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District of Peachland, B.C., wins grant to preserve historic Peachland Baptist Church

Click to play video: 'District of Peachland to begin steps to preserve historic building' District of Peachland to begin steps to preserve historic building
District of Peachland to begin steps to preserve historic building – Mar 2, 2021

It’s almost as old as the District of Peachland — the 111-year-old eight-sided Peachland Baptist Church is iconic.

“It has been a library, a fire hall, it’s been the municipal office and now it the base of operations of the Peachland Historical Society,” said Barbara Dionne, Peachland Historical Society president.

“It’s used as a museum to display hundreds and thousands of artifacts and photos and written accounts of the history of Peachland.”

Now, the church, both a piece of Peachland’s history and its repository, needs some work to keep it around for years to come.

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“We were the recipients of a unique heritage infrastructure grant for $600,000 that will be invested in this building,” said Cheryl Wiebe, District of Peachland Community Services director.

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“It has been a museum for a number of years and we have no intentions of changing that. This will just be an opportunity to give it a facelift and help preserve it.”

Many upgrades are proposed for the building, including refinishing the siding, a window treatment to keep dust away from the artifacts and the installation of a new H-VAC system.

The church was originally built by volunteers in 1910 as the Peachland Baptist Church and superstition might be the reason for its unique shape.

“There’s a legend that says if you have a round church the devil won’t ever live in the corners, so that could be it,” said Dionne.

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On the top of their wish list for renovations are replacing the T-bar ceiling and uncovering the original wood hiding behind it.

The much-needed provincial funding will help the historic society preserve the historic building as a community asset for years to come.

The planning process will begin this summer and the restoration is projected to be completed by early 2023.

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