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Old Drill Hall - Merritt, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 50° 06.620 W 120° 47.711
10U E 657644 N 5553225
Quick Description: If this brick building looks familiar, it could be because you've seen drill halls built prior to 1920 in other towns. These were all built shortly after the beginning of World War I.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 1/15/2015 9:36:42 PM
Waymark Code: WMN7ZA
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dunbar Loop
Views: 0

Long Description:
Yes, this building was originally built in 1915 as a drill hall. Which regiments or battalions were stationed in Merritt we don't know. The design likely came out of a government office in Victoria or Ottawa as it appears to be a "cookie cutter" building which has at least two twins that we know of, one in Enderby, BC and another in Armstrong, just up the road from Enderby. This building has been designated a City of Merritt Heritage Site. AAMOF, all three drill halls, as well as another similar one in Vernon, BC, have been designated heritage sites by their respective cities.

The Enderby Drill Hall, at least in the exterior design and dimensions, is nearly identical to that of the Merritt Drill Hall while the Armstrong drill hall, though added to in recent years, is essentially a carbon copy of this one in Merritt. Both the Enderby and Armstrong drill halls, AKA Armouries, were built in 1914, a year prior to this one.

We have no information as to when the Elks moved into the building, but we do know that Lodge #441 was instituted on June 21, 1959 and continues as an active lodge today. It is possible that the Elks first used this building in 1970. As late as 1965 there was a Mortar Platoon (Support Company) of the Rocky Mountain Rangers listed as being stationed in Merritt, possibly the inhabitants of this armoury. The platoon was first listed in 1952.

Below is an editorial, taken from the Nicola Valley News, November 26, 1915, courtesy of the UBC archives. It indicates that the armoury was built before the start of the war, contrary to other sources, and that it stood empty as late as November, 1915, unused for any military purpose at that time. Strange!

Article

Elks

Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: Street and parking lot at side of building

What Agency placed the marker?: City of Merritt

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