Dear Answer Man,
Re: the Fort House. Is there any historical significance to this large home at the corner of Fort and Fortune? As it is located near the reported landing of the Overlanders we used to hear rumours that it would have future heritage designation. Not sure of the present use or ownership.
The Fort House at 300 Fortune Drive is often the subject of curiosity and sometimes a mistaken assumption that it was part of Fort Kamloops. While it is located on the site of one of the Fort Kamloops posts, it isn’t that old.
According to a listing of heritage buildings published by the Kamloops Museum and Archives years ago, the fur-trading post was located there from 1843 to 1862, at which point the Hudson’s Bay Company moved its post to Mission Flats.
However, the company continued to use the land for agriculture until B.C. Fruitlands bought it in 1906 and subdivided it into lots of five or so acres.
The archives article says many small farms were active in the area until after World War II.
The Fort House was built about 1907 for Archie Davis, a railway employee. The house appears in a 1908 panorama taken of the North Shore but not in a 1906 photo, so the 1907 date is pretty solid.
“The house, a foursquare design with a cottage roof common for that period, was originally located on extensive acreage,” says the heritage-building booklet.
“A.W. Haines operated a dairy farm here about 1912 and had a good herd of Holsteins. Arthur Hatton owned it in 1946.”
The house has operated as a rooming house for many years. The current owner has declined a request from the Kamloops Heritage Commission to put a plaque on it.
The commission will be mounting several North Shore cultural heritage plaques, and one denoting the location of the old Fort Kamloops will be erected across the street from the Fort House on Fortune Drive.
Thanks to Robb Gilbert, the archivist at Kamloops Museum and Archives, and Andrew Yarmie, chair of the heritage commission, for teaming up to provide this information for the Answer Man to pass along.
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