Basin Heritage gains ground on many fronts

The Old Marysville Schoolhouse near Kimberley will get a new coat of paint thanks
to a Columbia Basin Trust grant.

The Old Marysville Schoolhouse near Kimberley will get a new coat of paint thanks to a Columbia Basin Trust grant. — Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Trust

Heritage buildings, archives and museum artifacts are part of how communities in the Basin hold onto their histories. To make sure future generations can also benefit from these historical assets, Columbia Basin Trust has made significant headway on its commitment to preserve the region’s heritage. Recently, it committed over $2 million to 42 heritage projects.

“In as many ways as history is varied, the methods to preserve this history vary as well,” said Johnny Strilaeff, President and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust. “That’s why we’re open to being flexible in how we support heritage-related needs in the Basin, such as grants for built heritage, museums and archives, capacity support and purchasing assets ourselves.” The Trust is supporting a range of projects, from digitizing historical school yearbooks, to creating a municipal conservation policy, to upgrading how a museum stores its artifacts, to repairing and preserving heritage structures.

In Ainsworth, the JB Fletcher Restoration Society will be repairing the JB Fletcher Store, including stabilizing the storefront, removing lead paint and mould, and adding heating and insulation. Built in 1896, the store is valued as one of the last surviving buildings from the original Ainsworth townsite, which is considered the oldest mining settlement in the West Kootenay.

The JB Fletcher Store in Ainsworth will see repairs and improvements thanks to a
Columbia Basin Trust grant.

The JB Fletcher Store in Ainsworth will see repairs and improvements thanks to a Columbia Basin Trust grant. — Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Trust

“The JB Fletcher Store is the last remaining heritage conservation project that Ainsworth has, and its only link to the past. It provides the community with an opportunity to show visitors how we came to be,” said Terry Peterson, Project Manager. “This year’s funding will make the building environment safe for the public and allow the building to be used year-round.”

In Kimberley’s community of Marysville, the Old Marysville Schoolhouse will be getting a new coat of exterior paint. Used as a school from 1910 to 1949, the school has already had its interior restored and outfitted as an early 20th-century schoolhouse. Owned by the Kimberley District Heritage Society, it is currently open to the public as a museum and used by school classes.

“This project is important as it preserves one of our oldest intact heritage buildings and will provide future generations with a tangible part of our history,” said Marie Stang, Administrator. “We hope that projects like this will encourage others to preserve heritage buildings too, rather than discarding them, so that they may continue to tell the story of our community and its people.”

Another unique way the Trust is helping preserve Basin heritage is by purchasing two grain elevators. Located in the town of Creston and over eighty years old, these elevators represent a Canadian symbol that is rapidly disappearing, and are two of just four wooden grain elevators left in British Columbia. To ensure their existence into the future, the Trust has become their new owners, with essential repairs coming soon.

The grain elevators in Creston have been purchased by the Trust and will soon see
essential repairs to ensure their existence into the future.

The grain elevators in Creston have been purchased by the Trust and will soon see essential repairs to ensure their existence into the future. — Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Trust

The Trust is also supporting the Cranbrook History Centre with $300,000 to build a train shed to protect some of its most valuable railcars.

In ways like these, the Trust is delivering on its strategic priority to ensure the history and culture of the Basin is celebrated by vibrant arts, culture and heritage. In addition to considering individual needs like the grain elevators and train shed, it has committed $7.8 million over three years to support the Basin’s heritage values. The Trust also partners with Heritage BC to support a Basin-based heritage planner who helps local groups and organizations increase their capacity for conserving the region’s heritage. To learn more about all these opportunities, visit ourtrust.org/heritage.

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1-800-505-8998.

The Cranbrook History Centre is building a train shed over some of their most
valuable railcars thanks to a Columbia Basin Trust grant.

The Cranbrook History Centre is building a train shed over some of their most valuable railcars thanks to a Columbia Basin Trust grant. — Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Trust

Related articles

Kootenay BizBlog, East Kootenay, Cranbrook, Developments, Entertainment and Hospitality, Small Business, Tourism Soulfood relocating to historic Baker Hotel this fall

In the new location, Soulfood plans to highlight their gourmet coffee bar as well as their organic wine and craft cocktail bar.

Kootenay BizBlog, East Kootenay, Invermere, Forestry Columbia Valley Logging Contractor is Canfor’s Top Canadian 2018 Contractor

Congratulations to the owners and staff at Chasse Holdings in Invermere.

Kootenay BizBlog, East Kootenay, Invermere, Entertainment and Hospitality, Financial Invermere’s Copper Point Resort changes hands

Copper Point Resort, located just off busy Highway 95/93, caters to golfers, skiers, business meetings, conferences and the independent traveler.

View all articles

Comments