Old Hastings Mill Store Museum

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

For many Vancouverites on a visit to Jericho Beach, there is a hidden gem of a museum sitting peacefully at the corner of a park with a view onto the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.

The Old Hastings Mill Store Museum is located at 1575 Alma Street at Point Grey Road. Many people speeding along Point Grey Road tend to veer left to head south on Alma and never know the museum is there.

What makes this 1865 building a true rarity is not just its age, but also the fact it survived The Great Vancouver Fire of 1886, which destroyed 600 to 1000 buildings and apparently left only two buildings standing — one in the east and the Old Mill Store in the west end.

Until 1931, the Old Mill Store stood at the foot of Dulevy Street in the Gastown area. It has served as the first Post Office on Burrard Inlet, the first Library and Community Centre. The Native Daughters of BC (an organization founded in 1919 who accept any BC born women as members) arranged to have the building moved to its present location. The Native Daughters were keen to preserve pioneer history as they noticed the speed of change in Vancouver and the need to preserve its pioneer history.

Jump ahead to present time and you will find this small museum absolutely jammed with artefacts from various points in BC that have been donated and recovered.

Highlights of the museum include:

  • Original full-sized Hansom cab
  • Early logging photos. The one of oxen pulling logs along the place where Thurlow Street now exists is particularly riveting.
  • First Nations basketry and artefacts
  • Antique Dolls
  • Pianos that survived time as well as a trip around Cape Horn

There are so many items to look at, I found when wandering through that when I came back to a display I thought I had already looked at, I found more to grab my eye.

The hours of operation are tight. In summer (June 15 to Sept 15), the museum is open from 1 to 4 PM, Tuesday to Sunday. In the off-season it’s open Saturday and Sunday 1 to 4 PM. Admission is by donation.

My family could not help but snap a lot of pictures. Make sure to check out the gallery to see a sample of the fascinating artefacts in The Old Hastings Mill Store Museum.

For more information, www.hastings-mill-museum.ca.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.