The theme for Heritage Week in 2016 in British Columbia (February 15 to 21) is Distinctive Destinations: Experience Historic Places. This article, submitted by the Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society is about the CPR Station which became The Agassiz Harrison Museum and Tourism Center.
The Agassiz Harrison Museum is housed in an original Canadian Pacific Railway station built in 1893.
The building was once a fully operating station which also housed the living quarters for the station master and his family.
In the early part of the 20th century, Agassiz was a major collection point for milk, with the raw milk from area farmers brought to the station to be shipped into Vancouver.
The Agassiz station also handled mail and passenger service.
The Hop Harvest started in August each year and went to early October requiring about 1,000 pickers brought to the Agassiz station.
The Agassiz station was a busy place for several decades.
There was even a train called The Agassiz which ran to and from Vancouver to the Agassiz station bringing tourists out and taking farm produce back in.
The Agassiz station also became important as a wood station for the CPR, a meal stop for passengers and also it was the closet station to Harrison Hot Springs.
The 1893 station replaced an earlier more modest building that was erected in 1886; a year after the last spike of the CPR was driven.
In the 1970s, stationmasters were phased out and the CPR eventually discontinued the use of stations.
The building was then purchased by the Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society for $1.00.
Since then it has become a busy place once again and has brought joy to visitors and community members of all ages.
The Museum records both local and CPR history.
The waiting room also features the history of the Agassiz family.
The main gallery was originally the freight shed where local fruit, vegetables, freight and animals waited to be carried out to a waiting train.
The upstairs of the Museum where the station masters living quarters were is now our office space.
As of March 1, 2011 the Museum also became the local destination for Tourism, giving out information on local attractions, accommodations and dining.
We are proud of our heritage. From the early years to the present we are happy that we have maintained the CPR Station/Museum to stay a distinctive destination in our community.