Historical Society branch works to preserve Summerland history

Names proposed for roundabouts to honour local heritage

While Summerland does not have an active heritage committee, the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Historical Society has stepped in to provide recommendations and opinions on heritage matters to the community.

“Summerland has the highest number of heritage buildings in the valley,” said branch president George Downton, “and we’d like to see municipal incentives re-instigated and made available to owners wanting to renovate and retain the original character of these buildings.”

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The community’s Heritage Advisory Commission stopped functioning in 2018, but since that time, there has been an interest in the community’s heritage.

The Rotary Club is recreating the West Summerland Train Station, the Fur Brigade Trail is gaining attention as a part of the proposed Trail of the Okanagans, and on social media more than 1,700 people have expressed a desire to save the sod-roofed cabin in Trout Creek.

Members of the local Okanagan Historical Society branch said the owners who renovated the former Bank of Montreal building on Main Street and the Service Station at the Lakeside Church in Lowertown could have benefited from such incentives.

About 30 people attended the branch’s Nov. 9 meeting, when members passed several motions, including one encouraging Summerland council to re-instigate these incentives.

Members also passed several motions that will be presented to municipal council.

The branch proposes to name Summerland’s three roundabouts: MacDonald after long-time educator S. A. MacDonald at the former MacDonald Elementary School near the Rosedale/Jubilee roundabout; Pierre after Antoine Pierre from Penticton Indian Reserve #3, who lived close to the Wharton/Rosedale roundabout, and Darke after Summerland pioneer James Darke whose home was demolished to create space for the Prairie Valley/Victoria Road roundabout.

The branch also proposes to rename the section of Kelley Street between Wharton and Brown Streets as Veterans Way, and recommends that the municipality take ownership of the sod-roofed cabin in Trout Creek.

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