Saturday, May 30, 2020
November 22, 2019

Alberta company working to reclaim materials from fallen historical Wycliffe barn



Out on the Airport Access Road used to sit a barn, an historical old barn that was constructed some time between 1900 and 1920.

Over the years the wind, snow, sun and other elements wore on the barn, slowly degrading its structural integrity. A few months ago the inevitable happened; the barn fell over. A piece of local history crumbling to the ground.

The property that the barn sits on is a familiar one to many, it’s the first property you drive by on your way to the airport. Its history is rich, it was there before any through road was constructed, first owned by the Clark family. With the exception of Marysville, Wycliffe was the nearest settlement to Kimberley from 1900 to 1930.

Steve Foster bought the property in the late 80’s and since then, things have changed some. What used to be a tiny old house is now land, and his new house sits behind where the remainder of the barn is.

Foster walked around the property recounting memories, donned in his Canadian tuxedo; blue jeans, a jean jacket, and cowboy boots.

“The Clark family owned this whole property, and all of the land across the road up to Wycliffe,” he explained. “They were wheat farmers. You’d come out of the house to the front yard where the barn is. That’s where it all started. They started constructing the barn in either 1901, or 1920, I’m not too sure exactly but it took them ten years to build it.”

In Foster’s basement two photographs of the barn and surrounding property hang on the wall. One, taken by a local photographer, won a competition and now a 4 foot by 4 foot version of it hangs in the House of Parliament, says Foster.

The barn’s foundation is still there, with piles of materials surrounding it, organized by size and material type.

Michael Gerrand and his team from Salvage Solutions in Alberta have been working on reclaiming the materials from the barn.

Gerrand estimates that at least 80 per cent of the materials will be salvaged, re-used and repurposed. After all, that’s how he makes a living.

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