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Homes & Buildings on the Move

posted by: The Royal Hotel Chilliwack on: October 30, 2018 03:43:35 PM

History tells us that we’ve been moving houses and buildings for hundreds of years. There are many reasons to move a home or building. Perhaps the house was situated in an area subject to flooding – or maybe the growing city required new infrastructure, such as roadways; and buildings were in the way. Not only have individual buildings been relocated, but entire towns have been moved!

Between 1920 and 1921 the entire townsite’s collection of around 200 homes and businesses in Hibbing Minnesota was relocated two miles from its original location. The Oliver Mining Company had discovered a valuable cache of iron ore directly beneath Hibbing’s town centre. It was the Oliver Mining Company that organized the move; utilizing horses, farm equipment, and steam powered logging equipment along with man power and logs to complete the enormous task.

In London, England the Marble Arch monument was moved from Buckingham Palace, where it had been constructed, to a location close to London’s Hyde Park, in 1851.

Here in Chilliwack in 1909, our own St. Thomas Anglican Church was set on rollers and moved, with the help of the Royal Engineers, several blocks away to Gore Avenue from Five Corners, where it originally sat in the approximate spot where the Court House is. Although the church travelled only a few blocks, the move took several weeks to complete. The circa 1897 carpenter gothic style church is a wonderful reminder of Chilliwack’s past and still serves the community as a place to worship and meet.

St. Thomas Anglican Church on log rollers - prepped for the move from 5 corners to Gore Ave. 
image credit: Chilliwack Museum & Archives

In March 1962, the Ford Home, which was situated at the corner of Main and Spadina Avenues, was lifted off its foundation, loaded onto a truck and repositioned to a lot on Mary Street, to make way for new commercial development. The move of the 80 ton structure took two days. The home has since been demolished. The Rose House, originally constructed on Victoria Avenue, was also moved to its current location on Nowell Avenue in the 1950’s.

The Mercer House on Yale Road.

The Mercer House was re-located to a farm property in Rosedale; saving it from demolition.

On April 4th, 2018, during a City of Chilliwack public hearing, Richlane Homes opted to donate the 1911 Pearson House to whoever can move it. The large chunk of property on Maitland Avenue has been approved for a townhouse complex and unfortunately the heritage home does not fit into the new development. To sweeten the deal the developer is offering $10,000 to help offset the moving costs. Local house moving firms include: Nickel Brothers,   Supreme House Movers  and Pridy Brothers

Let’s hope there is a taker for this beautiful heritage home – saving another piece of Chilliwack’s history from the landfill.

Here are a few links with more information about homes and buildings on the move:
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