Heritage Abbotsford Society (HAS) is receiving $162,500 in provincial funding for the restoration and protection of three historical buildings in the community.
The funding is part of $100 million in grants announced Thursday (Feb. 25) from B.C.’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP). Of that funding, $16 million has been dedicated to heritage projects.
HAS executive director Christina Reid said the funding will be used locally for the restoration of the South Poplar one-room schoolhouse, the 1910 BC Electric Railway’s Upper Sumas station, and the 145-year-old Turner House, which was the home of Royal Engineer surveyor George Turner.
The projects will be done in partnership with the University of the Fraser Valley, the Abbotsford school district, and the City of Abbotsford to teach university and high school students how to preserve built heritage.
“We plan on using (these) three specific heritage assets, which are in need of stabilization and preservation, as ‘labs,’ ” Reid said.
She said the CERIP funding will be used to restore the buildings, while other funding has been designated for the educational component. For example, Blackwood Building Centre has provided an in-kind partnership.
Reid said trades will be contracted to complete the parts of the restoration that will not be taught as part of the educational component.
‘This funding will allow us to literally and figuratively ‘build community’ by leading the charge in creating a holistic plan for built heritage, and encouraging rehabilitation and restoration of heritage assets,” she said.
The South Poplar schoolhouse opened as the only school in that area in January 1933. It is located at the corner of Huntingdon and Gladwin roads, adjacent to the current South Poplar Traditional School.
The Abbotsford board of education agreed to donate the schoolhouse to HAS (then the MSA Museum Society) in 2012.
The Upper Sumas train station is currently in the HAS collection at Trethewey House Heritage Site. It was originally located at the corner of Lamson and Vye roads on Sumas Prairie.
The station was a stop along the Chilliwack Line which skirted the southern shore of Sumas Lake prior to drainage. Construction of the line between New Westminster and Chilliwack concluded in 1910.
Turner House is one of the oldest remaining settler houses in Abbotsford and was constructed by prominent local engineer and settler Alben Hawkins.
It sat on a ridge off Clayburn Road just west of Highway 11 for more than 140 years before being moved to Clayburn Village in 2018.