Walk through a door into Vancouver's past
In 2019, Vancouver's oldest building (c. 1868) had critical repairs and restoration done to the chimney, roof, balcony and guttering system to meet current City Code specifications. It also received a new fire escape, which has just been completed in 2020.
As a museum entirely run by volunteers and dependent on admission and grants, the impact of COVID-19 has been hard felt amidst the ongoing maintenance and operation costs. We have no confirmation of our annual operating grant from the City of Vancouver, which we normally receive in early May, and do not anticipate any financial assistance from the City in the foreseeable future.
The museum is at severe risk of closing down as early as September.
If you have the ability to support the continued preservation of the building, itself an artifact, and the accessible public programming which continues to be planned, it would be greatly appreciated!
UPDATE (July 3, 2020):
90 years later, the Old Hastings Mill Store is saved again!
We have been overwhelmed by the generous support we’ve received from Vancouverites (and even from abroad) these last three weeks! We just want to say a big THANK YOU for helping us save the city’s oldest building!
While the museum is safe from closure, we have three urgent projects, including roof and exterior repairs and painting. Donations will always be greatly appreciated as we work on preserving this heritage building.
Note: Canada Helps will issue tax receipts for online charitable donations (no minimum amount).
“When it’s quiet at the old Hastings Mill store you can hear the past whispering to you…”
On very quiet afternoons when light dances with shadow behind the Art Deco case of Indigenous relics you might sense a presence. Is it a ghost from the Great Vancouver Fire of June 13, 1886?
The story of the Great Fire is just one of many connected to the Old Hastings Mill Store Museum. A huge oxen yoke and early logging photographs remind the visitor of when lumber barons reigned over the land. And there are countless artefacts from the 1836 steamship SS Beaver, “the lifeline of the coast” that met a watery grave off Prospect Point.
The museum’s other unique heritage items include Vancouver’s first city council table, legendary lifeguard Joe Fortes’ oil lamp and an original full-size Hansom cab. There’s also a fine collection of First Nations basketry and carvings along with an eclectic assortment of fascinating curios donated by Vancouverites over the years. Step into Vancouver’s past at the Old Hastings Mill Store Museum.
The iconic “Hastings Mill Store” stood at the foot of Dunlevy Street, east of Gastown for more than 60 years, before it was rescued when Hastings Sawmill was slated for demolition. The Store was barged to its current location on Point Grey in 1930 and re-opened as a museum in 1932 by the Native Daughters of B.C. Post No. 1. Founded in 1919, the non-profit historical society composed of B.C.-born women, all of whom are volunteers, continues to own the building and steward its amazing collection.
© Jacqui Underwood 2009
To learn more about the history of the Old Hastings Mill Store, please visit "Our History".
We acknowledge that the museum is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples – Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.
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