A response

Resident concerned about the lack of preservation of heritage homes

An issue of The Morning Star carried an article titled “Ormsby residence gone.” The purpose of this letter is to inform the readers of the historic value of the house, now destroyed by a bulldozer, as it was one of the oldest homes in the Coldstream.

The bungalow-type, two storey home was originally built for a Coldstream fruit rancher and later real estate promoter, Fremont B. Cossitt, a native of Brockville Ont., in 1909. Cossitt had engaged Robert Bell, of the Vernon firm Bell and Constant, to design and build the home, which became known as Cossitt’s Happy Ranch.

Nearby was the Glossop House, enlarged and renovated in 1913, and behind that, the distinctive Buchanan House, with its prominent multiple chimneys.

The Buchanan House became the Mackie Lake House and the Glossop House, later the home of Art and Agnes Sovereign and their family, is now in Sovereign Park.

Behind the Buchanan House was its twin, the OrchardLeigh Lodge, which burned down in 1960.

This information is from Margaret Ormsby’s history of Coldstream, Coldstream Nulli Secundus.

The Ormsby family had purchased and lived in the Cossitt’s home.

In the 51st Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, the hope is expressed that Vernon would have the foresight to acquire Dr. Ormsby’s home on the shore of Kalamalka Lake as a heritage site.

“A place,” wrote the author, “that has been so intimately associated with such an outstanding Canadian should not be allowed to be altered or destroyed but should be preserved for future generations.”

It is apparent that some people don’t care for our culture and our history, they just want our lakeshore. And we, even the grandchildren of our pioneers, are all too willing to sell it to them.

V.E. (Vivian) Merchant



Vernon Morning Star

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