(Pitt Meadows Museum) Annie Louise Cook’s wedding dress predates the arrival of the CPR.

Looking Back: Museum Week in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge

‘Exhibits and programs are not all that museums are about.’

Let me start with a reminder that May 18-24 is B.C. Museum week, and for residents of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge area, you have two fabulous facilities you can visit.

The Pitt Meadows Museum is located at 12294 Harris Road in Pitt Meadows. The Maple Ridge Museum is located in Jim Hadgkiss Park.

Here in Pitt Meadows, we are busy prepping for Pitt Meadows Day and the kick-off to our summer season by finishing off our new children’s area and Miss Pitt Meadows Day display. We are also putting the finishing touches on our Slumach’s Gold escape room.

As well, we are working hard to get our children’s anvil area ready at the Hoffmann and Son site, including the mounting of an anvil exhibit panel designed by last year’s summer student, Maddy Martin.

But exhibits and programs are not all that museums are about. We are also the keepers of the history of the areas we represent, and within the walls of this museum are amazing objects, documents, photographs and more that tell so much of the story of the people and groups who have made Pitt Meadows the community it is today.

Some of these items predate the municipality’s incorporation in 1914 and even date to before the arrival of everybody’s favorite talking point – the Canadian Pacific Rail line.

As a museum and society, we are honoured to be the custodians of these items and love giving tours and presentations when we can feature them.

However, for the almost 40 years the society and museum have operated, we have not been the tellers of the history of the longest residents of Pitt Meadows – Katzie First Nation.

It would seem there has always been an interest on the part of both the museum society and Katzie to accomplish this, but never any communication on the subject.

Now, with the help of the culture department at the City of Pitt Meadows, we are beginning the process of this missing area in the exhibits we house.

We won’t have anything in place for Museum Week or for this year’s Pitt Meadows Day, but are aiming for before year’s end.

Support museums and galleries (yes, Pitt Meadows has an art gallery and it is lovely) in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and throughout B.C. by coming out and visiting us during Museum Week.

Leslie Norman is curator of the Pitt Meadows Museum.

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