Bleary-eyed residents of White Rock and South Surrey weren’t seeing things in the early hours last week – that was a house they saw travelling from Marine Drive, and up 140 Street to Crescent Road.
And people who, later in the morning, saw the surreal sight of the home travelling down the Nicomekl River past Stewart Farmhouse, or around Blackie Spit past Crescent Beach pier on its way towards Point Roberts, weren’t hallucinating either.
The home, built in 1946 at 13925 Marine Dr., is a bit of White Rock history that will be getting a new lease of life on Vancouver Island.
Brian Snipstead – whose sister, Kristine Tyrell, owned the house for 20 years with husband David Tyrell – said the new owner, who plans to redevelop the Marine Drive property, sold the house to buyers at French Creek, between Parksville and Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.
Local historians Lorraine Ellenwood and Hugh Ellenwood (of White Rock Museum and Archives) noted the house had been the former residence of Cy and Lorraine Amos, who operated Amos Dry Goods Store in White Rock from 1934 to 1966. Lorraine Amos, who was well-known locally as an actor with the White Rock Players Club, died in 1992.
Last week, Snipstead followed the house for most of its progress through South Surrey, including its loading onto a barge next to the Elgin Bridge, photographing and videotaping its journey along the way.
He said the move, carried out by contractors Nickel Bros., was “amazing,” involving teams of workers to oversee the progress of the house, move lights at intersections and guide power lines over the peak of the roof.
“It travelled quite fast when it was somewhere where there weren’t power lines,” he noted, adding the house, which began its journey at midnight on Nov. 28 was well on its way toward Point Roberts 12 hours later.
“It’s something I won’t forget,” he said.
“That house has a lot of memories for me – my sister raised her family there. Seeing it rolling past you, on its way to its new future – it was pretty emotional.”