Local rennovator restoring Harrison float house, expanding docks

Construction is underway as local renovator Dan Clarke and his co-workers bring the historic float house back to its former glory. (Contributed Photo/Dan Clarke)Construction is underway as local renovator Dan Clarke and his co-workers bring the historic float house back to its former glory. (Contributed Photo/Dan Clarke)
The float hosue is currently under renovation and will be turned into a restaurant projected to have a soft opening in July. (Contributed Photo/Dan Clarke)The float hosue is currently under renovation and will be turned into a restaurant projected to have a soft opening in July. (Contributed Photo/Dan Clarke)
The float house, as it once was. Back in the 40s and 50s, under Paul Raake, it was a hub of maritime activity, including tours, fishing expeditions and deliveries. (Contributed Photo/Dan Clarke)The float house, as it once was. Back in the 40s and 50s, under Paul Raake, it was a hub of maritime activity, including tours, fishing expeditions and deliveries. (Contributed Photo/Dan Clarke)

Ambitious, exciting plans are taking shape along Harrison Lake’s waterfront.

Dan Clarke is putting his decades of home-renovation experience to work once more in hopes of breathing new life into the former Rockwell Marina in Harrison Hot Springs.

Clarke is renovating the former home of the Breakwater Restaurant and Marina in hopes of creating a dock-side service restaurant just in time for the dog days of summer. With the restaurant, Clarke also hopes to add between 60 to 80 stalls for marine traffic.

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Clarke said the plan is to have a restaurant on the first floor, serving fresh, casual lunch food. He hopes the second flood will add to Harrison’s nightlife, including mystery nights, dinner and a movie, karaoke nights and more.

“We hope to have the restaurant up and going with the first food out the door by the end of July,” Clarke told The Observer.

Clarke described the restaurant’s future decor as a modern cowboy-pirate hybrid, a nod to the agricultural traditions of Agassiz-Harrison and life on Harrison Lake. He hopes to incorporate elements of the 1940s and 50s as well, harkening back to the heyday of the float house.

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The building at 6069 Rockwell Drive was not always the Breakwater Restaurant. According to research from local historian Veronique Astles, the two-storey float house was once the largest floating structure on the continent and was home to the Raake Boating Services (formerly Harrison Lake Transport, founded by Frank Burns). Run by Paul Raake, the company provided a number of services via the float house, including tours, towing and deliveries to local logging operations.

Rivtow Marina bought Raake’s in 1954 and the float house was towed to shore in the 70s.


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