Profiles of Historic Sites

Olde Stove Works (MCA 266-37).
Image courtesy Mission Community Archives.

The Olde Stove Works

33507 Thompson Avenue


Date of Original Construction:
ca. 1923 (possibly older)

Resource Type:

Current Owner/Occupant:
The Olde Stove Works

Site Description:

This is an industrial building, single storey, set back from the road, just south of the CPR tracks. Over the years, it has been used by various companies for fruit and berry processing. Currently the building is mainly white with a green roof and a large sign on top that reads "WOODSTOVES".

Site History:

The building was constructed by Hori Windebank and the oldest records indicate that this occurred in 1923 although the current owners have found indications that the building may be older. The first known occupant was the Pacific Berry Growers.

The building originally only consisted of the current western portion, with the eastern portion and roof height extension being added in 1931. This change may have been made for the Pacific Co-op, who occupied the premises from 1931 to the early 1960's.

Over the years, the building has been owned by various people as it was transferred from Hori Windebank to Norm Thompson in the 1940's, who was the mayor at the time. Owning the building and much of the surrounding properties, he redrew many of the property lines in the flats and changed the path that the building was built on into Thompson Avenue.

The next owner would be Ross Douglas who sold the property to Hans Rummel who would eventually lose the property to the bank in 1986. After this occurred the current owners purchased the building and have operated The Olde Stove Works out of it ever since.

In addition to the change in owners, there have also been many different businesses to use the building with many of them leasing the space. Some of the former businesses include: Snow Plant, Pacific Berry Growers and Pacific Co-op (1960's). Much of the building has very thick walls and doors due to the refrigeration that used to exist in order to house berries and vegetables for the agricultural industry.

The building has a rich history with indications of berries being stored under the building during bumper crops, as signs have been found in the area by the current owner. There are also indications of a "hobo camp" being in existence possibly during the depression, as clothes have been found stored under the building.

The building also has the scale used to weigh cars in the soapbox derby attached to its porch and tales of many women and customers spotting a ghost in the building who is believed by some to be Hori Windebank himself.

People Associated with the Site:

Hori Windebank - Builder and former owner. Hori came to Mission from England in 1889, with his wife Jenny. He was an extraordinary entrepreneur and by 1910, owned a large portion of the city's real estate and many enterprises. He developed most of Mission's early utilities - power and water. (see profile of the Windebank Block)

Ross Douglas - former owner

Kelly Douglas - son of Norm Douglas

Norm Thompson - former owner and mayor of Mission, 1940s

Hans Rummel - former owner (ca 1940's. to 1986)

Ray Walsh - current owner

Marilyn Walsh - current owner, active in many community activities, including the Mission chapter of the Valley Women's Network.

Architectural Features:

The Olde Stove Works building is wide and narrow with a large porch on the front which is undercover. There is an entrance on either side of the porch and the roof of the cover is held up by four wooden pillars at the front which have decorative metal latticing at the top. The building sits on a foundation with six steps leading onto the porch from the parking lot.

A portion of the building is built in balloon style architecture with the majority built from fir and some cedar. The floor shows evidence of some areas being built with higher grade fir which has no knots while other parts of the floor have many knots and are made of a lower grade fir. The entire building is built higher than both the 1898 and 1948 floods which may indicate that it was built with the 1898 flood height in mind. The building sits on foundation with a crawlspace underneath that ranges from four feet high to eleven feet high in some parts. Above the ground floor there is an attic that was added in 1931 with the addition. The deck was built after these additions (date unknown) which sits on pilings that occur every eight feet in all directions each with individual pilings, some are original and some have had to be re-poured.

The current owners are restoring the building, with work on the east, west and north sides estimated for completion by the end of summer, 2009.

Where to get further information:

- Ray and Marilyn Walsh (information provided by oral history April 24, 2009)
- Mission Community Archives: fonds related to persons and businesses mentioned
- Mission Farms & Farmers, Mission Museum, pages
- Virtual Museum of Canada, Community Memories: Mission Farms & Farmers

Last Modified January 30, 2011