Pitt Meadows General Store
Pitt Meadows General Store and Post Office
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Pitt Meadows General Store and Post Office is a two-storey Foursquare house, altered on the ground floor to accommodate a store, with later shed roof additions on three sides. Located on the east side of Harris Road, the historic commercial centre of the District of Pitt Meadows, this building is adjacent to a grouping of Pitt Meadows' most significant heritage sites.
The heritage value of the Pitt Meadows General Store and Post Office is associated with the earliest development of the original town centre of Pitt Meadows. This building is a landmark component of the Harris Road historic grouping, dating from the time when Pitt Meadows was developing rapidly as an agricultural town and Harris Road was its commercial, administrative and community centre. This location was close to the Canadian Pacific Railway, enabling the store to receive imported goods for resale.
The building is historically significant as Pitt Meadows' first General Store and Post Office, and its growth and development mirrors that of the community. The post office was located in the wing on the south side of the building. The Struthers family took over the business in 1921 and the building was used as a general store up until 1931, when they built a larger new store just to the south. This building remained a residence for some members of the family, and a storage facility for the new store. The Post Office continued to operate out of the building, with William Struthers as Post Master until 1944, when Robert Thorburn became the new Post Master and set up in a separate building at the corner of McMyn and Harris Roads.
Additionally, the Pitt Meadows General Store and Post Office is significant for its architectural evolution, from a two-storey Foursquare house to a general store and residence. In 1908, the partially constructed building was moved on log rollers from Herring Road to its present site, using a team of horses. The building evolved through utilitarian additions necessitated by the growth of the business. It has retained many exterior features that demonstrate its evolution, such as the recessed entrance and plate glass storefront windows from the 1908 conversion. Much of the interior spatial configuration has remained intact, including many interior finishes.
Additionally, the site is now valued for its interpretive and educational value as an integral part of the Pitt Meadows Museum and Archives, and demonstrates the value that the District of Pitt Meadows places on its heritage. From the mid 1990s the building remained unoccupied and in disrepair until the District of Pitt Meadows purchased the property in late in 1997, and undertook its restoration. In June 1998, the Pitt Meadows Heritage and Museum Society moved in and the building became the home of the Pitt Meadows Museum and Archives.
Source: Department of Development Services, District of Pitt Meadows
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Pitt Meadows General Store and Post Office include its:
- location on Harris Road, adjacent to the CPR right-of-way
- relationship with the historic Hoffmann and Son Shop and House, which is located across Harris Road
- form, scale and massing, as expressed by its two-storey height and regular Foursquare plan with a rear two-storey addition and one-storey side extensions
- hipped roof with cedar shingles and shed roof extensions
- wood-frame construction with bevelled wooden siding and concrete foundation
- additional architectural details, such as recessed front entrance with double doors and plate glass windows, cantilevered canopy over entry, and internal red-brick chimney
- fenestration with double-hung 2-over-2 and 6-over-6 wooden sash windows, some with upper sash horns, and double-hung 1-over-1 wooden sash in the rear extension
- interior configuration with ground floor retail space, residential rooms to south side and upstairs, and kitchen at rear
- interior features, including wooden interior elements such as wainscoting, tongue-and-groove cladding and floors, and fireplace with glazed tile chimneypiece
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.967
1997/01/01 to 1998/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
- Post Office
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Development Services, District of Pitt Meadows
Cross-Reference to Collection