Chilliwack home built in 1910 will be saved from demolition

Chilliwack home built in 1910 will be saved from demolition

The 110-year-old house on Hope River Road is being relocated to nearby Riverside Drive

One of Chilliwack’s oldest homes is being saved from demolition, and will be moved in August.

The house currently resides at 46239 Hope River Road, on a large property that is scheduled to be developed into a townhouse complex by Chilliwack’s Richlane Builders.

“Richlane said, ‘Well, if someone can move the home, that’s fine and they can have the home for free,” said Heritage Chilliwack Society president Laura Reid. “It just happened to be that the people who are moving the home have a property that’s not far away.”

From where it sits now, the home will be relocated to nearby Riverside Drive, which is just on the other side of the Hope Slough.

“The 110-year-old house has been lifted off its foundation and currently rests on wooden blocks awaiting its move. (Eric J. Welsh/ The Progress)

“The further away, the more cost there is to relocate a home,” Reid noted. “It just happened to work out quite well.”

The house was built in 1910 by Thomas Gibbens, who came west from Saskatchewan in 1907, accompanied by his younger sister Lydia.

READ MORE: Caretakers say goodbye to Gwynne Vaughan heritage house

READ MORE: Historic photos add Chilliwack heritage element to kiosk wrapping program

According to a historical account written by Reid and posted online at royalhotelchilliwack.com, Gibbens constructed several homes in Chilliwack.

“This grand home contains many of the architectural details found in typical craftsman homes, such as a partially inset /partially projecting front porch, an overhanging second story, square porch columns and balusters, wide overhanging eaves and exposed rafters as well as double hung windows,” Reid wrote.

Gibbens passed away in 1949 at the age of 91, and his niece Edna sold the house soon after.

If you look at it now, the home is sitting on blocks. If you crouch down, you can see clear through to the other side. There is a sign on the door that says, ‘No copper. No tools,’ indicating the house may have been targeted previously by thieves.

Reid hasn’t been able to look inside, but she recalls marveling at the pristine shape of the exterior.

“A sign posted on the front door of the home indicates it’s had unwelcome visitors during the time it’s been vacant. (Eric J. Welsh/ The Progress)

“I’d be really curious to see what kind of details are inside, but before any of this happened, it was a really well-kept home on a beautiful property,” she said.

While this house is being saved, other homes of its kind haven’t been so lucky. Reid guesses only 15 houses in Chilliwack carry the ‘heritage’ designation that keeps them safe from demolition. The Hope River Road home didn’t have that, and if not for the intervention of people wanting it preserved, it could have easily ended up a pile of sticks at the dump.

“It’s totally voluntary for home owners to do that and keep their heritage homes for future generations,” Reid explained. “These homes can’t be replicated today due to the craftsmanship that’s in them and the cost involved in trying to duplicate that. In addition to that, they’re a connection to the people who lived back in 1910, came here from wherever and left their mark on this community.”

For more info see heritagechilliwack.org. The group also has a Facebook page.


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

chilliwackHeritage

Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family homeless after fire rips through house on Abbotsford border

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read