Future Society plans include additional site development with plans for a community garden and an accessory building for cultural performances, presentations and exhibitions of interest to the Marpole Community.
Past Project Objectives
The objective of the society is to preserve the heritage of a property which clearly shows how the majority of Marpole families lived in the early 20th Century. Condos and large houses are quickly replacing heritage houses and therefore our project is unique in the area and the city. Location
The dwelling, affectionately known as the "Colbourne House", has been recognized by City of Vancouver Heritage Committee and the Marpole community for its significance as one of the original homes built in the period of local transition from farming to township.
In 1994, the property was leased to the Society for a period of 60 years by the City of Vancouver. The property contains a small and modest frame house, which was built in 1912 by Mr. T. Thomas, carpenter. The house was sold to Mr. Henry Colbourne in 1936, and occupied by his family for 45 years, until 1981.
The property is located in the south-west area of Vancouver and is adjacent to a small, but well used neighbourhood William S. Mackie park. To the west of the property is the Canadian Pacific Railway line (originally the Lulu Island Railway line), which is still active but not to the extent of earlier days when the interurban tram operated from downtown Vancouver to Steveston on Lulu Island.
There is a Kiwanis retirement complex and a number of condominium projects within a block of the house. The broad view from the site is to the south-west. It encompasses the Vancouver International Airport, Richmond and the Georgia Strait.
On this two block stretch of S.W. Marine Drive only the subject property remains as a reminder of earlier times, for the majority of houses of this era have been demolished and replaced by multi-family dwellings.
With the exception of the basement/ground floor area, the dwelling is to be restored to the 1930's era. The chief heritage feature is the "T"-shaped bell cast gambrel roof.
The reconstructed house will benefit many generations to come and act as an educational resource for young people in schools, churches and club groups. The facility will also serve as a meeting place for adults, in particular seniors, as well as visitors to the area. The Society will use the property for special events and gatherings.
The basement/ground floor now accommodates an office for the Society and a meeting place for the public.
The main floor will be restored to the 1930's era and will contain the many artifacts being donated to the Society. Knowledgeable persons will be involved with the preservation of the artifacts and documents.
The basement/ground floor is wheelchair accessible.
Update April 29, 2005
The house has been power washed and painting the interior is well underway. If this good weather continues, perhaps the exterior will be painted after the interior. We have also had a 1936 wood stove donated, which fits in the kitchen nicely.
Update April 3, 2005
The rain stopped on Sunday, April 3rd, just as 10 members began to spruce up the gardens at "Colbourne House". The weather turned excellent and the gardens look great.
Update March 2005
We have contracted out the Interior and Exterior painting (of the museum) to "Personal Touch Painting" and they hope to begin that project around mid-April with a goal of completion a few weeks later. We had toyed with the idea of some of us members doing the painting; but in the end decided to let the professionals do it. After the painting is completed, we will begin, at long long last the displays of historical artifacts some of us have been storing for years.
Update October 2004
Floors have been sanded and 1st coat of Walnut stain on the main floor. The colours have been selected for room painting.
Update September 2004
With the $40,000 grant from the BC Gaming Commission - - we have brought back our contractor, Wayne Genge, with the ability now, for all intents and purposes, to finish the project to the point of installing displays, furniture, et cetera for the 1930's era. After so many years, it sure is great to "see a light at the end of the tunnel".
August 18, 2002
Ground Floor has been completed with the Society's office, full kitchen, two washrooms (one is wheelchair accessible) and a rental meeting room.
The upper two floors require more funding to make them 100% complete.
We have just recently started work on the upstairs area inside the house, and are hopeful we can conclude the house portion of the project in time for the summer of 2003. You will notice some work has already started around the outside area of the house, and it is our hope that it too will be much further along by the summer.
Landscaping has been carefully planned by Clive Justice using shrubs, perennials and bulbs available in Vancouver in the period of the 20's and 30's.
Volunteer work-bees under the direction of Robert Spence are installing a brick walkway from the street down the south side of the house to provide the patio outside the kitchen Dutch-door and around the back. This brick patio at the back will be the platform for outside events, with stairs and porch as stage setting. Let us dream and make our dreams come true!
Our contractor Wayne Genge returned to the job the beginning of November. He is building the back porch at the main floor level, and the stairs down to the back patio. He is putting in place the adjacent framework needed for the lift/elevator which is to be completed at some future date when we have the funding ($20,000) for it. He is also installing the interior support framing to bring the main floor and second floor to meet building code requirements for public use and so that the house will survive for another 90 years or so.
To date the house has been raised on 3'-3" to provide a 8' ceiling height on the basement/ground floor. In this area new electrical service has been installed, wheelchair access has been made available, a new concrete floor has been poured and rough plumbing for two washrooms and a kitchen have been installed.
As of October, 2000, the roof has been restored and re-shingled. The 2nd Floor addition has been demolished to replace the original roof line, as has the interior plaster of the walls to the original wood framing.