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Looking Back: This is not our first rodeo,

Looking Back: This is not our first rodeo

Looking back article from June 2019

This photograph features the PMHMS building which was the original building of the society on Harris Road. The museum would then move to its Davison Road site, and then to our current site at the General Store.

To quote Percy Blythe Shelley – Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.  This philosophy may prove to be what will get this Museum and Museum Society through the next few years.  In case you have not heard, it is now almost certain the underpass at the CPR tracks in Pitt Meadows is a go from a funding perspective.  What this means for our small Society is that we are effectively on the move again.  “Again,” you say.  Yes, again, or, in modern vernacular, “this is not our first rodeo”.

Here is a short review of Museum and Society moves over the past 30-plus years.  In 1978 a group of Pitt Meadows residents comes together with the idea of collecting objects and archival material from the community’s past and with the intention of finding space to house the material.  Soon after, they moved into a small room in the building we now call the Heritage Hall.  Within two years the group had incorporated and was officially the Pitt Meadows Heritage and Museum Society, and, you guessed it, was on the move again, taking their small collection to a very old house located just to the north of the Hall.  Here, in what was thought to be a fairly permanent home for the Museum, the collection grew and included some of the most historically valuable objects and archival material we have today.  The location proved to be only a 15-year home as the roof eventually collapsed in on the Society and on the collection.  Then, you guessed it, they were on the move again.  The new location, again expected to be a fairly permanent home, was the old John Austring House on Davision Road.  With the collection moved over and some exhibits in place, opening day was July 1st, 1995.  It was at this location the Museum Society got its first funding to hire a Curator, and they did with the new hire (this writer) starting in late November of that year.  And then, yes, you guessed it again, we were on the move once more.  In the fall of 1997, the then District of Pitt Meadows purchased the Old General Store building on Harris Road, asked the Museum Society to be its tenants, and then embarked on an eight-month restoration.  This Society moved in, had its unofficial opening day in the empty building on Pitt Meadows Day in June, and then spent the rest of the summer and early fall moving the ever-expanding collection into the site in time for the official opening in December 1998.  And then it was on to the Hoffmann site, but that is another story for a later column.

At the Museum we are now preparing for a move of our two Museum buildings, both heritage structures, and the now substantial collections contained therein.  We do this neither fearing for the future nor weeping for the past.


Leslie Norman, Curator, Pitt Meadows Museum