Old gas pump will be restored

Bowser C-77 pump will be displayed in Summerland when work is finished

An old gas pump, which was once used in Lowertown, will be restored and eventually displayed in Summerland.

The pump, a Bowser C-77, was manufactured in Toronto between 1922 and 1927, and was once used to pump gasoline in Summerland.

The pump will be restored by Alder Street Auto Body. The auto body shop will donate labour and equipment and will also look after the donation of supplies and services such as paint products, finishing materials, sandblasting and manufacturing contributions.

Liz Souder and Ken Dunsdon, who have spearheaded the efforts to restore the pump, will also donate parts required for the restoration.

The restored pump will then be delivered at no cost to the museum.

Interim museum director Dave Hill said the pump will be delivered to Alder Street Auto Body in the near future.

The agreement to restore the pump also includes a guarantee that it will be displayed in Summerland. The display location has not yet been determined.

Some of the details about the pump’s past in Summerland are not known.

Dorothy Inglis, who has been working on the pump restoration effort along with Dunsdon and Souder, said while she knows the pump was used in the past, she does not know exactly where it was located.

She said in the early 20th century, there were several gas stations in the Lowertown area, each selling a different brand of gasoline. The pump could have been at any of these locations.

“It was definitely in Lowertown,” she said.

In the 1990s, the pump was donated to the Summerland Museum and for many years, it stood at the entrance to the museum building on Wharton Street.

Last year it was removed from the museum.

At the time, Sandra Nicolson, then the chair of the museum’s board of directors, said the purpose of the museum was to be a source of knowledge about Summerland’s past. She added that not all old items have a strong heritage value for the community.

But Inglis believes the pump is a worth preserving and restoring.

“It was just one small part of our history,” she said.

Because space is limited at the museum, some items are being stored in the basement of the RCMP detachment, since the museum does not have sufficient space.

Inglis has said the concern about the pump came after the decision to remove it from the museum entrance.

“It was never the pump per se,” she said. “It was the way the pump was dealt with.”

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