Facebook Links the Station Museum with its Visitors and Community


We’re concerned with history here at the Museum, but we’re also dedicated to being active in our community and providing the best possible service to our visitors. In order to do that, we must make sure we keep up with modern ways of communicating – the telegraph just doesn’t cut it in the 21st century.

Our facebook page is a great way for us to update our visitors and community on what we’re doing here at the Museum. We can share events, photos, and details of what we’re up to day-to-day. We can also keep track of other events going on in our community.

Most importantly, our facebook page gives us the chance to hear back from our “fans” – who range from regular visitors and volunteers to those too far away to visit us – about how we’re doing and what matters to them. We love being able to stay in touch with those who aren’t around all the time, and to branch out to new visitors, volunteers, and community members.

Visit our facebook page and “Like” us to get invitations to our events, information on what’s happening at the Museum, and an opportunity to ask questions or tell us what you think.

Notable Stories Teaser

The Hexapus

Staff at the museum are writing a history book on Port Moody which will be released Fall 2012! It will tell the tale of the city through a large collection of photographs and vibrant stories. Here’s an example of one of the “notable stories” you can read about in the book.

The Hexapus

The Hexapus
On his way home from school one day, Bill Baird, son of the owner of Baird Tugs, “saw something strange”.  Just before reaching his house, he noticed a creature lying in the mud flats, west of where the old wharf used to be located, at Queen Street. The tide was out, and clinging to one of the visible boom sticks planted in the ground was an unidentifiable animal, “the colour of a pair of socks”.  Bill got out his slingshot and, with a friend, shot a couple of rocks over the creature’s head. With every shot the creature’s tentacles splayed out in response, revealing itself as an octopus. The boys, in typical fashion, scrambled for their dinghy, loading as many tools as fast as they could, and rowed out to capture it. On the dock, they measured the octopus at 8 feet, 4 inches long, and noticed two of its tentacles were missing. After making some inquiries, they were told a curious tale.

Log Booms on Burrard Inlet

Several weeks before, and several miles west at a sawmill, “a chap had fallen off the dock” and into the murky water. The man was immediately seized by an octopus and dragged further under. Luckily he had a knife in his belt, and managed to cut off two of the creature’s arms before swimming to safety. The boys knew their catch must be the same octopus, and so strung it up on a clothesline and charged each town resident ten cents to take a look. One man was even brave enough to touch a tentacle, and was rewarded with a struggle, as he had to pry a still deadly suction cup off his hand. After their show was over, Bill Baird and his friend were approached by a group of Japanese families, who paid the boys five dollars for the delicacy.

Look out for this and more when the book is finished! Have your own stories or photos to contribute? Email us at info@portmoodymuseum.org.




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Newspaper Collection is a Wealth of Port Moody History

Port Moody Advance Newspaper

Port Moody Advance Newspaper
Since its earliest days, newspapers have played an important role in chronicling Port Moody’s local history. Last year, many of the museum’s newspapers were sitting in a closet, anxiously waiting to be properly catalogued and put in the museum’s collection. Sorting through the newspapers proved to be a substantial task but that was only the first step. Within these stacks of newspaper was a veritable treasure trove of information waiting to be discovered.

This summer our Collection Assistant, Bronwen Bird took on the task of going through each newspaper and pulling out key words from important stories and entering them into the museum’s database. With this completed, it means that if you wanted to find an article about Port Moody’s first ambulance, the database would show you that the December 20, 1957 edition of The Advance newspaper has an article that may contain the information you seek. Now there are over 1000 newspapers that have searchable terms!

Among these 1000 newspapers are a variety of publications that have covered Port Moody over the years. These include:
Port Moody Gazette – 1883 – 1887
The Advance – 1936 – 1960s.
The Herald (a.k.a. The Coquitlam Herald, The Herald Enterprise, Sunday Herald) – 1960s – 1980s.

Even with all these papers, we did not have copies of all the newspapers that covered Port Moody. Working with the Port Coquitlam Heritage Society and their Community Archives, Bronwen was able to find more information from three of the earliest newspapers: The Coquitlam Star (1911-1915), The Coquitlam Times (1917-1918) and the Coquitlam-Moody News (1925). Using these resources, Bronwen created additional databases for each paper and printed out articles of particular importance.

After nearly a year, the museum’s newspaper collection that was once a mountainous pile in a closet is now a historically valuable force to be reckoned with. All together the papers comprise the history of Port Moody from 1883 to the 1980s with few gaps in between. This collection and Bronwen’s hard work has already proved its worth in the information it has provided in the creation of the history book the Heritage Society is currently working on. Having these databases available to research an aspect of Port Moody’s history will be a valuable asset for years to come.

Museum Staff Take to the Water


To celebrate the last few weeks of the summer students’ jobs, the staff of the Port Moody Station Museum took to the water for a new perspective on Port Moody’s history. Thanks to Jamie and his staff at Rocky Point Kayak, we spent a morning exploring Port Moody from Burrard Inlet.

Laurel and Bronwen practicing on dry land

Setting out from Rocky Point, we started our trip by visiting the seals and their pups on the log booms as we passed the Flavelle Mill.


A mother seal and her pup

We paddled along the south shore until we reached Reed Point Marina, passing the site of the first CPR station in Port Moody along the way. After crossing over to the north shore of the inlet, we paddled past the old Ioco refinery and the Ioco town site – very important parts of Port Moody’s past and present.


Jim working hard while Rebecca stops to take pictures

All along the way we had beautiful views of the mountains and the water, saw plenty of wildlife (seals, herons, cormorants, and even sea lions!), and had a great time paddling, splashing, and laughing.


Matt in his sombrero


Devon paddling like a pro

ELSA Programs at the Station Museum

An ESLA class at the Station Museum

ELSA (English Language Services for Adults) classes have been discovering local heritage and history at the Port Moody Station Museum this summer. Each program has been designed to suit differing levels of English knowledge and understanding.

Our Level 1-2 program, “Daily Life in the Home,” involves the identification of household objects and understanding of how each object relates to a daily activity undertaken in the home, such as laundry, childcare, or entertaining guests. Students get to explore the Museum and begin to get a sense of what Port Moody’s early residents’ lives may have been like.

“Community Services Then and Now” is our Level 2-3 program, which involves students learning what kinds of community services were important to Port Moody residents when the city was brand new. Students participate in a role-playing activity, some as vendors and service providers, and some as consumers. Each interaction requires students to practice vocabulary and skills such as making a purchase, giving or getting information, and conversing in English.

Our Level 3-4 program, “Transportation and Communication,” focuses on Port Moody Station’s role as a communication hub during its life as an operating CPR train station. Using maps, timetables, and advertisements from the past, students can plan a trip to a destination in Canada. Students also participate in a scavenger hunt around the Museum that shows different ways people communicated and traveled through Port Moody Station in the early 20th century.

We are currently seeking funding to create a Level 4/5 program. In the meantime, Level 4/5 classes are welcome to book a tour of the Museum, after which students have a chance to explore it as they fill out a worksheet that requires them to search for written and visual clues.

We can provide pre-visit resources to teachers before their visit to familiarize students with vocabulary they’ll encounter during the program. Programs are all about 90 minutes long, and cost $3.00 per person. To book a program or for more information, visit our website (http://portmoodymuseum.org/programs/home-school/), email info@portmoodymuseum.org, or call us at 604-939-1648.

An ESLA class at the Station Museum