April 08, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Find more information about Richmond - Museums
Hey everyone! How many times have you walked by the Steveston Museum in your life? If you’re like me, I lost count around the 100,000 mark. I went inside today for the first time and was pleasantly surprised! I know, I’m horrible. I’ve lived in Richmond, nay, STEVESTON, my whole life and I’ve never even visited it. Well, that day has come and I’m happy I did. As you know Steveston has got a pretty long and interesting history, and that little building has been around to see most of it!
What the heck is this building and why is it important? Well, first off you need to know that the Steveston Museum is over a hundred years old (built 1905!), and has three distinct chapters to its history. It initially started off as the first bank in all of Steveston, called the Northern Bank. It was later renamed the Crown Bank, and then finally in 1918 became the Steveston branch of the Royal Bank of Canada. (Which at present day has moved directly across the street!)
During the second stage of its life it acted as a day clinic, office, and home for Dr. James M. Campbell who began his practice in the Brighouse area of Richmond in 1958. It was the only medical facility in all of Steveston at this time! He renovated the building, but kept the original bank manager’s office and vault intact. In 1977, he sold the building to the city of Richmond to be preserved as a heritage structure.
The third and current chapter of this building’s history is as a museum and working post office. The City of Richmond bought the building with funds provided by the Neighbourhood Improvement Program and The Steveston Historical Society oversaw its restorations. The museum and post office officially opened in 1979 and became a city designated heritage site in 1989!
It’s a neat little building with several period-decorated rooms, complemented by trinkets and curious items meticulously placed all throughout. You can still see the massive old bank vault doors, and there is information and old photos on Steveston’s history all over the building. It is small and quaint, just like the rest of Steveston; the entire thing wouldn’t take more then fifteen to twenty minutes to check out. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by it!
Next time you’re in Steveston, take a quick stroll inside! It’s free to check out (though they do take donations!) and full of old relics from the past! I was happy I did!