The murals that had been on display at the Okanagan Historical Society Kiosk in the Fairview town site have been restored and returned to the Fairview Kiosk.
The Fairview kiosk site consists of two adjoining lots that were the site of the Presbyterian Church, constructed at Fairview in 1899. In 1925 the Presbyterian Church was dismantled and moved to Okanagan Falls where it currently serves as the United Church. The windows were covered from the inside and a charge of dynamite was hung from the ceiling and lit. The explosion loosened the nails, making the dismantling of the church possible. As a result of this, it received a nick-name, the “Blasted Church”.
The Okanagan Historical Society acquired the Fairview properties from the United Church of Canada in 1970. The present kiosk with the Glenn Clarke murals was officially opened in May of 1997. Over time the murals faded and suffered minor damage. They were taken down late last year and restored by the original artist, who lives in Penticton. New polycarbonate protective coverings have also been purchased and installed. It is interesting that one reason the project took so long to complete is that the demand for (and the cost of) polycarbonate has increased dramatically recently, due to Covid 19 safety requirements.
The Okanagan Historical Society would like to acknowledge a donation from the Okanagan Archives Trust (OATS) that helped with the completion of this project.
The murals are interesting and the site is very attractive. They are certainly worth a visit.
The Fairview Heritage Townsite Society has tenure on an adjoining 80 acre parcel and has recently completed a major upgrade to a 1.1 kilometre trail that meanders through the old town site. Remains of the town site have faded with time but it is still a very pleasant walk and can be tied in with a visit to view the murals. The trail can be accessed from the Fairview kiosk site or a new parking area on Old Golf Course Road.
The photo below shows Bruce Hamilton, Larry Shannon and Ernie Dumais, with three of the twelve restored murals.
Written by Larry Shannon
Top photo by South Okanagan Photos
Bottom picture submitted