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Spicer's Farm

97 Nelson Ave SW, Nakusp, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/02/23

Spicer's Farm, 2009; Village of Nakusp, 2009
oblique view of dairy barn, 2009
Spicer's Farm, before 1969; Village of Nakusp, 2009
aerial view, archival (before flooding in 1969)
Spicer's Farm, 2009; Village of Nakusp, 2009
side view of house, 2009

Other Name(s)

Spicer's Farm
Bay View Dairy

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2012/02/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Spicer's Farm is a farmstead on the waterfront of Nakusp, British Columbia, and includes an 1897 house and a variety of farm buildings constructed from the early 1900s to the 1930s.

Heritage Value

Spicer's Farm is valued for its contribution to the economic life of Nakusp since 1904. In that year Sam Henry, who had a laundry on Bay Street, bought two large lots east of Nelson Avenue, where he expanded the market garden operation he had started in 1893. Henry supplied the steamboats and local residents with vegetables and fruit. He employed twenty Chinese workers. After Henry died in 1912, his widow ran the business for ten years. It was then bought by Phil and Clem Buesnel, brothers from the Isle of Wight, who operated the farm as the "Bay View Dairy" until 1948. In 1948 the farm was bought by Chris Spicer, whose daughter Janet continues to run the business as an organic farm.

Spicer's farm is also valued for its association with the changes to the Nakusp waterfront since 1892. The Genelle mill, located near the property, was one of the area's earliest businesses. It was closely linked with the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway to Three Forks, with building construction in the new townsite, and with the shipbuilding industry. The survival of this site as the last market garden on the waterfront is important because it is a link to an era when agriculture was a prevalent land use on the Arrow Lakes. The farm is also linked to the flooding of the waterfront to create the reservoir for the Arrow Lakes dams in 1969. Over half of the productive farmland on the property was submerged.

This historic place is further valued for its vernacular farm buildings that were built on the property from the early 1900s until the mid 1930s, and for the farmhouse that was moved to the site from the waterfront. In 1897 Jack Genelle built a one-and-one-half storey end-gabled vernacular cottage on his mill property. The cottage was moved up the hill to its present location in 1906. The cottage was built with lumber from the Genelle mill, including drop-siding cladding, late-Victorian spindle work porch supports, a decorative gable truss, and decorative fretwork. The fretwork was made by Joseph Goupille, a relative of Genelle. Other farm buildings include a dairy barn built in the 1930s, a milk house, and storage sheds.

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 Spicer's Farm include its:
- location between the village and the lake
- layout of vernacular farm buildings in a clustered farmstead
- productive agricultural land
- landscape of planted fruit trees, shrubs, and flowers
- 1897 pioneer cottage with late-Victorian decoration including spindle-work porch supports, decorative gable truss, and decorative fretwork
- 1930s dairy barn with two storage silos and full milking setup
- milk house



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)

1906/01/01 to 1906/01/01
1948/01/01 to 1948/01/01
1904/01/01 to 1948/01/01
1969/01/01 to 1969/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Peopling the Land
People and the Environment
Developing Economies
Extraction and Production
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Food Supply
Farm or Ranch

Architect / Designer



Joseph Goupille

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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