The mystery of the 1951 PNE Prize Home that left the country

WATCH: The PNE prize home is always a big draw with thousands lining up every year to check out the brand new house. But as Catherine Urquhart reports, there's only one in the history of the fair that's ever left the country.

Frank and Lynn McLachlan have long wondered about the history of their tiny cabin in Point Roberts, Washington.

They bought the 650-square-foot Pan-Abode 17 years ago, and the home remains largely in its original condition. The fridge and hot water heater both date back to the 1950s and are still in working condition.

READ MORE: Global BC photos at the PNE 2019

After purchasing the house, they would often hear comments from neighbours.

“People would walk down the street and say, ‘Oh, you’re the new people who bought the PNE Prize Home,'” Lynn McLachlan said. “We were quite shocked.”

Verifying the home’s history wasn’t easy. Many of the Pacific National Exhibition’s records were destroyed years ago due to a flood.

But recently, Pan-Abode’s Kelly Marciniw agreed to inspect the home. She also did a deep dive into company records.

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WATCH: A Sneak Peek at the 2019 PNE Prize Home

Open House: Get A Sneak Peek of the 2019 Prize Home!
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“We’re very confident that this is a Pan-Abode from 1951….we think it’s our 91st Pan-Abode,” Marciniw said.

She added that “we were able to see in 1951 there was a PNE Prize Home sold to Ferris.”

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Records reveal that the same home owned by the Ferris family was later sold to Frank and Lynn McLachlan.

It turns out the 1951 PNE Prize Home didn’t come with property. It was sold by the original owner and then moved across the border to Point Roberts in Washington state.

In 1951 the house was priced at less than $2,000. The McLachlans now consider their home priceless, and say they’ll never sell this piece of PNE history.

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