Courtenay & District Museum

  • Video: The Elasmosaur Discovery in the Comox Valley
  • Lecture: Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway
  • Easter Celebration Wrap Up
  • On the Track for Happy Anniversaries
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • 100 Year Old Boom
  • Kids Discover!
  • Your Membership Makes A Difference
  • Photo of the Month
  • Before Television
  • Museum Sponsors
  • Museum Funding

  • Phone:



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

    Tuesday to Saturday
    10 am to 5 pm

    John Wilson

    Vice President
    Daryl Wright

    Past President
    April Shopland

    Rick Ross
    Jim Haggart
    Ross Dingwall
    Harry Squire
    Mary Everson

    Elizabeth Braithwaite

    Member of...

    British Columbia Museums Association

    Canadian Museums

    Archives Association of
    British Columbia

    Heritage Society of British Columbia


    Video: The Elasmosaur Discovery in the Comox Valley

    The discovery of the Puntledge elasmosaur in 1988 by Mike Trask led the museum, and community, to opportunities that continue to stretch out internationally in areas of research, interpretation and partnering with fellow institutions such as the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

    Discoveries are still being made today. As part of the museum’s ongoing video creation with Fox and Bee Media, The Elasmosaur Discovery provides an interview with Mike about the discovery itself and a look at the new elasmosaur exhibit. Many thanks to Mike Trask, Dr. Rolf Ludvigsen, the late Dr. Betsy Nicholls, Gilles Danis of Prehistoric Animal Structures and the many volunteers who supported this effort.

    Watch this Video


    Lecture: Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway
    The Canadian Pacific Steam Years, 1905-1949

    Time and Date: 7 pm, Friday, May 10, 2013
    Location: Rotary Gallery of the Courtenay and District Museum
    Speaker: Robert D. Turner
    Tickets: $6 for non-members; $5 for museum members (plus GST). Advance tickets recommended.

    Join Robert (Bob) Turner, a leading authority on transportation history in BC, as he discusses the story of the E&N Railway's CPR steam years.

    During the days of steam power on the railway, the E&N was a distant outpost of the Canadian Pacific Railway's vast system, but it was a profitable one. It hauled logs and coal, fish and paper, strawberries and raspberries, beer and wine, automobiles and oil, and tons and tons of wood.

    Click Here for Details


    Easter Celebration Wrap Up

    Our Easter Celebration at the museum was a fabulous success with over 300 visitors attending! There was a line up for everyone who wanted to make crafts; the most popular craft of the day was the rabbit mask. The mineral egg collection was also a hit.

    We would like to give a huge thank you to the Shamrock Gumboot 4-H Club for bringing a vast array of animals for the petting zoo and to the volunteers who helped us prepare for the day. It was such a wonderful opportunity for all the children to be introduced to friendly farm animals. To top it off there was a visit from the Hot Chocolates Easter bunny who gave out some delicious chocolate samples.


    On the Track for Happy Anniversaries

    CDM 989.204.3
    Courtenay E&N station under construction.

    The Courtenay and District Museum is gearing up for the 100th Anniversary of the E&N Railway coming to Courtenay on August 6, 1914 and to the 100th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the City of Courtenay on January 1, 1915. To start on the right track, we'll be lending a hand to the Courtenay Rotary Club's Trail Along the Rails project by getting information out about their online auction. If you want to find out more about this initiative here's the link.

    In addition, the super curatorial team at the museum has been delving into archival, map and document files to bring more information to the community about the impact of rails in the Comox Valley; whether it be the E&N, hauling logs to Royston or the creation of logging camps, railways have played a major role in development of the valley. This summer, the museum will be presenting an exhibition, From Camps to Communities, which will explore this wonderful history. The photos above is one of the images that will be included in the exhibit.


    It's All There in Black and White

    In this Comox District Free Press article from April 30, 1953 you'll note that some stories just keep coming up!

    Read this newspaper article from our archives

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


    100 Year Old Boom

    From The Cumberland Islander Saturday, April 12, 1913

    "Courtenay is on the boom, active business has commenced and the main street is now lined with building material. The Builders' Supply Company have commenced to erect a large addition to their warehouse. O.H. Fechner, proprietor of the Riverside Hotel, is also doubling the size of his hotel and when completed it will be the most modern house on the north end of the Island. The foundation for C.H. Tarbell's hardware store is nearing completion, with several other buildings in course of erection. The C.P.R. have their road graded into Courtenay."

    Stubbs Collection at CDM

    In the left foreground is the Riverside Hotel during its 1913 renovation. The hotel was built in 1889 or 1890 by John Grant. It was destroyed by fire January 2, 1968. The Fountain Plaza in front of the Sid Williams Theatre now occupies that space.


    Kids Discover!

    The summer programme schedule is up and we are taking bookings already for childrens' programmes for July and August.

    Click Here for Details


    Your Membership Makes A Difference

    Purchasing a membership to the Courtenay and District Museum, now in its 52nd 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


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #p315-131
    Prize baseball team, Comox Valley, 1912

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


    CDM 2002.102.1

    Before Television
    What Happens When We Turn off the Remote

    While not created before the age of television, this model of the Comox Post Office certainly shows a dedication to handcrafting and embellishment.

    The model was made in 2002 by Dave McKay (b. 1930 – d. 2008) of Union Bay. Dave was well known for creating miniature replicas of Comox Valley landmark buildings. His replica of “old Union Bay” is on display in the former Union Bay School building.

    The Comox Post Office pictured here and modeled above, was built in 1913 and torn down in 1958 to be replaced by a modern facility.

    CDM P255-235a


    Museum Sponsors

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

    Comox Valley Echo
    Marjorie Thorpe
    The Bickle Family
    Lorna Gunn
    John Wilson and Family
    Judy Gurr
    Sue and Ian Leakey
    Ed LaFleur
    Ron Moffat
    Paula Moffat
    Comox Valley Monarch Lions Club

    Elizabeth Braithwaite
    Jean Hawthorne


    Lawrence Burns
    Sheila Carvalho
    Perlita Docuria
    Coral Dunn
    Bent Harder
    Dove and Mike Hendren
    Joanne Jacobson
    Inge Krahn
    Phyllis Long
    Ginny Lowrie
    Ruth Masters
    Mary McCaffrey
    Evelyn Martin
    M.E. McKerrow
    Mary Mobley

    D. Mobley
    Richard Monks
    Barb Page
    Bernie Poole
    Alice Potts
    Robin Potts
    Gordon Schnare
    April Shopland
    George E. Sprogis
    Jean & Ian Sibbald
    Chuck & Mary Slemin
    Roberts and Adela Smith
    Donald Taylor
    M & J Tevington


    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