Tag Archives: BC Tel

Moving House

Most people in Whistler are familiar with the process of moving house, including the packing, repacking, and unpacking.  Just about every person you meet has a story to share about moving to or within Whistler, but not many are able to tell you about the time they moved a house to Whistler.

Last wee, however, we had someone do just that: Len Ritchie visited us at the museum to share his story of moving 278 square metre (3,000 sq/ft) house from Garibaldi to White Gold in 1983.

Ritchie and his (not-yet-at-the-time) wife Patty first came to Whistler in 1975 and later moved to Whistler full-time, buying an empty lot in White Gold.  While driving Highway 99 in the fall of 1983, Len spotted a house on the side of the road with a sign proclaiming “For Sale $16,000 Delivered.”

Len and their dog pose next to the price of the house. Photo courtesy of Len Ritchie.

The unfinished house had originally been built at Garibaldi and the owner had decided to move the structure to a lot in Pinecrest.  Bob Moloughney of Squamish had been hired to move the house, but when the owner’s plans fell through Moloughney was left with the house.  He decided to sell it, including the cost of delivery in the price.

The house was sitting on the side of Highway 99, waiting to be moved. Photo courtesy of Len Ritchie.

Moving the house up the highway required some careful planning and could certainly disrupt traffic.  When Ritchie approached BC Hydro and BC Tel about dropping the lines during the move, he was told it would cost $16,000.  Instead, the decision was made to remove part of the roof from the house, brining it down to a legal height move under the lines, and move that piece separately.

The roof was reattached once the house reached its final resting place, and, according to Len, never leaked. Photo courtesy of Len Ritchie.

On the first day they got the house as far as Function Junction.  Ritchie recalled, “It was dark, and it was a little rainy, and we’re up on top with our poles to go under the lines.  So the logging truck, Valleau trucking, they were the driver, we had walkie-talkies, so he’d get up on the road and we’d get under a line and we’d go, ‘Hold it, hold it,’ and we’d push the line up, ‘OK, go ahead, go ahead,’ and that’s how we worked our way all of the way up the highway.”

The house waiting to cross the Fitzsimmons Creek Bridge into White Gold. Photo courtesy of Len Ritchie.

To get over the Fitzsimmons Creek Bridge, then the only access to White Gold, took more than four hours.  Lindsay Wilson, fire chief, left a truck in White Gold just in case a fire should occur while the house was occupying the bridge.  The house was jacked up using railway ties and the ends of the bridge railing were cut off, allowing the house to clear the bridge by mere centimetres.  After a while, White Gold residents came out to go to work and about their days, only to find that they couldn’t drive out.  Instead, Richie remembers, “If anybody needed to leave, I’d take their hand and bend down and crawl or crouch all the way.”  When the reached the other side, he had taxis waiting for them.

The house moved along the bridge just barely above the height of the railings. Photo courtesy of Len Ritchie.

The last stage of the move was up the hill to Ambassador Crescent.  After one perilous attempt at winching the house up the hill, Art Den Duyf kindly sent over a D6 Cat and a 988 loader to push and pull the house into place.  The top of the roof was then reattached and Ritchie, Patty and helpful friends took the next year and a half to fix the house up.

An excited group on the deck of the house, now on its lot and once again in one piece. Photo courtesy of Len Ritchie.

The house has since been sold a few times, but it is still standing.  In Ritchie’s opinion, the house that he first saw covered in tar paper, is now “a beautiful big house up there today,” and it has quite the story behind it.

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This Week In Photos: April 19

One thing the archives of the Whistler Question proves is that there is always something happening in town, from ski races to performances to the Mountain House Jock Contest.

1978

We’re not sure which race is happening here but this racer is keeping warm on the course.

Jamie T. packing the competitors back up the course for another run.

A reminder to take caution when machines not operating?

One of the two cars that did not make it home up the Lorimer Road hill during the past week.

1980

Technicians at work inside the new BC Telephone Whistler office.

Customer Service Manager David Coath explains the system to Mayor Pat Carleton, while Brian Gilhooley & Rick Hyde listen in.

CHEERS! Vuarnets, beer and sunshine – Bonnie Campbell, Connie Smith, Helen Bartlett, Jan Haldimand, Nigel Woods and Jim Bradley enjoy the sunshine last weekend.

