Courtenay & District Museum

  • Loss of the Lorne Hotel
  • Lecture: "Struggle to Pierce"
  • Anniversary Give Away
  • A Word to the Wise
  • Capes Escape News
  • Comox Valley Naturalists Society Lecture
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • Rotary Auction Prize
  • Museum Sponsors
  • Photo of the Month
  • Museum Funding

  • Phone:



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

    Tuesday to Saturday
    10am to 5pm

    Sunday & Monday

    John Wilson

    Vice President
    Daryl Wright

    Past President
    April Shopland

    Rick Ross
    Jim Haggart
    Ross Dingwall
    Harry Squire

    Elizabeth Braithwaite

    Member of...

    British Columbia Museums Association

    Canadian Museums

    Archives Association of
    British Columbia

    Heritage Society of British Columbia


    Loss of the Lorne Hotel

    CDM 993.390.1

    The burning of the Lorne Hotel marked a significant loss for heritage in the Comox Valley.

    The Town of Comox recognized the hotel with a heritage commemoration in 1991, proclaiming its place as the oldest licensed hotel in British Columbia. Its exact date of construction was a lively source of discussion and the commemorative plaque reads 1878.

    From these early settlement days to the morning of February 28, 2011, the hotel on Comox Avenue served as an important meeting place, family home and historic cornerstone to the downtown core for over 130 years.

    We've gathered together a few images from the archives to share.

    View the Photo Gallery


    Lecture: "Struggle to Pierce" The Ethnographic Eye of Emily Carr

    Chester Lees (actor) as Emily Carr with guest speaker Carol Sheehan.

    Speaker: Carol Sheehan
    When: 7pm, Wednesday, March 30th
    Where: Rotary Gallery, Courtenay Museum
    Admission: $5 Courtenay and District Historical Society Members; $6 general public. Plus HST. Advance tickets recommended.

    Emily Carr once wrote: "Indian Art broadened my seeing, loosened the formal tightness I had learned in England's schools. Its bigness and stark reality baffled my white man's understanding. I was as Canadian-born as the Indian but behind me were Old World heredity and ancestry as well as Canadian environment. The new West called me, but my Old world heredity, the flavour of my upbringing pulled me back. I have been schooled to see outsides only, not struggle to pierce..."

    Continue reading article


    Anniversary Give Away

    Congratulations to Kim Sleno who is our February winner of a copy of The Comox Valley.

    One of the ways we are commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Courtenay and District Historical Society is with a monthly prize draw. All current, paid-up members are automatically entered to win a complimentary copy of the coffee table book The Comox Valley by Paula Wild. The winner will be notified.

    And now you can increase your chances of winning by signing up as a fan to our facebook page! That's right we'll be giving away two (count them two) books each month for the rest of the year. One to a current member and one to a facebook fan.


    A Word to the Wise

    This month's Island K'ómoks word is Ká7gichn.

    "Ká7gichn 'bent over back' - this is the Island Comox name of a former village site in the shallow bay east from Maud Island, where the stream enters from Morte Lake. This site was last occupied in the mid-1800s."

    Once again, thanks to Sliammon Life, Sliammon Lands by Dorothy Kennedy and Randy Bouchard, 1983.


    Interesting Visitors

    This March we have an especially interesting group staying at the Capes Escape vacation rental house. Here is a brief description of who they are and what they will be doing while visiting the Comox Valley.

    Continue reading article


    Comox Valley Naturalists Society Lecture

    "Arctic Naturalist, The Life of J. Dewey Soper"

    Dewey Soper with canoe

    The regular monthly meeting of the Comox Valley Naturalists Society will be held March 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm at the Florence Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton Avenue, Courtenay. The speaker will be author and explorer Anthony Dalton, who will speak on his newest book "Arctic Naturalist, The Life of J. Dewey Soper".

    Continue reading article


    It's All There in Black and White

    We've got news "fresh" from the 1925 Comox District Free Press microfilm - digitally scanned on our machine which is available for public use in the archives.

    Roy Cliffe was the grandson of Sam and Florence Cliffe who purchased the Lorne Hotel in 1883, when their son Lucius (father of Roy) was ten years old. The Cliffe family owned the hotel until c. 1912 when it was sold to Mr. George Barlow.

    Roy Cliffe's boxing accomplishments saw him fighting a total of 64 professional fights, ranking 4th in the world and holding the Canadian Light Heavyweight title for three years.

    In 1928 he took what was to be a two year break from boxing as advised by his doctor "to give his hands time to heal". He spent those two years running the family farm, Maplehurst. He never returned to professional boxing.

    Read this newspaper article from our archives


    Rotary Auction Prize

    Our prize for the Rotary Auction is:

    An evening at The Capes Escape! Your own personal on-site chef from Toto Restaurant will prepare a fabulous 3 course meal for four. Then just relax, and spend the night at the Courtenay Museum's vacation rental. Value $700.

    Click here to take part in the auction


    Museum Sponsors

    Judy and Stan Hagen
    Comox Valley Community Foundation
    Daryl and Evelyn Wright-Francis Jeweller's Ltd.
    The Rotary Club of Courtenay Foundation
    The Robert Hunt Family
    Don and Marie Gordon
    M. Jean McMullan Estate

    Comox Valley Echo
    Marjorie Thorpe
    The Bickle Family
    Lorna Gunn
    John Wilson and Family
    Judy Gurr
    Sue and Ian Leakey
    Ed LaFleur

    Elizabeth Braithwaite
    Jean Hawthorne

    Dove and Mike Hendren
    Ruth Masters
    John and Joan Wilson
    George E. Sprogis
    Gordon Schnare
    Mary Mobley


    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.


    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, Valley Charitable Bingo Society, 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