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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Wilson House is a one-and-one-half-storey wood-frame house with a steeply pitched side-gabled roof, a central gabled wall dormer and a full-width open verandah. It has been relocated a short distance from its original location, and is now situated on municipal property in a mixed-use main street commercial district of North Kamloops.
The Wilson House, constructed circa 1909-1910, is valued for its connection with William Stewart Wilson (1903-1994), a local farmer, businessman and politician who was an esteemed member of the Kamloops community. In 1929, Wilson and his wife Winnifred moved to Kamloops to farm just east of the Experimental Farm. In 1934 he opened Wilson Motors, one of the first commercial businesses in North Kamloops. Wilson later became an important political figure in the community and the province, serving as President of the British Columbia Auto Dealers Association and Vice President of the Canadian Auto Dealers Association. In 1946 he was elected First Commissioner for the Village of North Kamloops, a position equivalent to that of Mayor, and in 1947 he was elected Chairman of North Kamloops. William and Winnifred Wilson occupied the house until 1950, after which it was briefly used as a church manse before members of the Wilson family took up residence again.
The Wilson House is further valued for its association with its first owner, Frank Edward Baines (1888-1958), who was a local farmer and uncle of William Stewart Wilson. Frank and Mary Baines occupied the house between 1909 and 1920.
The house is also valued for its traditional farmhouse form, influenced by the Gothic Revival style, with symmetrical massing, a central entry, a central gable wall dormer and Carpenter ornamentation.
Furthermore, the Wilson House is symbolic of the development of North Kamloops from a patchwork of farms into a community. Before 1909, the North Shore was primarily a rural farming area of orchards and fields. In 1909, a British-based company named B.C. Fruitlands was incorporated and obtained over 9,000 acres on the North Shore. By 1920, the company owned over 22,000 acres and had installed an extensive irrigation system that supplied water to all of North Kamloops. After the irrigation system was installed, the company promoted programs to attract settlers to the area. The Village of North Kamloops was incorporated in 1946. At this time Wilson Street, which was named in honour of the family, was surveyed and subdivided, leaving the Wilson House situated in the middle of the street. The house was moved back and turned around to face the new street. In October of 2003, the Wilson House was moved again, to 115 Tranquille Road, and is now the home of the Kamloops North Shore Business Improvement Association.
Source: City of Kamloops Planning Department
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Wilson House include its:
- residential form, scale and massing, as expressed by its one-and-one-half-storey height with steeply pitched side-gabled roof and side bay window
- construction materials as expressed by wood-frame construction and wooden drop siding
- elements of the Gothic Revival style such as its symmetrical massing, central entry, central wall dormer, full-width open verandah, and front gable screen
- internal red-brick chimney
- interior details, such as the staircase with a lathe-turned newel post
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Kamloops Planning Department
Cross-Reference to Collection