Who is the Pitt Meadows Museum?

The “Fresh from the Block: Inside a Pitt Meadows Dairy Barn” is the newest exhibit at the Pitt Meadows Museum and opened to the public on Pitt Meadows day in June. The barn is build with material salvaged from the Park dairy barn that was demolished in 2010.

The Pitt Meadows Museum will now be an occasional contributor to the Looking Back column.  With that in mind, its first submission answers: “Who is the Pitt Meadows Museum?”

The Pitt Meadows Museum is governed by the Pitt Meadows Heritage and Museum Society, a non-profit and registered charity, and is charged with the mission of preserving the history of Pitt Meadows and encouraging residents of and visitors to the community to develop an interest in the history of the area.

We do this through the collection and preservation of objects and archival material that relate and through the exhibition and interpretation of the material at the two museum sites and through outreach exhibits and programs.

Like its sister museum in Maple Ridge, the Pitt Meadows Museum operates under an annual fee for service agreement with the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Parks and Leisure Services Commission.

Additional operating funds come via cash and in kind donations from groups, individuals and business.

In addition, the Government of Canada supplies summer operating funds in the form of grants for student workers.

In 1978, a small group of Pitt Meadows residents began meeting as a museum committee.

On  Oct. 24, 1979 they applied for society status and the incorporation was granted in early 1980.

Registered Charity status was obtained about five years later.

The museum itself has had three locations: a small house near the Heritage Hall on Harris Road up until 1995; a larger house on Davison Road until 1998; and its present location in the Old General Store (1886c.) building since June 1998.

The museum’s second site, the Hoffmann & Son machine shop (1936) building, was donated to the museum society in 1999.

The two buildings sit opposite each other on Harris Road just south of the CPR tracks.

Both the museum buildings have heritage designation and both buildings are maintained with funding from the parks and leisure services commission, while capital dollars to restore the buildings and prepare them for public occupancy were provided by the district (now city) of Pitt Meadows.

While the exterior of the museum shows the wear and tear of thousands of vehicles per day on Harris Road, walk through the doors and you will find a warm and welcoming environment with exhibits that both educate and entertain.

It has hands-on objects that range from old fashioned toys to the chore of “wash day,” a community archives and reference library, and Sunday and summer programs for children and families.

Feel free to walk through our doors and pay us a visit, and, if interested, think about joining our group and spending some time assisting us with our mission.

Museum Sundays start up again on Oct. 9th and continue throughout the winter.

Watch the coming events section of the paper for times and program details.

The “Museum after Dark” Halloween program runs on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2-7 p.m. with family activities and fun – come in costume and receive a treat.

• For more information about the Pitt Meadows Museum, visit pittmeadowsmuseum.com.

For more information about our hours, programs and volunteer opportunities email us at pittmeadowsmuseum@telus.net.

 

Leslie Norman is curator at Pitt Meadows Museum.

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