incident in Peachland is now over

Penticton arts, culture and sports programs get boost of over $500,000 thanks to provincial grant

The B.C. Community Gaming Grants program will be distributing $505,900 to 18 local groups

Okanagan school districts reach agreement with CUPE Local 523

The union represents members who provide a variety of services to support students

Most Read