Summerland has a rich history, one that it should be very proud of.
It was a focal point, for hundreds of years, to our First Nation People.
They had a well planned system of trails that were later used by the Fur Brigade and then for the Cariboo Gold Rush.
About the turn of the last century, there was an influx of hard working people, who built homes, packing houses, and planted orchards.
Many of these people used the trails also.
My grandparents, James Alexander and Mary Hannah Darke, along with my great grandmother Phoebe Darke, were amongst these early settlers.
They were, all three, charter members of the Summerland Baptist Church.
I believe that James built the original church.
I have never lived in Summerland, but fortunately, I have a dear aunt living there. She sends newspaper articles, pertaining to the Darke house, because she knows that I am interested.
(She also lets me know when I need to do a little work at the Peach Orchard Cemetery).
I was very pleased to read, a few years ago, that the Darke House was recognized as a heritage building.
She told me, this spring, that it might be demolished to make way for a “round about” and a “pressure reducing plant!”
I was able to attend a meeting and put forth a few suggestions.
I could see that the intersection has become very busy (not like it was when I was a child and a car went by perhaps every half hour).
But why a “round about?”
They are so large, even though they are currently very popular … the popularity has come and gone before. (See Westworld Summer 2012 p. 51).
Why not a simple traffic light?
If the house has to be moved, why not include it near the Kettle Valley Railway Station?
It could be incorporated, and open to the public, developing something profitable like Calgary’s Heritage Park.
Or, perhaps, closer yet, to a spot near the museum.
It could be used for an office, a coffee shop (I can almost smell the bread or cinnamon buns that my grandmother made), a gift shop, or maybe a quilt shop in memory of my grandmother’s prize-winning quilts.
It seems to me, that the options are endless.
It is of my opinion, that you do not demolish a heritage building.