James and Mary Darke

James and Mary Darke

Heritage home in way of roundabout

One of Summerland's oldest houses would have to be moved or destroyed to allow for a traffic roundabout.

Recently the Summerland Heritage Advisory Commission discussed options for the Darke house on the corner of Victoria and Prairie Valley Roads.

This home is one of Summerland’s oldest heritage homes and with current plans to create a new roundabout at that corner, needs to be either moved or demolished.

Commissions are open to the public and the public can participate in discussions.

For this meeting, a member of the Darke family travelled from Vernon to attend the meeting.  This family member provided history both of the family and of the home.

Following a review of the history of the Darke family (Darke Lake and Darke Lake Provincial Park,) the commission considered possible options.

One option that was initially considered was to simply re-position the home on the lot. A public works representative explained that the municipality required the remainder of the lot for a new above-ground, pressure reducing station on the site.

The municipality owns the Darke house. The commission recommended to council that the municipality offer the building to the public at no cost. The commission also asked that the municipality explore the idea of moving the home to the rodeo grounds.

The Commission also recommended that when the municipality plans to construct the new pressure reducing station,  that the district also considers creating a small heritage park with acknowledgment of the Darke family and the house.

Finally the Commission reviewed the history of the Victoria Road and Prairie Valley Road intersection.

In March 1987, Fraser Smith, one of Summerland’s well-known citizens was killed at that intersection. The commission recommended the municipality consider naming this intersection the Fraser Smith roundabout.