Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The historic place is the two-storey, wood-frame W.D. Walker House, a Foursquare residence built in 1904 and located at 4464 Lakeshore Road in Kelowna's Okanagan Mission neighbourhood.
The heritage value of the W.D. Walker house arises in part from its presence as one of the very early houses in Kelowna's Okanagan Mission area, where it was formerly located in an orchard settling.
The value of the building also arises from its association with W.D. Walker, an early pioneer in the Okanagan Mission area, and his bride Dorothea Walker, who was a major contributor to education in the developing community. A school near the Walker house is named after Dorothea Walker, in recognition of her contributions to the community.
Walter Dalziel Walker (1875-1953) was an important member of the Okanagan Mission community, being school trustee for 33 years, Rector's Warden for St. Andrew's Anglican Church, and captain of the cricket team for seven years. From 1932 to 1945 he was a member of the Dominion Fruit Board. The Oxford-educated Walker came from England in 1894. After two years as a 'farm pupil' at Keremeos, he came to Kelowna. In 1901, he bought half of lot 167 at Okanagan Mission, from Father Eumelin of the Oblate Mission. While clearing land to plant an orchard, quite early in the Kelowna agricultural timeline, he had Crawford's portable sawmill set up on the site where the Okanagan Mission Community Hall now stands. Some of the lumber cut was used in 1904 by important early builder M.J. ('Johnny') Curts to build this house for Walker. In that same year Walker married Dorothea M. Thomson (1877-1976), the eldest daughter of Gifford R. Thomson. She had come from the Shetlands to Okanagan Mission with her parents and family in 1891. She was the first school teacher at Ellison in 1894, and taught at Ellison and at the Okanagan School until her marriage. She is representative of the educated woman of the day, who had to choose between a career and a marriage.
In 1910, Walker sold the house and 10 acres of orchard to Dr. Wansbrough-Jones, and moved to the lakeshore, adding on to what had been a summer 'camp' which he had originally built for his good friend the Rev. Thomas Greene. Dr. Wansbrough-Jones, who came from England and bought this house in 1910, was described as an 'expert', as he was hired for lecturing tours by the provincial government.
The next owner of this house (until at least 1958), Douglas Alan Middlemass (1884-1976), came to Okanagan Mission from the Arrow Lakes, and worked for many years for H.C. Mallam. In 1948 he was listed as accountant for Okanagan Packers Cooperative. He was valuable in community organizations, being secretary for the Okanagan Mission Sports Club, the Badminton Club, the Okanagan Mission Community Hall Association, and two Water Users' Associations, and it was noted that 'his books and minutes are a joy to behold.'
Source: City of Kelowna Planning Department
The character-defining elements of the W.D. Walker House include its:
- large secluded lot with mature trees and shrubs, with a long driveway from the street
- residential form, scale and massing, as expressed by its two-storey height and squarish plan with large porch extension
- Foursquare form, with a hipped roof and broad entrance porch
- two corbelled brick chimneys
- narrow horizontal bevelled wood siding, with vertical medium-width corner strips
- wood bargeboard at soffit
- three-over-three double-hung wood-sash windows with plain medium-width painted wood trim
- wide, open, porch with regularly-spaced, medium-sized painted wood posts
- two octagonal shaped windows, with square grid wood sash and plain wide wood trim
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Kelowna Planning Department
Cross-Reference to Collection