Notch Hill church in Tappen, BC, Canada.
1885-1886, the town of Notch Hill grew as a result of the CPR having the ‘pusher engines’ located there. Notch Hill was known as having the steepest grade in Canada and needed ‘pusher engines’ to assist the trains from Chase in the west and Tappen in the east. Many of the towns’ folk were CPR employees; engineers, oilers, wipers, station agent and section workers. Three of these CPR employees were Mr. William Loftus, Mr. Carl Frederickson and Mr. Joseph Callaghan; volunteers in the construction of Holy Cross Church.
By the 1960’s the CPR built a second and third set of tracks which forced parishioners to walk on the right of way or trespass through farmers’ fields. There was also a marked decline of parishioners throughout the 1960’s and on April 28, 1970 Anne and Carl Frederickson celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in Holy Cross Church. That was the last time the church was used and after this ceremony Holy Cross Church closed its doors.
Gradually, the lightly built wooden church began to deteriorate to the point when finally, by 2012 the bell tower had a significant lean, much of the roof on the eastern side was torn away and the whole building was tilting 16 inches toward the east.
The church began a ‘new life’ in it’s 90th year.
During the initial restoration period from August through December 2012, the building was levelled and is back to a vertical position due to the hard work and consistent efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers. More re-construction will continue throughout 2013.