Hardy Mountain Doukhobor Village Historic Site

//Hardy Mountain Doukhobor Village Historic Site
Hardy Mountain Doukhobor Village Historic Site 2016-10-26T18:37:12+00:00
On July 16, 2015, The Land Conservancy of BC announced the sale of Hardy Mountain Doukhobor Village to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB). The property remains protected through a heritage designation bylaw previously passed by RDKB and by virtue of its location within the Agricultural Land Reserve, which further restricts the potential for development for other uses. For more information, please read the full news release.

Hardy Mountain Doukhobor Village is a 16.9 acre property containing what remains of the historic Makortoff Doukhobor Village.  Built on a knoll overlooking the junction of the Kettle and Granby River valleys, the village is located one kilometer west of the City of Grand Forks in the central interior of British Columbia.

The main village house was constructed in 1912.  All of the large communal homes built by the Doukhobor people in the Kootenay-Boundary region of BC are based on the same traditional design brought with them to Canada in 1899.  The structure is a two story wood and brick building set on a stone foundation with an attached front and back porch.  Kitchen and dining facilities were found on the main floor, and a series of small bedrooms were located on the second floor.  Crops, orchards and gardens grew most of the food for their vegetarian diet.  Villages were generally self-sufficient, and members spun and wove cloth, made harnesses, furniture, tools, utensils and farm equipment by hand.  Over the years, tough economic times forced the closure and sale of many villages and their associated lands.  Sadly most of the original village sites have vanished.  The few remaining sites are either in disrepair or have been significantly altered for modern living.

Fortunately the Hardy Mountain Doukhobor Village Historic Site is largely intact, and the in-situ communal house is still in an exceptionally good state of repair, the result of many generations of effective maintenance.  Thanks to the vision of Peter Gritchen, who purchased the property in 1971 and opened it as the Mountain View Doukhobor Museum on June 16, 1972, there is a huge and diverse collection of early Doukhobor artefacts and hand-crafted items used for daily living housed therein.  This acreage was also the site of many other village buildings, of which five are still standing.  They too, are full of historic implements and tools that were used by the Doukhobor pioneers to farm the land.

Mr. Gritchen died in 2000.  When his estate put the property up for sale, a collalition of local organizations and concerned citizens worked hard to try and purchase the site.  This coalition approached TLC for assistance and we were able to purchase the property in March, 2004.  The vast collection of artefacts located on the site were purchased by the Boundary Museum Society.  These artifacts will be loaned to The Land Conservancy for display at the site.  TLC holds the building and the site in trust for the people of British Columbia and is presently heading up the restoration program.