The old Hastings Mill store was one of the only buildings in Vancouver at the time to survive the Great Fire of 1886 and it now resides near Jericho Beach in Kitsilano.
The store carried the staples of the day when it opened in the 1860s; tabacco, pipes, overalls, men’s suits, vests and flannel underwear 1. In the 1920s the old mill was slated for demolition however the Native Daughters of British Columbia, Post No. 1 wanted to save the store. They campaigned to raise $10,000 to keep the store and were successful. Thanks to their efforts, Hastings Mill Store is a museum for us all to explore today.
On July 29, 1930 the store was moved from Dunlevy Street by barge across the water to where it sits today, in what is now Hastings Mill Park (or Pioneer Park). The store, now a museum, spent 60 years in its old location on Dunlevy as Vancouver was built up around it.
Some notable store managers include:
Edward Stamp (as in Stamp’s Landing) was a sawmill operator. In 1865, he opened BC and Vancouver Island Spar, Lumber and Sawmill (known as Hastings Mill) on Burrard Inlet, destined to be the city’s largest industrial complex.2
Richard Henry Alexander was a Hastings Mill storekeeper who worked also as a mill accountant and later manager in 1870. On the death of Captain James Raymur in the last 1880s, he took over the store.3
The Hastings Mill Museum is located at 1575 Alma Road (at Point Grey Road). Hours (according to FindFamilyFun) are June 15 to September 15: Tuesday to Sunday 11:00am – 4:00pm; September 16 to June 14: Saturday and Sunday only, 1:00pm – 4:00pm.
Stop by the museum on your way to the beach this summer to learn about Vancouver’s early days and the history of Vancouver’s oldest building.