The Salmon Valley Homestead cabin sat for two decades on temporary footings in the parking lot at R.J. Haney Heritage Village after its move from the Minion Farm at Salmon Arm West.
This summer, with funding and a plan in place, it was moved to its permanent location, officially becoming the nucleus of the homestead site at the edge of the village.
Albert Blackwell had jacked the building up last fall and placed it on two steel rails in preparation for the move and to help the first phase of the repairs.
After the building was emptied, Duncan Morris and his staff at Traditional Log Home Builders replaced rotten logs and readied the log structure for its move.
Blackwell was donating his company’s time for the move, so the board and staff at R.J. Haney Heritage Village waited patiently. The snow came. The snow melted. The rain came. The grass grew.
When Blackwell Building Movers was unable to move the building for technical reasons, Haney Village’s Ted McTaggart convinced Fred Emmerzael of Little Projects Ltd. that this was just the sort of little project he needed to volunteer his staff and equipment for.
Blackwell had placed the log house on a single-axle trailer.
Dave Johnson, the mechanic for Little Projects, drove the company’s front-end loader and slowly, with a lot of instruction from people ahead of him, made his way down the driveway, turning left at the McTaggart residence, and going over the field to the area where the cabin was supposed to be.
It was a tense few hours. Johnson was sitting on his front-end loader, pushing the log cabin on wheels down the driveway from behind. There were lights and trees to avoid and he couldn’t see them.
At one point Johnson was getting too many directions from too many “village people.”
He calmly turned off his machine and there was silence. He wasn’t taking a chance on moving the structure until he got a consistent, all-clear order from all the eyes out front.
The “eyes” consulted each other. Johnson turned on his loader and resumed his journey.
It took a couple of hours but the log cabin went over a hill, through a field and stopped near eight waiting Sonatubes filled with hardened concrete.
Thanks to a Job Creation Program’s staff and Duncan and Colin at Traditional Log Homes Ltd., a shake roof was installed.
The project couldn’t have been accomplished without tremendous community support from the Shuswap Community Foundation, two building movers, and a great crew.
When asked what part of the project JCP staff liked the best, Connie Canuel replied, “being up on the roof. It is the best view of the village.”
She’s right, but it is a view few will have the privilege of sharing.