In 1910 William Kirkland commissioned Ladner architect J.B . Elliot to build him a large Edwardian-style home on the family farm. Construction on what would be named 'Hawthorne Grove' began in that year and was completed in the fall of 1911.
The pioneer Kirkland family was prominent in the political and social life of Delta and resided in the house until the late 1940s. In 1949, Mr. Claire Haynes purchased the home and farmed the 280 acres until the mid-1950s. Then followed a series of house renters and the farm buildings were abandoned.
By 1975, Genstar Corporation had acquired the property and when the last renter left in the early 1980s, only the farm fields were used. Brush, weeds and vandalism soon left their imprint on the site. Genstar applied for a demolition permit and in response to this a small group of volunteers took on the task of restoration. Study indicated that the house was structurally sound and so the Kirkland House Foundation of volunteers was formed in 1992. Vital repairs were first made to the slough bridge and the house roof was replaced. After that, the ongoing work on house, buildings and grounds has been dependent on an increasing number of volunteers.
In 2004, Delta did a no-cost land exchange with Genstar and the whole site now proudly sits in a Delta public park. The Kirkland House Foundation of volunteers is the licensee of the park and all money and donations are poured back into improving the park.
There are so many little things that people can find to do that make up what is here today and what will be here tomorrow. Individuals, groups and organizations help in a variety of ways. There is something here for you too.
The Kirkland House Foundation continues to make great strides in the restoration process and has seen its volunteer numbers swell from a handful in the early years to more than two dozen dedicated individuals eager to ensure this remarkable piece of Canadian history endures.
To date, the grounds have been significantly improved; a beautiful gazebo has been constructed (a picture-perfect location to exchange vows), courtesy of Delta Secondary students; modern, wheelchair-accessible washrooms have been installed for guest use; and restoration of the main floor is fully complete.
In 2012, the Kirkland House Foundation, in conjunction with the Corporation of Delta and hundreds of volunteers, raised the supporting sections of the 112-year-old Harris Barn, a colossal historic structure that will offer additional rental options.
In May 2013, Kirkland House and the Corporation of Delta hosted the Grand Opening of the Harris Barn. Navigate to the photo gallery for exterior and interior images of the completed barn.
Volunteers are key to the progress in the restoration and upkeep of the property and grounds; Kirkland House Foundation appreciates any donations of time, heritage equipment and/or finances that will contribute to the continued success and future prosperity of Kirkland House.
Exciting times lie ahead for Kirkland House:
Restoration is well under way on the upper floors of the magnificent three-storey house—which will ultimately yield additional facilities for guests hosting celebrations and meetings—and improvements on the exterior, main floor and grounds are ongoing.