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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Twister at the Chilliwack SPCA

Small animals like rats are one of the first to be surrendered and last to get adopted

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Chilliwack Salvation Army to give away free laundry detergent and more at drive-thru event

They will be handing out Tide detergent, toothpaste and eggs to anyone who is in need

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read