Fruitvale highlights its history through heritage walk

Fruitvale is encouraging residents and visitors to wander down memory lane with a heritage walk that will capture the village’s history.

Fruitvale is encouraging residents and visitors to wander down memory lane with a heritage walk that will capture the village’s history.

Developing Eastview Park is the start of an overall vision that celebrates the community with an inviting entrance way to the downtown core. Fruitvale’s Heritage Walk Project gained some momentum when Fruitvale secured a $10,000 grant from FortisBC, matched by Area A ($10,000), and a commitment from the company to help put the park together on FortisBC Community Giving Days, April 30.

“Every year, FortisBC provides funding and volunteer hours for a variety of community initiatives that work towards making our communities a brighter place,” explained Amy Bunton, corporate communications advisor. “FortisBC Community Giving Days provide our employees with the opportunity to support the communities in which we work and live.”

Employees will help plant bushes, shrubs and trees, the latter donated from Atco Wood Products. The green space dug up with help from Wayne’s Excavating will run along a newly paved path. The winding walkway will be intercepted by a garden and a lounging area to encourage people to stay awhile and enjoy the view. Any additional expenses will be covered by the village, which in the meantime eagerly awaits plans to jump off the page.

“I think Fruitvale has a lot of heritage here and we want to make sure that that’s documented, and people can stop in and enjoy that part,” said Fruitvale Mayor Patricia Cecchini.

The first phase of the project will see the development of a park in between the railway track and Eastview Street while the second part includes heritage signage that will identify historical buildings and tell the story behind the village facade. Cecchini said there is also a hope of creating a replica of an old train station, which will further encourage pedestrians to take a stroll while learning a little history.

Fruitvale was originally named Beaver Siding in 1893 as a railway stop for the Nelson and Fort Sheppard Railway, which was later acquired by the Great Northern Railroad. In 1906, Fruitvale Limited purchased land on both sides of this stop and changed the name to Fruitvale. It was incorporated on Nov. 4, 1952.