The Isaac Blair home

The Isaac Blair home

Summerland celebrates Heritage Week

Heritage Week in British Columbia takes place this year from Feb. 18 to 24.

Heritage Week in British Columbia takes place this year from Feb. 18 to 24.

For 27 consecutive years Summerland has used the occasion to choose a heritage building, site and tree.

This year the Heritage Advisory Commission has selected the Isaac Blair home as the 2013 heritage building.

The Blair house is located at 14612 Garnett Valley Rd., at the southern end of Garnett Valley. Isaac Blair played a prominent role in the early days of Summerland’s development.

Isaac Blair was born in 1840 in Truro, Nova Scotia. At the age of 35 he moved to Boston and established the Isaac Blair Construction Company.

His company became one of the most prominent construction firms in the New England States. Today, his company is still active in Boston and is now part of the Marr construction firm.

Following completion of his Summerland home, Blair retired to Summerland in 1910 at the age of 70.

Blair was a municipal councillor in 1914 and from 1915 to 1919 served as Summerland’s reeve (mayor). In 1920 he returned to serve as a municipal councillor.

He never fully recovered from the influenza epidemic and died in 1922.

Each year a pen and ink sketch of the chosen heritage building is produced. All of these sketches are displayed at the Summerland Museum.

The 2013 heritage site is the dacite columns on the western slope of Giant’s Head Mountain.

Dacite columns are similar to basalt columns, with most of the columns with pentagon shaped rock.

Dacite’s chemical composition is similar to basalt with a higher amount of feldspar, creating a lighter colour rock.

These columns were formed when Giant’s Head Mountain began to re-erupt. Giant’s Head Mountain is a resurgent volcanic dome similar to Mount St. Helen’s.

The volcanic lava (magma) slowly cooled, creating the pentagon shapes. There is no direct roadway to the dacite columns. The columns are just north of the Public Works yard.

The dacite columns can be located if one imagines Lenzi Road continuing directly to the western slopes of Giant’s Head Mountain.

The Heritage Commission selected the birch trees at the Atkinson home adjacent to Summerland Sweets as the heritage trees for 2013.

The trees were planted by Ted Atkinson in 1924.

Atkinson was one of Summerland’s most prominent citizens. He was a research scientist at the Summerland Research Station.

He was on municipal council for 17 years, eight years as reeve.

He served on many municipal groups including president of the Chamber of Commerce.

He founded Summerland Sweets and the first year of sales was in 1960.

 

In 1954 both Mr. and Mrs. F.E. “Ted” Atkinson were awarded “Citizen of the Year” by the community.