McConkey Cup competitor heads down the course in the ladies division of this fun race on Tuesday, April 15. Full results next week.

1981

It was a skiing Bunny up on Blackcomb Easter Sunday passing out eggs (no, not frozen ones) to mini-skiers.

At the Mountain House Cabaret, the Doc worked his magic once again for Whistlerites for six straight nights. Remember him way back when? Biminis? The Ankor?

Even stacked these should look familiar to anyone who has walked through the Village.

Now you see it – now you don’t. The cornice in Blackcomb Bowl was blasted off on schedule Easter Sunday before it fell of its own accord on some unfortunate skier.

Brand new Adam Smythe, the youngest pass holder on Blackcomb Mountain, shares a look with his mom Debbie.

Debris and ashes are all that remain after the Manson cabin burned to the ground Good Friday. A large flat metal sheet was once a 100-gallon propane tank that exploded and then was flattened after the blast.

1982

Jocks took to the floor Monday night to compete in the Mountain House Jock Contest. Pascal Tiphine took first prize and won a trip to Hawaii.

New Whistler Resident, Ken Wesman.

Whistler Creek’s Penny Wright displays the T-shirt given to her and worn by her staff at a party put on at the Creekhouse by Penny on April 15 for all her helpers.

Brent Harley of the Creekhouse shows the ins and outs of bartending to some of his 18 students as classes wind down in the six-week session.

1983

The Silver Streak cut quite a swath through the crowds on Whistler Mountain Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17. He made himself popular with the after-ski hoards outside the Longhorn by offering cash in exchange for drinking feats. The Longhorn staff say he bought 500 “Kamikazes” (vodka and lime juice shooters) to distribute over the afternoon and evening.

Soloists Tami Casey (the woman at the well) and Bruce Smith (Peter) mourn the death of Christ during the Squamish Youth Chorale’s successful production of the The Day He Wore My Crown stages at Myrtle Philip School Saturday, April 16.

Head flipper Tom McKoy serves up food hot off the grill at the top of Whistler Mountain every fine day at the Ski Inn at the junction of the Orange and Black chairs.

Just try it! This magnificent Bentley was maneuvered into a convenient parking stall in Village Square Sunday, April 17 and since it was a no parking zone, Payless Towing was called to the rescue. The tow truck driver decided it was best not to touch the classy chasis… but the brazen owner did get a ticket.

You put your right foot in… Debbie Gurlach (far right) leads her jazz dance class through a routine Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 at Myrtle Philip School. (L-R) Jan Alsop, Jennifer Marien and Kenny Melamed follow the leader.

Donna Hauschka (left) registers voters for the May 5 election. Debby O’Hanley of Whistler and David and Jimmy Wong of Richmond sign up for their right to vote.

1984

The Bedrock Allstars rocked the Brass Rail last week with their tunes. Keyboard player Bob Muckle and guitarist David Osborne comprise the duet and are based in Vancouver.

Caboose 1836 rolled into Whistler last Tuesday and was promptly lifted off the BC Rail track onto an abandoned sidetrack at the Sabre Trucking yard at Mons. Once refurbished the caboose becomes the new home of the Chamber of Commerce Information Centre. The Chamber purchased the old car at the bargain basement price of $1,500.

Jane Brandon and Eric Wight were the winners this year in the Valley Championship Series held on Blackcomb.

After just eight months managing 76-room Tantalus Lodge, Hugo and Giselle Stam were chosen over 49 other hotels in the US and Canada as Mangers of 1983-84. The award was presented in Bellevue, Washington at an awards banquet April 6. Hotels were judged in five areas: service, congenial staff, cleanliness, hospitality and letters from guests. The secret, say Hugo and Giselle, is teamwork. Having operated their own hotel in Europe for 12 years, and being involved in the hospitality industry for most of their lives, they see hospitality as an attitude, and hotel management as a people-oriented business. And, Giselle adds, without the help of their sons Hugo Jr. and Roger, things would be a lot harder. But before they embark on a summer outdoors tour program a trip to Hawaii is on Giselle and Hugo’s agenda. The trip is part of the Managers award, presented by Marketing Plus Corporation of Bellevue.