Progress in preserving the Keremeos Grist Mill and Gardens Historic site continued this past week.
Funding was by the Heritage Branch of the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, who found dollars for the re-roofing of The White House which has been variously a trading post, store, residence and storage shed over the past 125 years. (Heritage BC is a non profit society)
In the 1990’s The White House became the present exhibition centre for artifacts and demonstration models of the 1877 water driven millworks.
Roof work is being done by Let It Rain Roofing of Cloverdale under the direction of operator, Jim Millar of Millar Heritage Enterprises who have managed the site since 2008.
The roof shakes are sawn rather than split. One workmen quipped that although sawn shakes are not exactly heritage style that ‘they were cut with a very old saw’.
Upon tearing up the 1979 shake roof, early sod was uncovered along with a shedded snake skin.
This past summer, energy efficiency improvements at the Grist Mill Visitors’ Centre were funded though the office of Area “G” of the RDOS. Director Elef Christensen was the lead in this.
With a score of volunteers and support from Keremeos Valu Plus Foods and The Sign Wizard, The Grist Mill Heritage Club netted over a thousand dollars from a food concession on a cold day at a November 19 farm auction in Keremeos. The club devotes itself to preserving “our heritage treasure” at the old grist mill.
Both MLA, John Slater, and federal MP, Alex Atamanenko are members of The Grist Mill Heritage Club.
The club recently placed itself under the administration of The Grist Mill Foundation which will seek charitable status in the new year. The foundation will be looking to private sources to supplement a beleaguered provincial heritage budget.