It was a short but scary move for those at the Tashme Museum in Sunshine Valley earlier this summer, as they moved a former kindergarten building (yellow) just a few metres onto their property. Ryan Ellan photo

Kindergarten building survives move to Tashme property

Historic Japanese internment camp building near Hope to be completed by end of 2020

A nerve-racking, slow move took place at Tashme Museum in Sunshine Valley this summer.

The crew there, led by Ryan Ellan, wanted to move the kindergarten schoolhouse from one place to the next. If successful, it would mean one more historic building from the area’s Japanese internment years could rest on the museum’s property.

Inch by inch over the course of a morning, the building made the trek. Ellan was thrilled the giant task went so smoothly.

“I can officially with much relief, announce the Tashme Museum’s latest project,” he told The Standard earlier in August. “As of noon today, we successfully and all in one piece, relocated the building onto Tashme Museum property.”

While the move took “just” four and a half hours, the project was 10 years in the making. And it’s not done. They hope to completely restore the building, so that when visitors arrive at the museum (just 15 minutes outside of Hope) they can be more fully immersed in the history of the area.

“This building is going to be a dedicated lunchroom,” he says, for the many students who come to the site. The move is just in time — the BC School Curriculum for Grades 5, 6 and 10 have recently been updated with more fulsome content and focus on Japanese internment camps, including updated information on the long road to compensation from the government. Tashme was Canada’s largest internment camp, and was also known as the 14 Mile Dairy Farm. From 1942 to 1946 it was leased by the Dept. of Labour.

READ MORE: Children of the Japanese Canadian internment return to Tashme, for museum expansion

Ellan hopes to have the building completed by end of 2020. The museum is run entirely on volunteer sweat equity, and this year’s goal is to properly paper the building and fix the roof.

They do private tours via reservations, but the museum is also open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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