Mackie Lake House in Coldstream has received a 2014 Heritage Legacy Fund Grant for a rock wall and path restoration.

Mackie Lake House in Coldstream has received a 2014 Heritage Legacy Fund Grant for a rock wall and path restoration.

Historic house earns grant

Mackie Lake House is one of 14 projects in B.C. to earn a Heritage Legacy Fund grant

Heritage BC is pleased to announce $100,000 in heritage funding for 14 projects across British Columbia through the Heritage Legacy Fund (HLF)

The HLF was established in 2003 by the provincial government with an endowment of $5 million, held by the Vancouver Foundation. The fund provides grants for heritage conservation and heritage awareness projects in British Columbia. Heritage BC is the fund advisor.

Of the nearly 100 grants provided to date, about 80 per cent have been for the conservation of historic buildings and other structures.

In Coldstream, Mackie Lake House has been provided one of those grants, to restore the path and dry stacked rock wall containing the gardens near the back of the house.

Mackie House manager Christine Kashuba said she hopes the project will begin in early spring to have it completed for the summer season.

“We are excited to be the recipient of one of the grants,” she said, adding that the rock wall being restored is a dry stacked rock wall.

According to Jacky Hobbs in The English Garden Magazine,  drystone walling has been practised in Britain from as far back as 3,000 BC. The walls themselves are meticulously built using the forces of gravity and frictional resistance without the aid of mortar or concrete.

Kashuba said in researching the project, Mackie House staff and volunteers discovered images going back to 1930 showing the rock wall and the gardens surrounding the house.

“The rock wall contains the gardens that enhance the beauty of the house and grounds and serves as a backdrop for events held at the house,” she said. “In addition to rebuilding the wall we will create a level and stable pathway adjacent to the wall for our guests to use.

“We value the support of Heritage BC in providing this tangible support for our rock wall restoration project.”

Applications to Heritage BC come from many sources including community museums, heritage societies, local governments and First Nations. Since June 2005 there have been requests to support more than $35 million in heritage property project costs. The fund has supported $1.8 million of those costs.

Projects supported range from one-room buildings to civic landmarks such as Victoria’s City Hall or the former municipal building in Nelson. A lot of funding applications have been for basic repair and maintenance work that are required to safeguard the historical character of these buildings and sites. The remaining 20 per cent of grants provided have been for heritage awareness projects including interpretive signage, walking tours, and online applications that increase public understanding, appreciation, and education of specific existing built community heritage resources.

HLF committee chair and Heritage BC board member Eric Pattison explained the difficult decisions required when faced with such demand.

“I can attest to the challenge we face considering worthy projects from all over our province,” he said. “The nominations are indeed a window into what makes our communities rich in heritage values. Yet as the fund is oversubscribed, we must find a fair balance that achieves the best results for our mandate.

“Every year the committee looks forward to seeing the exciting results of funded projects. I encourage everyone to keep up the hard work on our historic places. You are the heritage of the future!”

Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, explains the importance of the fund.

“British Columbia’s historic buildings and neighbourhoods stand as a testament to our rich heritage and history,” he said. “The province is a proud supporter of the Heritage Legacy Fund which provides for conservation of our historic buildings and other structures, and supports heritage awareness programs throughout the province.

“By preserving the past, we are contributing to the growth of healthy families and communities and laying the foundation for a sustainable future.”

The 14 projects recently approved for funding are in communities across B.C.

Information about these and other projects, can be found at www.heritagebc.ca/hlf-projects-2014