History of Vestibule and Sanctuary

congregtionThe vestibule and sanctuary are part of the original church that began its life as a Presbyterian Church in the mining community of Fairview around 1897. During the decline of Fairview, the building fell into disuse, remaining empty for a number of years. The Okanagan Falls congregation and their minister decided in 1929 to dismantle the church and bring it to their community.

Lumber for the church was made at Madden’s Sawmill, located on the Fairview-Cawston Road. The church was constructed with a white clapboard exterior and with ceilings and the lower portion of the inside walls made of highly polished pine board. Its steeple was topped with a beautiful iron cross made by Billy Dalrymple.

The practice in those days was to board over the windows and seal the doors of a building in which a stick of dynamite was suspended. The resulting force loosened all the nails so that removal of the boards was accomplished more easily and with less damage to the wood. Unfortunately, the iron cross atop the steeple was broken. The material was then transported 16 miles to Okanagan Falls, and was reassembled on its present site by local volunteer labour, including members of the Anglican Church. At least $1000 was required to meet expenses, six hundred of which was received from the United Church board in Toronto, half as a loan.

Some of the expenses of this undertaking were met by the United Church in Toronto. The church was reopened with a dedication service on January 19th 1930, with Reverend Feir officiating.