B.C. government spending $10,000 to study this old South Okanagan chimney | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. government spending $10,000 to study this old South Okanagan chimney

The province announced the awarding of a $10,000 B.C. Rural Dividend Fund grant to the Okanagan Falls Heritage Society to study the future of pioneer Michael Keogan's chimney, the only remains of his cabin located beside Highway 97 just south of Okanagan Falls.

PENTICTON - The provincial government is spending $10,000 on a chimney that's more than 100 years old. And that cash won't even go to protecting the heritage site, it will go towards a study of conservation options to protect it.

The chimney is all that remains of Okanagan Falls pioneer Michael Keogan’s cabin, located just south of the community, metres from Highway 97. The Okanagan Falls Heritage and Museum Society will use the money for a study as they seek to preserve the locally designated heritage site.

Society President Heather Jackson says they need answers to several questions, including whether the chimney can or should be moved to the museum property from its present site.

“We don’t know whether it’s too fragile to move, or whether it should be moved, as it could be a heritage spot where it is,” she said.

Former president Marlo Wilson, who was instrumental in applying for the grant, said the feasibility study will tell the society how best to protect the artifact.

“It’s right on the highway right of way, and it’s all that’s left of a pioneer of Okanagan Falls who once owned a lot of land in the area,” Marlo says, calling it an important piece of history of the community.

A nearby 20 acre park is named after Keogan.

“I think people of Okanagan Falls will be pleased it’s going to be protected,” she says, adding she hopes the study will be underway by summer.

The grant was announced yesterday, Feb. 27, by Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Developments Minister Doug Donaldson as part of the province’s B.C. Rural Dividend Fund.

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