A thank you our volunteers, a different bridge closure from our past, fun items in our Gift Shop, and much more!
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Courtenay & District Museum

  • Thank You Volunteers!
  • Photo of the Month
  • When the Bridge Closed...
  • Gift Shop News
  • Your Membership and Donations Make A Difference
  • Rabbits in the Garden
  • Stepping into Wilderness
  • Family History Workshops
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • Museum Funding

  • Phone:



    Mailing Address:
    207 Fourth Street,
    Courtenay BC,
    V9N 1G7

    Tuesday – Saturday
    10:00 am to 4:00 pm

    John Wilson

    Vice President
    Daryl Wright

    Past President
    April Shopland

    Rick Ross
    Jim Haggart
    Ross Dingwall
    Mary Everson
    Julie Fortin

    Member of...

    British Columbia Museums Association

    Canadian Museums

    Archives Association of
    British Columbia

    British Columbia Historical Federation

    Comox Museum

    Cumberland Museum

    Comox Air Force Museum

    Filberg Heritage Lodge

    I-Hos Gallery

    HMCS ALBERNI Museum and Memorial

    Nim Nim Interpretive Centre

    Strathcona Wilderness Institute

    Project Watershed

    Sid Williams Theatre

    Comox Valley Art Gallery

    Comox Valley Arts

    We respectfully acknowledge that the museum provides services within the traditional territory of K'ómoks First Nation.

    We respect the diversity of cultures, stories and experiences that form the richness of our regional heritage.


    Thank You Volunteers!

    Volunteer Appreciation Week April 18-24

    What a strange year it has been! We are grateful to our volunteers who continued to support the museum in 2020, sometimes in very creative ways! Their dedication and assistance allowed our organization to weather the unprecedented ups-and-downs of a global pandemic, while continuing to support our community and preserve its stories for future generations. In a historic year that was both unpredictable and (let's face it) frightening, their commitment has been invaluable.

    We're thankful for the talents and hard work people share with us at the Courtenay and District Museum and we look forward to welcoming back our volunteers -- old and new -- in 2021.


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #979.3.32 H.M.S. Egeria in Comox Harbour, 1906

    You can view more photos like this on our website. Click here to visit our holdings.


    When the Bridge Closed...

    CDM 989.69.58 / The third bridge built to cross the Courtenay River. This steel bridge was completed in October 1923.

    Local historian Isabelle Stubbs sometimes reminisced about bridge closures and detours in the "Coffee Cup Chatter" column she wrote for the newspapers.

    Isabelle and family were relatively new to the Valley in 1923 when the bridge crossing the Courtenay River was closed. Folks could either detour miles out of their way over the Condensory Bridge or try a shorter but more labour-intensive route.

    Isabelle recalled that "...a footbridge was built just north of the condemned structure while repairs and a new bridge was completed. During construction, farmers brought milk, eggs and farm produce to the Courtenay Hotel, then used wheelbarrows or carried the containers across the footbridge and up to the creamery.

    The task took time and heavy work, which developed a great thirst that could be quenched by frequent stops at Courtenay Hotel and again at the Riverside [Hotel].

    By summer's end, the farmers were enjoying watching the bridge workers, offering sage advice and forming close friendships with neighbours..."


    Gift Shop News

    Some new inventory with a vintage style is available in store. Items range from lighthouses to sailboats to hanging stars. For a fun spring gift for children, you’ll find old-fashioned wooden pull-string pigs, cows and chickens. Drop in for a visit; we look forward to seeing you!


    Your Membership and Donations Make A Difference

    Purchasing a membership to the Courtenay and District Museum, now in its 60th year, supports heritage preservation in the Comox Valley through special events, lectures, education programmes, research and exhibitions. Your membership benefits these award winning programmes on a year round basis and we appreciate it!

    Becoming a member provides you with discounts in the gift shop and on lectures and an opportunity to support one of the most active regional museums in British Columbia. Thank you for your support.

    Click Here to Join

    Click Here to Make a Donation


    Rabbits in the Garden

    A mountain cottontail or Nuttall's cottontail (Sylvilagus nuttallii)

    The Easter bunny is a familiar symbol of springtime, and you might notice rabbits starting to appear in your backyard, but these animals haven't always lived on Vancouver Island. They may look cute and fluffy but they're an invasive species that can cause a lot of damage -- so how did feral rabbits end up in the Comox Valley?

    Continue Reading


    Stepping into Wilderness

    Here now is an image from the museum's newest book Step into Wilderness – A Pictorial History of Outdoor Exploration in and around the Comox Valley.

    Photo credit: Annie Sutherland was left to raise five children on her own after World War I. She supported her young family through informal nursing, cleaning and cooking, like at this board of trade trek into the mountains. Photo: 2000.119.4. Page 63.

    Quote: "Over the years, the board of trade, today known as the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce, has supported business on all levels, from roads and infrastructure to tourism and economic development. In 1922 alone, Comox Argus clippings reveal that the board of trade’s concerns ranged from dredging the Courtenay River and building a wharf on it to experimental farming, coastal steamships and shipping goods to Victoria, to name just a few." Page 63.

    Click for Larger Image


    Family History Workshops

    Campbell River Genealogy Society is offering two virtual seminars this month. April 17 will be "Ontario Land Records" and April 24 is "Heritage and Canadiana". Make sure to check out their website for details.

    Read More


    It's All There in Black and White

    In honour of Earth Day on April 22, a column by naturalist Jack Hames from the Comox District Free Press of September 27, 1972. In this article, Hames shares some thoughts on birds, bats and bugs as well as man's "earth poisoning policies".

    Read More

    With legacy support from the Bickle Family and the Comox Valley Echo.


    Museum Funding

    The Courtenay and District Historical Society was registered as a nonprofit society in 1961 to preserve and interpret cultural and natural heritage of the Comox Valley. It has functioned as an independent society since that time. Funds are derived from the generous support of the City of Courtenay, British Columbia Arts Council, Comox Valley Regional District, British Columbia Gaming Branch, and from museum generated revenues and donations.

    Proud sponsors of the Courtenay & District Museum:

    The City of Courtenay

    BC Arts Councils

    Regional District Comox-Strathcona

    British Columbia Gaming Commision

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