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Langley Heritage Society honoured for its work on Dixon farm
The Langley Heritage Society has been chosen to receive a Heritage BC ‘Award of Honour’ for their work on the Dixon residence and barn site in Milner.
The award is an acknowledgement of the more than two years of work that went into restoring the two First World War-era buildings, which sit along Glover Road, just north of Mufford Cresent.
The two-storey house took a full year to restore, explained Langley Heritage Society president Fred Pepin, who spearheaded the project.
Renovations included work on the home’s wiring and plumbing, heating system and floors.
The Dixon house, built between 1916 and 1918 was one of the few buildings in the area that was wired for electricity at the time, said Pepin. That was thanks to the presence of the B.C. Electric Interurban railway, he explained.
Overall, the house was found to have undergone very few alterations over nearly a century, still boasting its original windows and doors.
The barn, on the other hand, required a complete overhaul, Pepin said.
“It’s completely renovated and new.
“I had to look at that barn a long time before deciding how to go about it. It had been severely damaged,” he explained.
The building was given a new foundation and new roof and was brought up to current seismic standards.
Completed in June, 2012, the total cost of the project — paid for by the Langley Heritage Society — was in the neighbourhood of $200,000. Of that, about $120,000 went toward barn reparations.
But the building’s value can’t be measured entirely in dollars, said Pepin.
“These barns of this type were rare at the best of times. There are very few left of this design.”
It was constructed entirely of wood — without the use of nails — and restored the same way, using mortise and tenon joints and wood doweling pins. The barn’s original timbers, some of which are 40 feet long, were also used in the restoration.
With an average of three people working on the project at any given time, it took about a year to complete work on the house and another year and a half to restore the big red barn.
The award from the B.C. Heritage Society comes as a welcome acknowledgement of a job well done, said Pepin.
“We are very, very pleased.
“It’s because in the last few years, most of the winners of these awards have been million dollar projects in downtown Vancouver.
“Most heritage societies like ours can’t compete with that.”
The Langley Heritage Society’s restoration of the landmark buildings, which the organization leases from the Township, has served as an incentive to other, similar groups, Pepin said. The project has generated plenty of buzz, and led to a number of inquiries from other Lower Mainland communities, including Maple Ridge and Delta.
Each year, Heritage BC recognizes achievement by individuals, associations, businesses and governments from around the province in the field of heritage conservation and earlier this year Township Council nominated the Langley Heritage Society.
The 2013 Heritage BC Awards presentation ceremony will take place on Friday evening, Oct. 18 at the Shadbolt Centre of the Arts in Burnaby, at the culmination of the provincial annual conference.