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Grist Mill at Keremeos

Upper Bench Road, Keremeos, British Columbia, V0X, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1974/11/19

Grist Mill exterior; BC Heritage Branch
view from SE
Grist Mill interior; BC Heritage Branch
interior view
No Image

Other Name(s)

Keremeos Grist Mill
Grist Mill at Keremeos

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/10/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Grist Mill at Keremeos, located in the Similkameen River Valley, is a cultural landscape comprised of the grist mill building with its historic milling machinery, the general store and residence, and an apple house/root cellar. The surrounding landscape includes Keremeos Creek, which runs through the site.

Heritage Value

Constructed by Barrington Price in 1877, this historic mill and store are valuable indicators of pioneer entrepreneurship in the British Columbia interior. This site reflects one man's capitalization on the economic opportunities which arose in British Columbia during the gold rush era.

The geographical landscape of this site is significant, as it presented the ideal location for the establishment of Price's place of business. The construction of a state-of-the-art mill in this once-remote part of the province, and the proximity of the mill and general store to the historic Dewdney Trail are significant to the history of the local area because the presence of these modern amenities - which predate the advent of centralized industrial milling and distribution of goods by rail transport - created the impetus for settlement and agricultural productivity in this part of the Similkameen Valley, and facilitated travel to the gold fields in southeastern BC for thousands of miners in the late nineteenth century.

The buildings of the Grist Mill at Keremeos are valuable examples of utilitarian frontier architecture. The mill is an excellent representation of a purpose-built wood industrial structure, and is a notable illustration of the highly-skilled craftsmanship of early mill construction, which was custom-built to suit the machinery contained within. The Grist Mill remains as the last surviving pioneer flour mill in British Columbia with its historic machinery still in working condition. The general store and apple house are significant structures built from hand shaped wooden components using vernacular construction methods.

Source: BC Heritage Branch Properties files

Character-Defining Elements

The character defining elements of the Grist Mill at Keremeos include:
- the interior and exterior of the mill, including unique construction features related to its use as a flour mill
- the historic mill machinery, such as the Barford & Perkins steel grinder, and the James Jones stone roller
- the relationship of built structures with the geographical elements of the land, such as Keremeos Creek and its surrounding topography, the slope and volume of which provide the source of power for the mill, and which create the need for a connecting footbridge to allow access from the store to the mill
- the relationship between the mill and the general store/ residence, and the spatial relationships between the buildings, the creek, and the road
- historic exterior features of the general store/residence building, including its gable-roof form and one-storey massing, dating to the time of Barrington Price
- historic interior features of the general store/residence, including historic wallpaper, and evidence of construction and wear (as seen in traffic patterns on floorboards)
- the manual construction of the mill, general store/residence, and apple house, and the evidence of this in markings of the broad axe, adze, and pit saw on the wooden structural elements



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Province of British Columbia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Conservation Act, s.9, s.13(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site (Designated)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type


Historic or Interpretive Site


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Food and Beverage Manufacturing Facility

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

BC Heritage Branch Properties files

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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