House at intersection has long history

The planned construction of a new roundabout means an uncertain future for one of Summerland oldest homes in jeopardy.

The planned construction of the new roundabout at the corner of Prairie Valley Road and Victoria Road South means an uncertain future for one of Summerland oldest homes in jeopardy: the Darke House.

This building is on Summerland’s Heritage Building Inventory list.

This building was the home of James Alexander Darke (1876-1949). James and his brother Robert Silas Darke (1860-1941) came to Summerland in 1901.

They preempted lands in Meadow Valley surrounding Darke Lake.

James had his lands north of the lake and Robert, south of the lake.

Robert Darke had fought in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885.

Darke Lake and Darke Lake Provincial Park are named after the two brothers.

When Summerland began to develop after 1902, James Darke and his wife Mary moved to Station Road (Victoria Road South) and lived there until James died in 1949, just days after the couple celebrated their 50th anniversary.

The Summerland Heritage Advisory Commission will be exploring options to determine if this building can be preserved. These options could include moving the building to another site or perhaps repositioning the building on the existing lot. The District of Summerland owns the building.

Unlike committees, commissions allow the public to actively participate in discussions. But only the commission members have the final recommendation to council.

The meeting will be held Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce building on Highway 97.