The CPR station house as it looked in 1916 in Okanagan Landing.

The CPR station house as it looked in 1916 in Okanagan Landing.

Club aims to preserve history

A small group of benefactors are needed to breathe life into an historic landmark.

A small group of benefactors are needed to breathe life into an historic landmark.

The $1,000 Club has been created to raise the $48,000 required to complete restoration of the 1892 CPR station house in Paddlewheel Park.

“It’s a tiny amount,” said Val Heuman, project manager for the Okanagan Landing Community Association.

“We need 47 ($1,000 has already come from Capri Insurance) people or businesses to come on board.”

The restoration initiative started in 2009 and $86,000 has been raised to date.

“It’s on the brink of being completed but we need flooring and the exterior of the building must be repaired and painted,” said Heuman.

“Thousands of hours of work have been put in every Monday by volunteers who have been doing what they can.”

Once completed, the upper floor of the station house will serve as a satellite branch of the Greater Vernon Museum and focus specifically on the history of Okanagan Landing.

“People have no concept of how important that site was to the development of the entire Okanagan Valley,” said Heuman.

More than a century ago, Okanagan Landing was a transportation hub as the rail line ended there and people used paddlewheelers on Okanagan Lake to access the valley to the south.

The paddlwheelers were also key to shipping fruit to the outside world.

The goal is for the station house to become a draw for tourists and local residents.

“Students will be able to come and visit this major historical site,” said Heuman.

The remainder of the station house will be used for storage for the adjoining Paddlewheel Park Hall and for an office for the Okanagan Landing Community Association, which owns the park.

Heuman is confident that residents and businesses will rally behind the fundraiser.

“There will be a display board where donors will be recognized,” she said.

For more information or to donate to the $1,000 club, call 250-308-4830 or e-mail heuman@shaw.ca.