Restoration is set to begin soon in Abbotsford on the 145-year-old Turner House, shown here in 2017 before its move to Clayburn Park. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Restoration is set to begin soon in Abbotsford on the 145-year-old Turner House, shown here in 2017 before its move to Clayburn Park. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Restoration work to begin on 145-year-old Turner House in Abbotsford

Historical project at Clayburn Park expected to take several years

Work on a historic project in Abbotsford is expected to begin in mid to late October and take several years.

The City of Abbotsford and the Heritage Abbotsford Society (HAS) are restoring the 145-year-old Turner House in Clayburn Park.

The former home of George Turner – a Royal Engineer who helped plan out and survey the Lower Mainland in the latter half of the 19th century – was moved to the park in 2018 from Matsqui Prairie.

At that time, it was wrapped and protected until a restoration plan could be developed and funded.

HAS received $163,000 in funding from Heritage BC, part of which will go towards the start of the project through the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP).

The society will continue to apply for grants and work with private donors who have expressed interest in the project in order to complete the restoration work.

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As part of the project, secondary and post-secondary students and interested community members will have an opportunity to contribute and learn through workshops, webinars and hands-on classes about the restoration of heritage buildings and preserving built heritage.

The City of Abbotsford is looking at a larger plan for Clayburn Park in the coming years where Turner House is expected to play a central role.

“Partnering with Heritage Abbotsford Society to restore Turner House, and at the same time teach students and others who are interested how to preserve heritage buildings, is a huge win-win for the community,” said Mayor Henry Braun.

HAS executive director Christian Reid said the organization is looking forward to the project.

“This funding and partnership will allow us to literally and figuratively ‘build community’ by leading the charge in creating a holistic plan for built heritage, and encouraging rehabilitation and restoration of heritage assets,” she said.

The initial work will focus on condition assessments and stabilization of the existing structure.

Anyone interested in joining or contributing is asked to contact Christina Reid at creid@heritageabbotsford.ca.

RELATED: Abbotsford heritage buildings, including one-room schoolhouse, get $162K in funding

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