The the J.R. Campbell home in Summerland has been selected as the community’s heritage building for 2021. (Contributed)

Summerland’s Campbell house recognized for heritage value

Former mayor was also named Summerland’s 1955 Citizen of the Year

To mark heritage week, Summerland has recognized a heritage building, site and tree.

The community has observed B.C. Heritage Week in this way each year since 1987.

This year, members of Summerland’s Okanagan Historical Society chose the J.R. Campbell home as its heritage building. This home is located just south of Granny’s Fruit Stand on Highway 97.

READ ALSO: Historic house was home to two Summerland mayors

READ ALSO: Summerland was once most prosperous community in the Okanagan Valley

John Robinson Campbell (1873-1971), always known as J.R., and his wife Addie (1876-1954) completed construction of their new home in the summer of 1907.

His contributions to Summerland were significant. He served more than 20 years on municipal council as mayor and as councillor, at a time when the water system was improved.

He was chair of the school board and served on the boards of the Agricultural Society (Fall Fair), fire department, board of trade and the hospital society.

He also served as the district’s building inspector.

As a building contractor, he built seven homes as well as the Elliott store on Main Street. In 1955, Summerland honoured him by awarding him the Citizen of the Year for his contributions to our town.

For this year’s heritage site, the society chose Shaughnessy’s Springs in Summerland’s Lowertown.

Today, the springs provide water to the Summerland fish hatchery. The temperature and chemistry of the spring water is perfect for raising trout. This hatchery is the oldest continuously running trout hatchery in British Columbia.

Prior to the hatchery, the flow of spring water was used to generate electricity.

The Electric Light Plant became operational in 1905. Summerland was the first municipality to do so in the Okanagan Valley. The spring water also provided domestic use during the early days of Summerland.

This year’s selected heritage tree is the large weeping willow tree located close to the playground in Memorial Park. Weeping willows often grow in areas of abundant groundwater. Aeneas Creek has a history of changing location over time, and the creek, at one time, was in that area.

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A weeping willow tree in Memorial Park has been designated as Summerland’s heritage tree for 2021. (Contributed)

Shaughnessy’s Springs has been selected as Summerland’s heritage site for 2021. The springs provides water for the Summerland fish hatchery. (Contributed)