Penticton Dredge Shed
1175 Lakeshore Drive West, Penticton, British Columbia, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Dredge Shed is a large timber storage building located west of Lakeshore Drive near the mouth of the Okanagan River in Penticton, British Columbia.
The Dredge Shed's value lies in the role it played in the development of water transportation on the Okanagan River and Okanagan Lake. Constructed in 1933, the Dredge Shed is a 20 foot by 50 foot building which housed Dominion Coast Guard tools and equipment required to maintain navigable depths on Okanagan River between Okanagan and Skaha Lakes. The Dominion Coast Guard would build breakwaters, and dredge dock sites inundated with sediment from Penticton Creek along the Penticton waterfront for navigation purposes.
Dredging in Okanagan River had commenced in 1908 when the Dominion Government placed Joe McDonald in charge of operating a swing-boom to dredge the channel, and to place brush along the banks and drive piles to prevent erosion. Passenger and freight service between Penticton and Kaleden started in 1912 with the vessel Mallard, under the guidance of A.S. Hatfield, but navigation on the river portion between Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake was not terribly successful, and several years later a control dam was constructed at the mouth of Okanagan River on Okanagan Lake and any attempts at commercial navigation ceased. However, dredging continued as a flood control measure, to keep water flowing in the channel and off land adjacent to the river channel. This also signaled the early stages of controlling water levels throughout the Okanagan Basin.
The Dredge Shed was situated so that vessels could be loaded from the north side and land access could be achieved on the east side. In this manner fuel, provisions, and tools were loaded onto the dredges and other vessels used by the Dominion Government on the lake and river. The double doors on the second level of the north side provided access to the shed for materials to be moved by the boom on the dredge.
The Dredge Shed is valued as an important industrial structure which served the south Okanagan from the 1930s to the 1950s. Its simple vernacular design speaks to its functionality. This is evident in its rugged construction of large timbers, broad low-pitched roof with wide overhang, cladding of wide drop siding, solid loading docks, and large loading doors.
SOURCE: City of Penticton Civic File
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Penticton Dredge Shed include its:
-location near Okanagan Lake and adjacent to the mouth of the Okanagan River
-industrial vernacular style of the building with its massing and simple design
-use of large timbers and wide boards
-massive roof with wide overhangs
-large loading doors
-solid wooden loading docks
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Harbour Facility
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Penticton Civic File
Cross-Reference to Collection