Kamloops, B.C.: Kelson Group and Nickel Bros. are pleased to confirm the relocation of a second old house in downtown Kamloops. Unlike the ‘Little Pink House’ at 430 Nicola Street, the larger old house currently at 435 Battle Street won’t be moving out of the city but just blocks away during the early morning hours of March 5, 2022.
The deconstruction of houses in downtown Kamloops is nearing completion as Kelson Group prepares for the construction of its multi-building development City Gardens. Kelson Group was pleased to collaborate again with Nickel Bros., a residential and industrial structural moving company to help find interested homeowners for the houses that could structurally make a relocation. On December 5, 2021, Nickel Bros. lifted and relocated the first house from 430 Nicola Street to the new homeowner’s property in McLure. With the first delivery complete, the team has now turned its attention to setting up the final details to move the house at 435 Battle Street.
“We are very excited to see the process underway yet again,” said Kelly Fawcett, Vice President of Kelson Group. “It takes the right person with the right location to purchase and move one of these old houses, and we’ve accomplished that. Together with the team at Nickel Bros., we are committed to ensuring the moving process is as safe and as smooth as possible.”
The 435 Battle Street house will be relocated just a few blocks away to the 700 block of St. Paul Street. The Edwardian foursquare-style house was built in 1910 and witnessed decades of Kamloops’ history unfold around it. To help preserve the history of the 435 Battle Street house and many of the other downtown houses, Kelson Group invited Andrew Yarmie, retired Thompson Rivers University history professor and former chair of Kamloops Heritage Commission, to collaborate. Professor Yarmie visited the properties and documented key historical findings. During his research of the 435 Battle Street house, he discovered some interesting history of the original owners, Robert and Flossie MacKay.
Yarmie notes in one of his reports, “Robert MacKay set up his business building houses and then the Bank of Commerce, Old Opera House, 1906 Stuart Wood School, 1911, Leland Hotel, 1911, Royal Bank of Canada, Burris Block, Smith Block, Freemont Block, Mallory Drug Store, Royal Inland Hospital, Patricia Hotel, Acadia Block, and Masonic Block in 1923. His busy construction business didn’t stop him from being very involved in fraternal and civic affairs. He joined the Knights of Pythias Lodge in 1894 and was associated with the Kamloops volunteer Fire Department from 1894 until 1918 and was the Chief for 17 years. Civic affairs also led him to become an alderman in 1905 and 1906.”
For the process to move the former house of the MacKay’s, Nickel Bros. is currently installing a structural support system and a hydraulic jacking system to the foundation of the house. Both will elevate the structure and slide the house out of the property.
Next, the team will load it on a hydraulic moving system to deliver the house to its new location on St. Paul Street. The move is anticipated to take a few hours starting just after midnight on Saturday, March 5.
“Some of the older and historic buildings we have lifted and transported over the years have been as old as 200 years – everything from Victorian or craftsman masterpieces, to small, yet treasured neighbourhood bungalows,” said Tim Nickel, General Manager at Nickel Bros.
Nickel notes that there has already been a lot of interest from community members for the work being done currently to prepare the house. He cautions, “For those interested in watching the move unfold, please remember that this is an active site with large equipment, and we ask the community to obey instructions of our personnel to ensure everyone stays safe.”