Hastings Mill Store Museum

This is where it all started, where Vancouver began in a two-floor wooden building that sits on a cliff perched above English Bay at the foot of Alma Street on Point Grey. But it wasn’t always there. The rough-sawed cedar plank pioneer store was initially erected on the south shore of Burrard Inlet for British Captain Edward Stamp’s British Columbia and Vancouver Island Spar, Lumber and Sawmill Company, established in 1865.

Its sturdy walls stood for sixty years at the foot of Dunlevy Street, the heart and soul of the logging settlement of Hastings Mill and Granville when timber was king. It was a good place just to get warm around the fire drum, share gossip and pick up supplies like picks and nails, or tonic and tobacco or staples for the winter. Cloves and fenugreek, linseed and caraway made settler food a little easier on the palate, and pioneer wives could find fine cloth for their dresses. There were blankets and tin for potlatches and loggers from the camps would come by boat to pick up mail. Tall ships brought news from the four corners of the earth. A good card game could shutdown the mill!

The store’s first life as a social and service centre lasted some twenty years until the second general store went up and the old store was relegated to storage in 1887. It had seen the best of Vancouver’s early history, when the west was wild, before the railway came. The old mill store, that had been the city’s first post office, library and community centre, and had played a pivotal role in the Great Fire 1886, would sit virtually unnoticed for forty years. But behind a common false front with the ‘new’ store, also rapidly becoming old, it remained a perfect intact relic of Vancouver’s pioneer past, the oldest building in the city.

Hastings Mill Store Museum
Events at the Museum
Our BC Mills Legacy – PDF

Creative Connections

Inside the Museums