HISTORIC CABIN A log cabin in Trout Creek was built some time between 1886 and 1888. The cabin is the oldest building in Summerland and one of the oldest in the Okanagan Valley. Concerns have been raised about the building and how to preserve it for the future. An online petition was created earlier this year to save the sod-roofed cabin. The petition received more than 2,000 signatures. (Photo by Neil Hiebert)

Discussions focus on preserving heritage cabin in Summerland

Building in Trout Creek is the oldest in Summerland and one of the oldest in the Okanagan

Discussions are in process to preserve a heritage cabin in Summerland’s Trout Creek neighbourhood.

The cabin, believed to have been constructed between 1886 and 1888, is the oldest building in Summerland and one of the oldest buildings in the Okanagan Valley.

But the 17-acre property where it is located is being converted into a cherry orchard.

Summerland mayor Toni Boot said representatives from the municipality, the landowner and members of the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Historical Society have been meeting to discuss the future of the cabin.

READ ALSO: Petition urges support of sod cabin in Summerland

READ ALSO: Historical society working to preserve cabin and rename roundabouts in Summerland

“Something will be forthcoming,” Boot said. “The landowner has agreed to help us in finding a solution.”

The cabin was added to Summerland’s heritage register in 2016, after a recommendation by the municipality’s Heritage Advisory Commission.

In recent years, concerns have been raised about the structure, including concerns that the building is in need of significant restoration efforts if it is to survive.

The Summerland branch of the Okanagan Historical Society has been working to preserve the historic cabin.

Over the years, numerous people of historical importance have been connected with the cabin.

These include Lt. Gov. George H.V. Bulyea, Alberta’s first lieutenant governor, who once owned the land. Claude Evans and Jacques Landry were land owners and lived in the cabin.

Former Summerland doctor Wilfred Evans was raised in the cabin.

Members of the society say the historic structure in the Summerland neighbourhood of Trout Creek is at risk as surrounding lands are being converted into a cherry orchard.

In fall, more than 2,000 people signed a petition to save the structure.

The Change.org petition included 1,177 signatures by Summerland residents, representing roughly 10 per cent of the community’s population. Others signing the petition are from around the world.

Suggestions for the future of the building have included dismantling the structure, log by log, and reconstructing it elsewhere.

Others have said it should remain in the Trout Creek area, as it has long been a Trout Creek landmark.

Boot said a solutions has not yet been reached on what to do with the aging building or how to preserve it.

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HERITAGE BUILDING A sod-roofed cabin in Summerland, built between 1886 and 1888, is the oldest building in the community and one of the oldest buildings in the Okanagan Valley. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

HISTORIC CABIN A sod-roofed cabin in Trout Creek, more than 130 years old, has been a landmark in the community. At present, the future of the cabin is uncertain. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to preserve the historic building. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

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