Wilson Residence and Sheds
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Wilson Residence is a one-storey, U-shaped, four-room log house composed of four log structures connected by a front facade. The house has a small shed at the rear, and is surrounded by plantings, including a remnant orchard. Additional heavy timber work sheds are located further away from the house. The historic place is located in Steelhead Provincial Park on the south shore of the Thompson River near the community of Savona, British Columbia.
The Wilson Residence and its accompanying sheds have historical, aesthetic and recreational values.
The house, built ca. 1858-1860, is considered to be one of the oldest homesteads in the southern interior region. Currently known as the Wilson family house, this is the largest structure on the site. The house has important historical associations with early transportation, pioneering, ranching and settlement in the area through the Saveneux and Wilson families. It is thought to have been the original house of Francois Saveneux, who operated the first ferry crossing on Kamloops Lake at this location ca. 1859, and was the Crown Grant holder of the Steelhead site. Later owner John Wilson was a well-known entrepreneur in the Thompson Valley who was known as the "Cattle King" in the late 1880s.
The house has aesthetic value through its rustic log and siding construction materials, and through its evolution from a single building into a four room, U-shaped complex. Joined by a wide hallway with a new roof, the conversion of four smaller buildings into one was a response to the changing needs of its occupants. The interior rooms included a kitchen, living room and bedrooms. It was used later by the campground for storage.
The siting of the house, with a view of the lake, above the beach and below the bluff is also important, as are the remnant landscape features and the associated sheds. In particular, the heavy timber constructed shops or work sheds are considered to be of value because they add contextual information about the use of the site as a pioneer farmstead.
The house has educational and interpretive value through its preservation as part of the campsite, and in proposed plans for an extensive interpretive program. The house has recreational value because it enhances the overall visitor experience at Steelhead Park.
Community value is found in the interest in the house and site shown by the Savona Heritage Committee. The site is also valued as an example of cooperation between BC Parks and the local community to conserve historical and archaeological resources within the park system.
Source: Ministry of Environment, BC Parks
Key character-defining features of the Wilson Residence and Sheds include:
-location between the beach and the bluff
-remnants of the domestic landscape including orchard trees and tree and shrub plantings around the house and between the house and sheds
-rectangular massing of four separate structures and their connecting roof and facade
-log construction, combination of square and rounded logs
-horizontal wood cladding
-U-shaped building plan
-location adjacent to the house
-squared log timbers on the lower courses with round-cut logs and chinking above
-heavy timber construction of work sheds
Province of British Columbia
Park Act, s.5
Provincial Park (Establishment)
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Ministry of Environment, BC Parks
Cross-Reference to Collection