The Summerland branch of the Okanagan Historical Society has been involved with a number of local heritage projects in the community.
The Okanagan Historical Society was founded in 1925, and with its annual publications has preserved some Okanagan history. In 2019, the Summerland branch of the society acquired the duties of the former municipal Heritage Advisory Commission.
A time-sensitive project is the fate of the sod-roof cabin.
Built in 1886, this Trout Creek historic structure is now endangered. The surrounding lands are being converted into a cherry orchard.
The historical society is working with the landowners, municipal staff and municipal council to preserve the building.
Recently, the society has recommended to council that a portion of Kelly Avenue adjacent to Memorial Park be renamed Veterans Way.
The society has also recommended to council that it name the three roundabouts in Summerland.
The MacDonald Roundabout has been proposed for the intersection beside the new skateboard park, close to where MacDonald School once was located.
The Darke Roundabout is suggested for the large oval roundabout at the corner of Prairie Valley Road and Victoria Road South. This is where James Darke and his family once lived.
The Pierre Roundabout has been suggested as the name for the roundabout beside the Anglican Church and close to where the First Nations Pierre family lived.
Another ongoing item is Garnet Valley Road.
Following the complete closure of the road at Garnet Lake in 1994, the District of Summerland sought legal advice to reopen the roadway.
In the 1990s, after one of the longest and most costly legal battles in Summerland history, Barry Williamson of the legal firm Young Anderson Law, declared that Garnet Valley Road was never registered as a legal roadway.
To provide public use of the road, the district was required to purchase a passageway through private property at a cost of $25,000.
The remaining non-registered roadway was legally defined as “trail,” which in this case is the Brigade Trail.
British Columbia’s Heritage Conservation Act (12.1) protects the Brigade Trail from alteration. These legal requirements have yet to be applied to municipal maps.
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