St. John the Divine turns 150

Church at Yale Historic Site will be undergoing restoration work this year

Yale Historic Site supervisor Deb Zervini sits inside St. John the Divine church

St. John the Divine celebrated its 150th anniversary on April 19.

The church was built in Yale in 1863 in an attempt to civilize the miners. The original walls, rafters and handmade nails are still clearly visible.

“There’s very few churches that were originally built in that time era actually remaining,” said Deb Zervini, Yale Historic Site supervisor. “I know people really enjoy being able to come back and look at this church. It was a meeting place for local people.”

Exhibits within the church include original altar pieces from the 1860s as well as a collection of antique linens, many hand-stitched by the students off All Hallows in the West girls school.

Yale Historic Site and Hope Mountain Centre have organized a two-day anniversary celebration in August with gold panning and historic reenactments. On Aug. 17, there will be a guided bus tour of various points along the Cariboo Wagon Road and a salmon barbecue hosted by Yale & District Ratepayers Association. A special commemorative historical church service will take place on Aug. 18, followed by a rededication of the Cariboo Wagon Road plaque by the Fraser River and high tea on the Ward House grounds.

Thanks to provincial heritage funding, the church will be undergoing more restoration work this year. A new heating system will be installed, as well as the roof and windows replaced.

Yale Historic Site opens for the season on May 3 with two new living history tents and the return of Christopher L. Murphy’s sasquatch exhibit.

For more information, visit historicyale.ca or call 604-863-2324.

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