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Nakusp Library and Museum

92 6th Avenue, Nakusp, British Columbia, V0G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/02/23

92-6th Avenue NW; Village of Nakusp
corner view, 2009
92-6th Avenue NW; Village of Nakusp
front view, 1912
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Other Name(s)

Nakusp Library and Museum
Nakusp Public Library/Nakusp and District Museum
Centennial Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1911/01/01 to 1912/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2012/01/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Nakusp Library and Museum is a converted two-room gabled wood-frame schoolhouse with a central entrance and basement. The site includes the 1912 schoolhouse and external museum displays from the paddlewheel era in Nakusp.

Heritage Value

The Nakusp Library and Museum's heritage value lies in the role it has played in the growth and social life of Nakusp as a school, library and municipal office. In 1911 Nakusp was growing rapidly and the one-room school was bursting at the seams. The School Board obtained all the lots in Block 11, and commissioned a two-room school with a basement. In 1957 the school was sold to the Nakusp Centennial Committee. A plebiscite was held to determine future use of the building and it was agreed that it would become a public library. The library opened as a centennial project in 1958 and the building was renamed the Centennial Building. This was a significant step for the community because the library had lacked a permanent home for many years and was closed altogether from 1934 to 1950. Part of the upstairs became the Village office after incorporation in 1964. Meetings, square dances, and other entertainments were held in the building prior to the Village setting up offices there. In 1967 the Nakusp and District Museum was established in the lower level. In 2005 the Village offices moved out and the library expanded into the vacant space.

The building is futher valued for its design, which reflects the provincial role in establishing education standards and assisting communities in meeting their educational needs. The school was a standard two-room schoolhouse as laid out by the Department of Lands and Works. It is a rectangular one-storey wood frame structure with a hipped roof and a central gabled porch. This plan was designed to accommodate two classes of 50 students each. Banks of windows were designed to provide maximum natural light. The plan included a basement for separate boys and girls rooms.

The permanent paddlewheeler exhibits located outside the building are valued for their association with early water transportation and shipbuilding in the Kootenays.

Source: Village of Nakusp Municipal Office, 91-1st Street NW, Nakusp, B.C. V0G 1R0

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Nakusp Library and Museum include its:
-downtown location on the west side of 6th Avenue
-single storey form and massing
-hipped roof
-central gabled porch
-fenestration, including banks of windows for the classrooms
-cladding of lap siding
-external paddlewheeler displays, including the steam whistle and steering wheel of the S.S. Minto and the paddlewheel of the S. S. Revelstoke



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1958/01/01 to 1958/01/01
1967/01/01 to 1967/01/01
1964/01/01 to 1964/01/01
1957/01/01 to 1957/01/01
2005/01/01 to 2005/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation
Governing Canada
Politics and Political Processes
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Peopling the Land
Migration and Immigration
Peopling the Land
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type




Composite School
Town or City Hall

Architect / Designer

Province of BC, Department of Lands and Works


Albert Poole

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Village of Nakusp Municipal Office, 91-1st Street NW, Nakusp, B.C. V0G 1R0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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