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St. Mary's Catholic Church - Enderby, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 50° 32.225 W 119° 08.449
11U E 348296 N 5600537
Quick Description: This little wood framed Roman Catholic Church has stood behind the present day site of Super Save Gas on the southern outskirts of Enderby for nearly 100 years.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 9/7/2014 4:50:50 PM
Waymark Code: WMME68
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member The_Draglings
Views: 0

Long Description:
Though the town of Enderby doesn't seem to have a Heritage Registry, per se, it has a heritage commission, The Enderby & District Heritage Commission. This commission has designated certain buildings within the district as heritage buildings and has presented these bronze plaques to each one. Not that we found them all by any means, but the only ones we found were affixed to three old churches in Enderby, dating from 1891 to 1918.

The church is just visible in the trees on the west side of Highway 97, almost directly behind the gas station. Civilization has slowly encroached upon it, but it has remained steadfast.

The first Roman Catholic in the Spallumcheen area was built in the early 1890s, on the reserve of the Spallumcheen Band of the Shuswap Nation south of Enderby, which served until it burned to the ground in 1911. The only thing saved was the statue of the Blessed Mother, which is now in this church. (Okanagan Historical Society [OHS])

Its replacement, this St. Mary's Church, was not built until 1918. This time it was built at the southern edge of the town of Enderby instead of on the reserve. The second church was built to serve, not only the Spallumcheen First Nations People, but the Catholic townspeople of Enderby, as well.

Again, we are presented with conflicting dates and facts. The Okanagan Historical Society, in its Fifty Seventh Report, 1993, Pages 83 to 86, states the above, whereas the Enderby & District Heritage Commission plaque at the church states that the first church burned in 1916 and several items were saved. There seems to be agreement, however, on the opening date of this church, 1918. Given that the plaque states that work commenced on construction of a new church in 1916, the year it also states that the old church burned, we tend to put more credence in the facts as stated by the latter.

The church remains in use, holding services at 1:00 PM on Sundays. The late hour is due to the fact that the priest is shared with another church, very likely St. Joseph's in nearby Armstrong.

St. Mary's Catholic Church
Enderby Indian Reserve #2

The original St. Mary's Catholic Church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1916. That church was located near the Splats'in Band Cemetery On Highway 97 south of Enderby. Families living near the church were able to save the bell, altar and some of the statues. In 1916, men from the Splats'in community, along with an Oblate Priest, began to saw trees from the reserve to haul to Armstrong to be milled into lumber. Under the guidance of the Priest, the men used the lumber to build the existing church. The structure was similar to Churches in Europe.

The new St. Mary's Church was completed in 1918. It stands today as a place for community members of Splats'in to gather in prayer, weddings, baptismals, confirmations and funerals.

Enderby & District Heritage Commission
From the plaque at the church

St. Mary's

Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: Parking lot on site.

What Agency placed the marker?: Enderby & District Heritage Commission

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