Let's have a picnic at the potato house! Photo: Oliver Berger
Let’s have a picnic at the potato house! Photo: Oliver Berger

The nostalgic Potato House is nestled the heart of downtown Williams Lake, past empty storefronts and bust-more-than-boom businesses these days. Tourists, travellers, historians, and eco-geeks alike travel past this beautiful British Columbian town by the RV load every day.

In every direction travelling into Williams Lake, there are billboards advertising services and shops, but no attractions. The Potato House Society proposes following The City of Victoria’s lead with a charming billboard to encourage people towards our downtown with a destination stop at our historic Potato House.

The Potato House billboard will attract the traveller looking for a personal experience and a place to drop off their compost as well as learn a little about Williams Lake’s colourful past while perhaps eating a picnic lunch under apple trees surrounded by the buzz of honey bees. Once travellers make the decision to stop, their interest will spread to other attractions, shops, and restaurants around the downtown core, benefiting not only the Potato House but our neighbours, too. We are all in this together.

Life's a garden, dig it. Photo: Oliver Berger
Life’s a garden, dig it. Photo: Oliver Berger

We hear it all the time from locals: “I love the Potato House!” Our little secret is getting big; however, it’s time everyone travelling through was in the know.

In collaboration with “This Place Matters,” who assisted us with a previous fundraising project, we are looking for supporters for our heritage destination billboard.

The main billboard will say “Stretch your legs and your heart. Historic Art Deco Potato House 5 minutes ahead.” Smaller directional signs leading toward the site will say things like, “Bring your camera and your compost,” “This way to beautiful bees and historic apple trees,” “Potato House is 5 minutes ahead with easy RV parking,” “Scratch and Sniff Tours for Rover at Historic Potato House,” “ If you visit one historic site in the Cariboo visit Barkerville, if you visit two, stop at the Potato House,” and maybe even, “Potato House smells like Gramma’s Kitchen had a love child with Commercial Drive.”

You can support The Potato House billboard proposal at www.thisplacematters.ca/project/potato-house-project/

The Potato House is hopping with hope for our future with two of Williams Lake’s strongest voices for waste reduction on staff available for consultation or compost coaching—Mary Forbes and Oliver Berger. The Potato House has always been a pioneer in green technology, and is full of excellent examples of re-used materials from days gone by, such as shoes resoled with tire treads and old store signs built into the frame of the house. Instead of making great time on the road, we want to encourage travellers towards our zero waste, self-sufficient, solar powered, award winning heritage house.

We do it all at the Potato House—come learn from us how you can do it, too!


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