The Golden and District Historical Society has expressed interest in purchasing the Wixon House and turning it into the Doctors of British Columbia Medical Museum to house artifacts from across the province.
The Wixon House, at 812 9th Street S., was built in 1893 for Golden’s first doctor, and was sold to Arthur Wixon in 1912. It remained in the family until 2007, when Arthur’s daughter Ruth gifted it to the Town of Golden when she passed away at the age of 91. Ruth took care of the building and worked to preserve it because she knew how much it meant to the community.
In 1994, the Town of Golden established a bylaw stating the building is a municipal heritage site, and has upkept the property since then. The bylaw outlines that owners of the property would not be able to alter the structure. It has been open to the public on a number of occasions, and the Golden Historical Society has toured the community through the inside. At one time, the gardens were maintained by the Golden Food Bank Society, which used them to grow food and as a community garden.
In 2013, Town of Golden CAO Jon Wilsgard commented that the Golden Historical Society was interested in the property, but that nothing had been established in stone.
Recently, the Town of Golden has decided to move forward with selling the building, and at the April 2 council meeting, Golden and District Historical Society executive director Colleen Palumbo spoke to council about Golden Historical Society’s interest in the property. The group asked that town council consider selling the property to the society in hopes of converting it into a doctor’s museum, staying true to its original nature.
The Golden Food Bank seems interested in taking over the gardens once again, Palumbo said to council. She also suggested that the outbuildings could potentially be used as a tool lending library.
The Historical Society has spoken with Columbia Basin Trust, who sounded encouraging and gave the group some tips, Palumbo said, adding that Columbia Basin Trust sounded interested in helping the Golden Historical Society on this venture if it wouldn’t be a burden on the work they already do.
Palumbo approached town council asking for some extra time to explore their options for Wixon House over the next two months.
“Wixon House is one of the best preserved heritage properties,” said councillor John Manuel.
On the March 19 town council meeting, the property was deemed surplus to the needs of the Town of Golden, which stated its intent to sell the property to an active market within the next year at a price to be determined.