sod roof cabin

The historic sod-roofed cabin in Trout Creek was built for the Thomas Ellis Ranch.

A fresh effort is underway to relocate a piece of South Okanagan history that’s currently wasting away in a Trout Creek orchard.

Summerland council heard Monday from the Okanagan Historical Society about a plan to move the sod-roof cabin from its 130-year-old home on Landry Crescent to a piece of public property elsewhere in the community.

“Relocating the cabin is a time-sensitive matter. The structure is located in an orchard that is being replanted. Soon, it will be difficult to access the building,” the society noted in material prepared for council.

In addition to the relocation, the society also asked for council to come up with approximately $15,000 to build a temporary structure over the cabin to keep it safe from the elements for the time being.

Council directed staff to meet with the society to discuss its requests.

“There have been no cost estimates developed for relocating, restoring or maintaining the structure – this will be part of the discussion with the heritage group,” chief administrative officer Anthony Haddad said in an email after the meeting.

He hopes to have a report ready for council’s next meeting, Dec. 9, to present options for the cabin.

The cabin is believed to have been built between 1886 and 1888 by cattlemen for the Thomas Ellis Ranch.

Ellis was an Okanagan cattle baron and rancher of historical note.

The cabin's prominent location in a field adjacent to Highway 97 makes it a highly visible point of interest valued by local residents and a subject of curiously to thousands of tourists each year.