Home / Accueil

Kilby General Store Museum

215 Kilby Road, Harrison Mills, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1988/07/29

Exterior view of Kilby General Store Museum from SE; BC Heritage Branch
Kilby exterior view
Interior view of General Store; BC Heritage Branch
Store interior
No Image

Other Name(s)

Kilby General Store Museum
Kilby Store
Kilby Store and Farm

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/10/21

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Kilby General Store Museum, located at Harrison Mills at the confluence of the Harrison and Fraser Rivers, is comprised of a general store, a cottage, a tin shed, boardwalks, and an orchard.

Heritage Value

Kilby General Store Museum is valued as a historic reminder of the once-thriving community of Harrison Mills, in the District of Kent, British Columbia. The general store was established in 1906 by Thomas and Eliza Kilby. During its heyday (1925-1935), Kilby General Store supplied the Upper Fraser Valley and was the social and commercial nucleus of the community.

This site is a valuable representation of a business and homestead owned and operated by one multi-generational family for over seventy years. Evidence of the commercial diversification - which ranged from trade to agriculture - practised by the Kilbys in order to accommodate the needs of the community (and travelers on the nearby rail and rivers) can be seen in such elements of the site as the post office and hotel rooms in the general store building, the orchard which provided fruit for local consumption, and the 1930s tin shed that housed the equipment for the dairy farm, all of which supplemented the Kilbys' general store income.

Architecturally, the buildings at Kilby General Store Museum are significant in their forms and designs. The general store is a fine example of a three-storey, false front, wood-frame commercial building. It is significant that the entrance of the store is located on the second storey - it was constructed to be level with the rail bed, ensuring visibility for passengers stopping on the train. The raised height of the store and the Kilbys' cottage - and the raised boardwalks between them - provides a valuable reminder of the need to elevate these structures built on the flood plain. The tin shed at this site is a rare example of a typical metal shed of the 1930s.

Source: BC Heritage Branch properties files

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Kilby General Store Museum include:
- the relationship of the site with the Harrison River, the Fraser River, and the CPR main line
- the relationship of the site with the dykes that define and protect it in its proximity to the Harrison and Fraser Rivers
- the three-storey, wood-frame General Store with its false front façade and second-storey entrance
- historic interior furnishings and fittings within the store, including tongue-and-groove wall finishes, wooden floors, ceiling, product shelving and store counters
- the general patina inside the buildings of the site, resulting from the years of use by the Kilby family and their patrons
- ancillary buildings dating to the time of the Kilbys' occupancy, such as the cottage, the oil shed and the tin shed
- the relationship between the general store, the Kilbys' cottage, and the oil shed, and the boardwalks which connect them
- the orchard



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Province of British Columbia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Conservation Act, s.9, s.13(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site (Designated)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Historic or Interpretive Site


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn
Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Food Supply
Farm or Ranch
Post Office

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

BC Heritage Branch properties files

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places