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Old Presbyterian Church

93 5th Avenue NW, Nakusp, British Columbia, V0G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/02/23

Old Presbyterian Church, 2009; Village of Nakusp, 2011
oblique view, 2009
Old Presbyterian Church, 1911; Village of Nakusp, 2011
oblique view, 1911
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Other Name(s)

Old Presbyterian Church
93 5th Avenue NW
Nick's Place

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2011/11/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Old Presbyterian Church is a one-storey gabled wood-frame structure located on the east side of Fifth Avenue in Nakusp, British Columbia. Constructed in 1898 and extended in 1933, the building served as a church until 1959.

Heritage Value

The Old Presbyterian Church is valued for its association with 60 years of religious life in Nakusp and the congregation and ministers who participated in the parish. The first minister was Rev. W. J. Booth, a student minister, who arrived in Nakusp in 1897. Attracting large congregations to services in the school, he proposed the construction of a church. A building committee was formed and donations came from many pioneer families, including the Muirheads, the Genelles, the Glendinnings and the Kinghorns. In March, 1898, Mr. Soper was contracted to build the church, and he almost met the committee's demand that it be completed in six weeks, since it opened on June 26, 1898.

Throughout the years the church struggled to survive in a small community with many competing faiths, including an active Methodist church. Not only were attendance and finances a challenge, but ministers had to travel long distances to preach in other parishes. In 1920 the Methodists and Presbyterians in Nakusp met to plan for a single church. Rev. Wiseman, a Presbyterian minister, began presiding over both churches. This process was formalized across Canada in 1925 when the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregational churches combined to form the United Church of Canada. Rev. Mawhinney, a Methodist was the first minister to lead the churches in Nakusp under the Union. The fortunes of the church improved, and in 1927 there were 45 United Church families in Nakusp. In 1932 the Glenbank church merged with this church and the following year an addition was made to the rear of the building to accommodate a Sunday school. The 1950s were a decade of further growth, with the church involved in many clubs and social activities. In 1954 Rev. Del Johnstone arrived and plans were initiated for a larger church. In 1957 John Salter Allen, Methodist Minister, and his wife gave their home and property to the United Church as the site for a new church and manse at a very low price. In May of 1958, the sixtieth anniversary of the congregation, the old manse and church were offered for sale. The old church was converted to commercial uses and has been a restaurant since 1973.

The Old Presbyterian Church is also valued for its simple wood-frame construction and vernacular architecture, which evoke an era of boom construction during the early days of Nakusp's history. A simple structure, residential in character, the church was constructed quickly and without pretense. Built with local lumber, it has few embellishments other than its corner boards and decorative windowsills. The front porch and rear addition reflect the evolution of the church.

Source: Village of Nakusp Municipal Office, 91-1st Street NW, Nakusp, B.C. V0G 1R0

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Old Presbyterian Church include its:
-wood-frame front-gabled construction with shiplap siding and corner boards
-double-hung windows with decorative sills
-front porch addition
-rear addition



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1973/01/01 to 1973/01/01
1933/01/01 to 1933/01/01
1959/01/01 to 1959/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Social Movements
Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Peopling the Land
Migration and Immigration
Peopling the Land
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer



Mr. Soper

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Village of Nakusp Municipal Office, 91-1st Street NW, Nakusp, B.C. V0G 1R0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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