Trench Digging…Day 2 – Making serious progress!


Day2 Day2a Day2b Day2c

The McKnight Trench digging is under way…Learn more about LIFE IN THE TRENCHES!


IMG_1270 IMG_1271 IMG_1269

Celebrate Our Aboriginal Heritage – June 21st noon to 4:00 pm – Salmon BBQ

Kwikwetlem First Nation

Kwikwetlem First Nation

Join us Saturday June 21st from noon till 4:00 pm for a wonderful celebration of our Aboriginal Heritage. Kwikwetlem First Nation and the Port Moody Heritage Society are proud to partner for this special event. It is with great respect that we take this National Aboriginal Day to celebrate our First Nation Heritage. We will share a Salmon BBQ and activities that educate and share our History. The event is free and the Salmon BBQ dinner is $11.00 per plate.

Activities include: Salmon ‘run’ game, craft activities and various entertainment through out the day.

Mother’s Day Tea on Board the ‘Venosta’ 1921 Rail Car

Tea with Mom

Tea with Mom

The Port Moody Heritage Society is proud to invite you to our Mother’s Day celebration. Tea on board the ‘Venosta’ rail car is a tradition in Port Moody and this year you may choose from one of 3 reserved seatings: 1:45 to 2:45 or 3:00 to 4:00. (Our 12:30 to 1:30 seating is SOLD OUT-Thank you!)

Treat your Mum and your family to our live entertainment and a relaxing Tea with sweet treats in our finest china!  The cost for this fundraiser is $10.00 per person (cash). You will enjoy a leisurely tour of the Museum, a stroll through the Heritage Garden and time to reminisce. Take time for family Sunday May 11th and celebrate our Mum’s at Port Moody Heritage Society’s Museum!

See you at Port Moody Station Museum!

Sunday May 11th 2014

For reservations please: call, email or stop in:

2734 Murray St. Port Moody, BC.              604-939-1648           

Mark Your Calender, Monday Feb 10th – Family Day…All Aboard!

Join us and create family history moments. Celebrate your ‘Family Day’ by hammering your message in metal and affixing to our railroad tie. Then get started on your ‘family tree’ with the Station template as your guide.

 $10.00 per Family, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Kids at the MuseumKids at the Museum - hammeringKids at the Museum 2

Exciting New Artifact Donations



Most of what visitors see when they come to the Port Moody Station Museum are artifacts donated by generous folks in the community. These donations of objects and archival materials help the Heritage Society preserve Port Moody’s past and share the stories with community members for years to come. Recently the Heritage Society has received some significant donations.

Last month we received an interesting collection of archival materials relating to the Pacific Shingle Mill from the granddaughter of one of the mill’s directors – Melville Fitzgerald Thomson. While we knew of the mill’s existence, we had little information on its years of operation or much else. Thanks to this donation we can put another piece of the puzzle in place. You can find a photo of the mill in our book Tracks in Time: Port Moody’s First 100 Years.

IMG_5138Another significant donation, received last week, was from the daughter of the late Raymond Duey. Ray was a telegrapher for Canadian Pacific and in retirement, an active member of the Morse Telegraph Society. He was a collector of all things related to the telegraph and we are lucky to receive many of the items he collected. This donation will help preserve telegraphy history for a long time and allow us to continue to teach visitors how the telegraph system worked.

Lastly, we received a large donation of archival material from Al and Nellie Sholund. The Sholunds are long time Port Moody residents and Al worked at the Ioco refinery for decades. Both have taken an active interest in preserving Port Moody and Ioco history and Al has served as Port Moody’s historian for many years. The donation included over a dozen boxes of photographs and archival materials. Much of this documents the early history of the Ioco Refinery and town. We look forward to delving into this history more deeply and drawing from this collection in the creation of a new display on Ioco for its centennial in 2014. Also included were some significant pieces of Port Moody history such as a program from the Alderside Regatta, two journals of Guy Flavelle and a Port Moody police badge.

Thank you to all these folks and others who think of us when looking for a new home for old things.

Collection Storage Project Complete

New compact shelving

New compact shelving

The last six months have been a flurry of activity in our basement. With over 22,000 artifacts, the basement can be a crowded place. However, thanks to a Museum Assistance Project grant from Heritage Canada and funding from the City of Port Moody, the Heritage Society has new compact shelving units in half of our storage. Bury Media did a great job installing the movable shelving last March. Then our Collection Assistant, Peter Wallace spent the last four months re-shelving all the artifacts. Now, our storage facilities are the envy of every museum with artifacts safely stored away. The new shelves have also given use more space to continue collecting into the future.

Thanks to many great volunteers for helping to move so many large and heavy artifacts. Thanks also to Williams Moving and Storage for providing storage for our valuables for a few months.


New picture shelving

New office space for donations and research.

Summer Student Updates: Collections Assistant

New Compact Shelving

Compact Shelving

The newly installed compact shelving units at The Port Moody Station Museum have given us the opportunity to reorganise and modernize our collections and records.  However, since their instalment this February, the museum staff has had their work cut out for them.  This is especially true for Peter Wallace, the Museum’s Collections Assistant.  He is working on the instalment and digitization of all our photographs, glassware, and iron tools, which is nearing completion.  The project next on hand for him is photographing and organizing the chairs, trunks, desks and drawers that came back from movable storage last week.  The reorganisation allows us to re-assess each item’s relevance to the heritage of Port Moody, ensuring that the Museum’s exhibits and programmes are the best they can be.

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.

Those Aren’t Dinner Plates

1914 BC Auto License
1914 BC Auto License

This 1914 BC Auto License Plate can be found on display at the museum

British Columbia had been issuing automobile license plates for only ten years when this one had been struck — or in this case, printed.

The car itself had not existed long and they were already driving around on the roads of BC. The first license plates were issued in 1904, although cars had been in BC since 1890. ( The plates have changed since then and so have the cars and roads. The purpose for them remain much the same.

Early ones from 1904 to 1912, while looking very much like smaller versions of modern ones, were made of leather. This 1914 one and the 1913 one were made of heavy metal with a porcelain coating. Latter ones were lithographed flat steel plates. Embossing methods used currently and enamelling processes were not as advanced as they are today. During times of metal shortage like during times of war, only one plate was required per passenger vehicle. At times plates were issued on a yearly basis. At other times — such as the current time — decals or tags allowed plates to be used for longer periods with the tags indicating the current year.

There were a number of issues leading to the start of licensing cars and license plates. Early on there were issues with drivers driving recklessly — that’s really nothing new is it?  Drivers were spooking horses and throwing their riders — that’s a bit different unless you replace “horse” with “bicycle” — and running down pedestrians. The drivers generally got away with it because they could not be easily identified. Cars were more for “sport” than for transportation at the time.

There was a growing resentment towards “automobilists” — as they were called. Governments began regulating them, but owners of these prestige items were reluctant to mark up their shiny, expensive automobiles with painted numbers or tags. The elite car owners did not want their automobiles to look like a common taxi, reducing the car value.

License plates were a way to get around painting numbers directly on the vehicles. Uniform, cleanly, nicely designed plates were a compromise which was come up with eventually as cars became more common. The whole point was to make the owner or driver accountable for their driving.

That is something that hasn’t changed that much in a hundred years or so.1914 BC Auto License – A History of British Columbia License Plates

History of British Columbia License Plates

Archive: British Columbia Porcelain License Plates

A License Plate Collector’s Perspective – The Plate Hut

40 Years of Porcelain License Plates