Gibson House - Penticton, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 29.554 W 119° 35.462
11U E 312371 N 5485440
Quick Description: For nearly a century this impressive residence was home to, first an engineer and surveyor, later a renowned prankster who happened to also be a medical practitioner.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 10/13/2021 3:46:09 PM
Waymark Code: WM154A4
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 0

Long Description:
PIC Built in 1906 for Frank Herbert Latimer, a civil engineer and surveyor, this large Colonial Revival style house was typical of the residences occupied by Penticton's more notable citizens during Penticton's formative years. On a large lot at the southern edge of downtown Penticton, the location was also typical for residences of this type at the time - away from the downtown hustle and bustle, yet near enough for convenience. One of the earliest remaining residences in the City of Penticton, the building retains essentially all of its features and character.

Frank Herbert Latimer was a B.C. Provincial Land Surveyor from circa 1892 to 1930. During this time he produced a great many land surveys, water supply maps, railway surveys, cemetery, building, and orchard plans for various provincial and municipal organizations. His major accomplishments included the surveying and planning of the cities of Penticton ad Summerland. Prior to his work in The Okanagan Latimer had completed surveys for additions in the city of Nelson, BC.

The namesake of the Gibson House, Dr. John J. Gibson, bought the residence, living in it for over 50 years, from 1946 to 2000. The doctor was a prominent physician and civic leader. Loved and revered, the good doctor was renowned for his wicked sense of humour. Dr. John J. Gibson died at Penticton Regional Hospital on Friday, April 2, 1999 at the age of 85.
He was a human spark plug: a cajoler who could bluster, beguile and sweet-talk people into helping the many causes he championed during his lifetime — a lifetime during which he ventured beyond the staid career boundaries of a modern medical doctor.

As Penticton’s original Renaissance man, Dr. John J. Gibson practiced more than medicine. He plunged into various avocations, including game farm president, regional coroner, ski hill developer, amateur historian and artist.

At one time, as part of maintaining and upgrading their skills, doctors were required to present papers at Penticton Regional Hospital. One of the doctors, Hugh Barr, was giving a lecture and soon his colleague, Dr. Bill Wickett, fell asleep — his own lecture notes rolled up in his hand. Gibson, who was a smoker at the time, lit a cigarette and also lit Wickett’s notes.

Another time, asked to find a door prize for a meeting, Gibson went to a builders’ store and brought back just that, a door.

Gibson was born in Keremeos, where he lived until age five when he moved with his family to Penticton in 1919. They settled on a 10-acre orchard that is now the site of the Catholic Church on Main Street. He and his siblings were famous for thwarting one of the first passenger trains coming to Keremeous by plying the rails with a bar of their mother’s lye soap. The soap became slick as grease in the hot Similkameen sun and when the train from Oroville applied its brakes, it slid past the bewildered people on the station platform.

Dr. Don Gray recalls one late evening when a radiologist rushed to retrieve a portable X-ray machine for a patient with a neck injury. Upon arriving at the storage platform, the technician came face-to-neck with a giraffe standing in a truck that had been surreptitiously backed up to the loading dock in order to access the X-ray machine. “And it was all in the dark,” said Gray. “It was all very secretive because I guess he (Gibson) didn’t want people to know he was using the hospital as a veterinary clinic.”
From the Penticton Herald
In 2002 the house opened as a Bed & Breakfast, but appears to be no longer.

Gibson House
PIC Description of Historic Place:
The Gibson House is a Colonial Revival style house, built in 1906 on a prominent corner lot. The house can be identified by its one and one half story colonial gambrel form, Etruscan porch posts, leaded windows, decorative bargeboards, and oriel window. The site includes a stone wall and mature ornamental trees.

Heritage Value:
The Gibson House, one of the oldest surviving houses built in the Penticton townsite, is important as a reflection of early civic development and the evolution of the city to meet the needs of its professional elite.

Built in 1906 for F.H. Latimer, this historic house is valued as an example of the type of high-quality residence which suited its original owner for 40 years, and civic leader Dr. Gibson, a prominent physician who lived here for over 50 years, from 1946 to 2000.

The architecture of the Gibson House is significant to Penticton's heritage because it speaks to social values and wealth that were symbols of prestige for early civic leaders in a bygone era. This is evident in the bold Colonial Revival gambrel-roof style and architectural detailing, including such exterior features as Etruscan porch posts, leaded windows, decorative bargeboards, and an oriel window, as well as intact interior features, such as the cast iron fireplace and fir woodwork.

The original townsite lot on which Gibson House sits demonstrates the early pattern of development - large, high-quality single dwellings on large lots - at the southern edge of the townsite. The intact historical landscape, which contains visible evidence of the original 1906 landscape plan, contributes to the continuity of the streetscape and, as a documented landscape plan, is rare for its period in Penticton.

Character-Defining Elements:
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Gibson House include:
  • the prominent corner location and large landscaped lot
  • the Colonial Revival gambrel-roof form of the house
  • external design features, including Etruscan porch posts, decorative bargeboards, leaded windows, parapet decorations, and an oriel window
  • the original fieldstone wall framing two sides of the property
  • garden layout with original walkways and sugar maples (Acer saccharum)
  • intact interior features in the living and dining rooms and second floor bedrooms, including fir woodwork, iron fireplace with classical motifs, and original doors, windows, and frames
  • the sympathetic modern addition at the rear of the house
  • surviving features of the 1906 landscape plan
  • association with F.H. Latimer seen in the architectural style chosen by the owner
  • association with Dr. Gibson seen in his retention of the original architectural and landscape features
    From Historic Places Canada
Photo goes Here
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

112 Eckhardt Avenue West
Penticton, BC
V2A 2A7

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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