Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Mission Museum is a two-storey wood-frame building with multiple dormers and a full-width, covered front porch. A set of full-width stairs leads up to the porch where there are three pairs of Doric columns. The historic place is located on Second Avenue at the intersection of Welton Street in Mission, British Columbia.
The Mission Museum is valued for its historic and cultural significance.
Erected in 1907, the Mission Museum building is one of the oldest existing buildings in Mission. It was originally placed on First Avenue on land purchased from the town's founder, J.W. Horne. It was purpose-built for a branch of the Canadian Bank of Commerce and was the only chartered bank in Mission from 1907 until after World War I.
The building is valued for being a prefabricated kit building from the B.C. Mills Timber and Trading Company, designed specifically for the Canadian Bank of Commerce by the architectural firm of Darling and Pearson. The company was an influential and innovative manufacturer of prefabricated building systems in Western Canada between 1904 and 1910. The prefabricated building represents an important step in the evolution of wood marketing in British Columbia during the first decade of the twentieth century. This example of their product is significant for being one of a handful remaining in British Columbia. Upstairs, the building included a dining room, two bedrooms and a bathroom, but no kitchen. Having the living quarters in the same building as the bank made it easier for the company to recruit clerks.
It is significant that the building survived through pioneer times to modern times, as its function changed from bank (1907-1947) to library (1947-1972) to museum (1972-present day) in ways that retained its architectural integrity and contributed to its cultural history. Not only was it adapted to different uses, it was also adapted to a new location when it was moved in 1947 from its original site on First Avenue to its current site on Second Avenue.
The building is valued for its strong associations with important people from local history. Associated with this building when it was a bank were K.V. Munro, W.H. Mathewson and James Muir – the first three bank managers from 1907 to 1949. Important people associated with the building when it was the library were Freda Waldro (President of the Canadian Library Association) and Mrs. Houlder, Mission's first librarian. Important people associated with the building when it became the Mission Museum were Tony Taulbut, who donated his extensive collection to initiate a public museum for the community, and Ethel Ogle, the first president of the Mission District Historical Society. Dorothy Crosby was the first Curator and Bill Kells, former president of the Mission District Historical Society, initiated and managed the external restoration of the building in 1992.
The Mission Museum building has strong cultural value for the community. When the bank opened in Mission in 1907, it symbolized permanence. Its design, which can be described as vernacular classical, was consciously chosen in order to convey the idea of security: the design said "bank" and the wooden construction said "west coast bank." The building continued to serve the community after its donation to the municipality, and as it functioned as a library for 25 years. When the library was relocated to new accommodations in 1972, the Mission District Historical Society was registered by a dedicated group of volunteers who had been informally collecting and preserving pieces of Mission's past for years. The municipality leased the building to the Society and Mission's first museum was created. In 1995, the Society received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Heritage Society of British Columbia for the 1992 heritage restoration of the building.
Source: District of Mission Archives and Library
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Mission Museum include its:
- form, massing and scale as evidenced in its footprint, two-storey height, multi-hipped roof and its temple front design
- architectural elements such as the Classical Doric columns, portico, full-width porch stairs, dormers, clapboard siding, decorative brackets, shingled upper storey, vertical battens used to cover the pre-fabricated wooden panel connections underneath, and the decorative roof trim
- interior elements such as original V-groove paneling on walls and ceiling, door frames, spiral wooden staircase with turned spindles, stained-glass window in stairwell
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.967
1947/01/01 to 1972/01/01
1907/01/01 to 1947/01/01
1972/01/01 to 2009/01/01
1992/01/01 to 1992/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Learning and the Arts
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Bank or Stock Exchange
Architect / Designer
Darling and Pearson
B.C. Mills Timber and Trading Company
Location of Supporting Documentation
Source: District of Mission Archives and Library
Cross-Reference to Collection