The Cariboo Heritage Park Society has been given a three-year lease to establish a heritage park on a seven-acre portion of the city-owned Stampede Park, excluding the Pinchbeck grave site, pictured on the left). Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Cariboo Heritage Park Society gets three-year lease above Stampede Grounds

The seven-acre portion of City-owned Stampede Park, excludes William Pinchbeck’s grave site

The Cariboo Heritage Park Society has received approval for a three-year lease with no site alterations until plans are approved for a seven-acre portion above the city-owned Stampede Park parcel, excluding the Pinchbeck grave site.

With a lease rate of $1 per year, plus a $250 administrative charge for the purpose of developing a heritage park, the society will now be able to pursue funding opportunities, Mayor Walt Cobb said.

Prior to the regular council meeting held Tuesday, March 26, council had an in-camera meeting to receive the final recommendations of an archaeological impact assessment conducted last summer by Sugar Cane Archaeology.

Read more: VIDEO: Pre-settler evidence reviewed as Williams Lake eyes Stampede Grounds for heritage park

“The AIA findings could not be circulated publicly, so were dealt with first,” said Leah Hartley, the city’s director of development services.

At the regular meeting, the lease was brought forth as a late agenda item, and council voted unanimously in favour of the lease being granted.

During a public hearing held in the city hall foyer in February, the society shared its plans which front and centre is to put the historic 153 Mile Store on the site.

“I’m really impressed with the turnout. There’s lots of interest and everybody’s really positive,” said Roger Patenaude during the open house, one of two brothers donating the store and all of its priceless contents to the city.

Read more: Heritage society hopes to secure and lower pit house on Pinchbeck Hill to accommodate historic store

In a previous report to city council, Hartley noted development of the site will require application to the province for a Site Alteration Permit in order to protect the grave site and to incorporate archaeologically significant features and artifacts found during field work.

“The Society will retain services of an archaeologist to work with the design engineer on site development details,” Hartley said.

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William Pinchbeck died in 1893 at the age of 62. He was buried on the hill above the Lower House, on what is now Pinchbeck Park, overlooking the lake and Stampede Grounds. A large headstone was erected, but 100 years later the elements had worn it down so in 1995 the Pinchbeck family restored the gravesite and erected a new headstone, donating the original headstone to the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

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