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Vancouver's Oldest Building

Hastings Mill Store

“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 tribal 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 “Old 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 and re-opened as a museum in 1931 by the Native Daughters of B.C. Post #1.  Founded in 1919, the non-profit, historical society composed of B.C. born volunteer women, continues to own the building and steward its amazing collection.

© Jacqui Underwood 2009