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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John North Peace Museum hosted the grand opening of the Allen House on Saturday.
The house can now be viewed until temperatures drop below zero, when the museum will bring in all textiles and close the buildings outside the museum for the winter.
Heather Sjoblom, the museum’s manager and curator, says Bart Allen built the house in the early 1920s.
Bart married Winnifred in 1925, and the couple moved into the house in the late 1920s.
Sjoblom says they raised their children, Ruth and Floyd, in the home before Ruth grew up and married Harold Large.
The Allen family travelled a lot in the winter, so Ruth and Harold moved into the house with her family while the Allens were gone.
Originally, Bart Allen had a one-room cabin on the property before Ruth and Harold moved into the second property on the farm, so the one now on display at the museum was used as a second house on the homestead, said Sjoblom.
Allen built a third home when Ruth and her family moved into the home now on the museum property.
The Large family lived in this house until 1964, she added.
“It has four rooms including an upstairs, but it also has that neat history where the building has changed over time,” Sjoblom said.
“Both in terms of stuff like electricity being added, but also in terms of decor. The family’s given us about 70 photos documenting the inside and outside of the house.”
Ken Boon, a museum board member, says the museum was offered the house by the Large family decades ago, but the museum could not take it at the time.
About eight years ago, Boon says Ruth Allen offered the house to the museum again, so they took another serious look at it.
“[We] figured it was still doable, able to be salvaged and restored, and we thought it’s an important enough piece of history and an example of a nicer, better quality home built during that era that we should take it to the museum,” Boon said.
He says they were able to display the house with a lot of the original items.
Boon adds that the regional district helped fund the project and hopes it will be on the museum’s grounds for many years.
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