B.C. Sheep Breeders Building - Kamloops, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 50° 40.533 W 120° 18.973
10U E 689616 N 5617182
In the 1920s sheep herding was very popular in the Kamloops area and this building, built in 1929 by the B.C. Sheep Breeders Association, was the centre of activity for shows, fairs and sales until the 1960s.
Waymark Code: WMMACF
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 08/21/2014
Views: 4

B.C. Sheep Breeders

Description of Historic Place
The B.C. Sheep Breeders Building is located on the south side of Lorne Street, at the east end of downtown Kamloops, and is situated close to a CNR spur line. Displaying a simple industrial vernacular in its form and massing on the exterior with curved façade parapets at the front and rear, the interior features spectacular wood-frame clear-span construction with laminated wood bow trusses.

Heritage Value
The B.C. Sheep Breeders Building is of value to the Kamloops’ community as a testament to the burgeoning and optimistic sheep breeding and wool industry in Kamloops in the 1920s and through its association to the B.C. Sheep Breeders Association. Sheep herding became popular in Kamloops during the First World War. In 1917, the Interior Wool Grower’s Association was formed by D.W. Strachan and William Harrison to initiate a grading system for wool sold to the public, and to ensure continued profits to sheep breeders. During the 1920s, the sheep breeding industry in B.C. was steadily on the rise, with the largest stock of sheep in the Kamloops region, which contained over half of the 200,000 sheep in the province. By 1929 the Interior Wool Grower’s Association’s name was changed to the B.C. Sheep Breeders Association to reflect their broadening range of activities. At the same time, local wool production continued to rise due to stock failures around the world, and plans were underway to construct a warehouse for the production and storage of wool.

This warehouse was built by W.J. Moffatt (1880-1967) a building contractor, for a total cost of $4,080 in the summer of 1929. Moffat also served as mayor of Kamloops from 1928-1931 and 1934-1935. This building served the Association until the 1960s, through a steady decline in the sheep breeding industry starting during the Depression years and subsequent competition with newly introduced synthetic fibres starting in the 1940s. Most of the sheep flocks in Kamloops had disappeared by the late 1960s, by which point the Association had only a small office in the building, renting the rest out to gain additional funds.

In 1979, the building was transferred to the City of Kamloops and since 1992 it has been rented as a costume and prop storage facility by the Western Canadian Theatre Company.

The B.C. Sheep Breeders Building is also valued for its association to the Canadian National Railway. In 1930 a CNR Rail spur line was built at grade to the rear of the building for loading wool and off-loading of sheep into the building. Known as the ‘Wool Spur,’ the rail line was later used by the B.C. Livestock Producer’s Association for loading cattle.

The B.C. Sheep Breeders Building is further valued for its vernacular industrial design as a demonstration building for the public, significant through its contextual association to the Fall Fair that was held just east of the building, and to the annual fall sheep show in Kamloops.

Simple in its design, the B.C. Sheep Breeders Building reflects its functional nature, including the symmetrical floor layout, sliding doors for movement of sheep and material, and clear span design allowing greater flexibility for the interior floor plan. The design also reflects its importance as the showcase building for the BC Sheep Breeders Association. The impressive heavy timber curved bow trusses, posts and laminated ribs enabled a column-free interior, which allowed sheep and wool to be displayed during the popular Kamloops Fall Fairs, usually held in September, and the Annual Sheep and Ram Sales in October.
From the Kamloops Heritage Register
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Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: Street parking

What Agency placed the marker?: City of Kamloops

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