B.C. Interior's historic Miyazaki House target of vandalism

The Miyazaki House, a heritage home turned tourism and community gathering place, had a front railing kicked out and sustained damage to four of the supporting posts for the building.

'There had to be a lot of anger or something involved there,' councillor says

Vandalism at a local landmark in Lillooet has the Miyazaki House Society concerned about security and the cost of repairs. (Melody Thacker)

A landmark building in the small community of Lillooet, B.C., was defaced last weekend.

The Miyazaki House, a heritage home turned tourism and community gathering place, had a front railing kicked out and sustained damage to four of the supporting posts.

"I was just in shock," said Barbara Wiebe, a Lillooet councillor and a member of the board for Miyazaki House.

"I don't know what to feel for the people who did it. There had to be a lot of anger or something involved there."

The railing of the historic Miyazaki House in Lillooet was kicked out by vandals last weekend. (Melody Thacker)

The Miyazaki House was originally built for the Phair family, prominent members of the community in the 1880s. One of the Phair sons brought a doctor named Masajiro Miyazaki to the community in the 1940s. The doctor used the building as his office until the 1980s, when he donated it to the town. 

Today, the building is a non-profit tourist attraction used for community gatherings.

Miyazaki House, originally built in the 1880s, is a tourist attraction and community gathering place for the people of Lillooet, B.C. (Melody Thacker)

In addition to the damage done to the house last weekend, Wiebe said people have been using an old cabin on the property as a "public washroom."  

"That's a hard one to deal with," Wiebe told CBC's Shelley Joyce during an interview on Daybreak Kamloops.  

It's uncertain what the damage will cost the Miyazaki House Society. Wiebe said the building does have insurance, but they aren't sure how they will be able to pay the deductible, even with the outpouring of community support; Lillooet locals are offering up cash donations to help with the damage, and prevention of future destruction.

With files from Daybreak Kamloops