Agassiz farmscape with Mount Cheam in the background, circa 1900s. (Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society)

HISTORY: Promoting heritage tourism

Museum curator Lindsay Foreman shares what’s going on at the museum this summer

By Lindsay Foreman

The Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society, through its community outreach activities as well as in-person and virtual exhibits, has worked hard over the past 40 years to deliver its mission: where history preserves community.

Our museum and visitor information centre is now open for the season, daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to welcome community members and tourists alike.

We continue to collect both archival and material culture items that document our community’s stories. These items help us to respond to information and research requests about past and present life in the Agassiz-Harrison Valley, and to research and create new exhibits that showcase our unique landscape.

It has been wonderful to interact with many of you over the past few weeks. Thank you for visiting our refreshed visitor information centre and galleries and of course for picking up some of our fresh made jam!

RELATED: Agassiz-Harrison Museum showcases refreshed galleries, exhibits

Over the course of the summer, our staff and volunteers will be working hard to execute a couple of new exhibits that provide a longer term perspective on changes in visitors and transportation to our community. Thank you for your patience as we work through our archives and collection objects to select some different items to tell these stories.

We are also implementing a more interactive approach to our community’s past through the development of both educational and public programs. So stay tuned to our website and social media channels for updates and events this summer, or please feel free to stop by to visit us in person!

Upcoming events include:

  • Summer Community Kick-off Showcase — Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Canada Day at the Museum — Monday, July 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Agassiz-Harrison Museum Annual Community Open House and Agassiz Farms Cycle Tour — Saturday, July 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • One Day Wonder: Archaeology in the Agassiz-Harrison Valley — Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • One Day Wonder: History in Your Backyard — Tuesday Aug. 13 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • One Day Wonder: Old Technology, New Technology — Tuesday, Aug. 20 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Check out pages 7 and 18 of the District of Kent’s Spring and Summer 2019 Community Parks, Recreation & Culture Guide for more details.

The Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society will also be working closely with the District of Kent and Tourism Harrison to promote heritage tourism within our community. This will include researching and sharing the landscape changes that have occurred within the Agassiz-Harrison Valley over the past several hundred years. Our archives are rich with photographs that illustrate the beautiful farmscapes, mountains, rivers and Harrison Lake, for which we are known. We also have maps that document the early development of the town sites, farm and residential locations.

View of Downtown Agassiz’s Pioneer Street, circa 1900. In the centre is the CPR Station “in front” of the Bella Vista Hotel. The Aberdeen Hotel is to the left. (Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society)

In addition, the community newspaper archives, which we also care for, provide us with chronological clues and record the development of our community. In the 1960s and ’70s, The Advance did a business series, showcasing each building, owners, and staff (we have shared some of these photos on our Flashback Friday social media posts). These papers are often the only sources documenting the changes within our community post-WWII. As such, we are looking to you, our community members, to direct us on the heritage topics, buildings, streetscapes and landscapes that should be promoted.

If you have documents or materials that can assist us with this heritage tourism initiative, please contact us at or 604-796-3545.

Lindsay Foreman is the manager and curator at the Agassiz Harrison Museum.

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