The day after a fire on Quilchena avenue sees a fire watch. Photo KDG

The day after a fire on Quilchena avenue sees a fire watch.
Photo KDG

The fire on the 2000 block of Quilchena avenue last week is being made safe by the city as Tuesday saw the building that had been gutted have the removal of its overhead canopy, and a pedestrian barrier secured around the building.

Forty years ago the building housed the Snooker Shack, a pool hall with a cubicle for a barber. Six full sized tables gave the youth a place to be off the street, 10 cents a cue cutthroat was a distraction to many a less wayward youth. A City  Alderman, Leo Heroux cut hair and kept the pulse of the city, in the downtown core.

Two disconnected power lines make a sort of mocking allegory of the loss of two buildings and three businesses. Next to the work BC office which in the time of the Snooker Shack was the Bank of Montreal and across the street from an adjacent Royal Bank the street and block was guarded and fortressed by those stalwarts of enterprise. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce taking up the last lot on the descending trail, across the street and kitty corner to the Historic Coldwater Hotel, whose copper dome was once the hiding place of 300 thousand dollars worth of CPR securities taken by bad guy Billy Miner in 1907, at a Mission BC, train robbery. His engagement: hands up ,seems to call through the ages at the plight of the hundred year old pool hall building, as it limps into those same ages with its scars and memories with it.

The word is that it is not able to be saved and will be torn down however as of today it still stands behind the safety barrier seemingly calling for a last goodbye from anyone with a living memory of its past life’s. With its front canopy removed its like a hats off to old times on the block as it waits its fate behind the squared fence restraining it.

The front view shows the upstairs access to the Masons meeting place boarded off  and a construction debris bin set up to receive its due. A source says that people have been in the building looking at salvage and the possibility of old clear beams that were used in construction in its era. It seems the enviable is around the corner and a new living memory of downtown Merritt is just a few more buildings away.

Today in History: July 10 1913

Death Valley California hits a record high temperature of 134 degrees farenheit (57 o C)the highest temperature ever recorded in the US.