Munson Mountain - Penticton, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 30.903 W 119° 34.397
11U E 313742 N 5487895
Quick Description: One of the most visited and most photographed spots in Penticton, this is also one of the highest spots in the city.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 11/12/2021 5:32:53 PM
Waymark Code: WM1598C
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 0

Long Description:
PIC Munson Mountain was officially recognized in 2016 as being one of Canada’s Historic Places. Still a source of civic pride, the PENTICTON sign on the west side of Munson Mountain was originally constructed in 1937, revamped, rehabilitated, renovated and reconstructed in later years, today remaining visible from across Okanagan Lake.

As well as being the site of the PENTICTON sign, the top of Munson Mountain affords a glorious view north, up Okanagan Lake as far as Peachland, and south over all of the City of Penticton to Skaha Lake. This is one of the very few places in the world from which one may view the entirety of a city bounded on each end by lakes, as well as both lakes.

Were it not for glacial action in the past, there would not be a Penticton. The area would, instead, be lake bed. The city occupies the entirety of a deposit of glacial till which separates Okanagan Lake from Skaha Lake. As a result Penticton has lakes and beaches at each of its north and south ends, making it one of just two cities in the world situated between two lakes. The other is a Swiss town nestled between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, appropriately named Interlaken.

One may drive partway up Munson Mountain via Munson Mountain Road, then must take a short climb up to the viewing area near the PENTICTON sign. Here, and on a trail leading south down the mountain, are several benches placed such that one may sit and take in the magnificent view at their leisure. At the place where that trail switches back there is a gazebo, placed for scenic lunch and picnic stops. Atop Munson Mountain is doubtless the site of more camera clicking than anywhere else in the Penticton area.

Munson Mountain
Description of Historic Place:
Munson Mountain is a prominent hill located on the North Bench which overlooks the city. It bears large silica and concrete letters spelling out the word "PENTICTON". It is highly visible from Highway 97 and from the Kettle Valley Railway right-of-way on the West Bench, where visitors have historically and currently approached the city from the north.

Heritage Value:
Munson Mountain is valued because its pebble constructed sign is a symbol of civic pride which has been maintained by volunteer groups since its construction in 1937. Literally built by civic boosters to "put Penticton on the map", it was compared to the Hollywood sign. First constructed by members of the Board of Trade, it was improved in 1941 by Jaycees, Board of Trade members, and boy scouts. Between 1972 and 1983 volunteers hauled 44,000 pounds of silica rock to the site. In 1998 concrete was laid down and silica embedded in it.

The mountain is also valued as a prominent geographic feature which stands out from the surrounding benchland and provides a panoramic view of the City. It has long had social significance as a site for local celebrations. The first recorded evidence of this use was on July 1, 1927 when a day of civic activities was capped off with a beacon fire on Munson Mountain.

Character-Defining Elements:
Key elements that define the heritage character of Munson Mountain include:
  • the silica rock from a South Okanagan quarry, embedded in concrete, creating a sign measuring 54.33 feet (16.5m) high and 308.39 feet (93.99m) wide
  • the mountain setting, including the undisturbed hill above the sign and natural vegetation around it
  • the continuity of association with volunteer groups who have maintained the sign
  • association with community celebrations
    From Historic Places Canada
Photo goes Here Photo goes Here
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Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

630 Munson Mountain Road
Penticton, BC
V2A 8S5

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
To log a visit to a Waymark in this category at least one photo of the property, taken by the visitor, must be included with the visit, as well any comments they have concerning either their visit or the site itself. Suggested inclusions are: what you like about the site, its history, any deviations from the description in the heritage listing noted by the visitor, and the overall state of repair of the site.
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