History of the Museum

Shawnigan Village Then & Now

About The Shawnigan Lake Historical Society Museum

Shawnigan Lake Historical Society

The first meeting of the newly registered Shawnigan Lake Historical Society was held February 16, 1977.  One initiative for the Society was to take over the sale of Shawnigan’s history book, Green Branches and Fallen Leaves (6th printing in 2009) another, to provide a home for the collection of memorabilia that had been preserved by the local trustees of the village-owned library - in other words, to establish a museum.

In 1983, the old Firehall (c1950) became the new home of the Shawnigan Lake Museum.  For six years, the Society was without a permanent base. Volunteers collected artifacts and archival material; registrars and curators documented and catalogued the items. The Society held open houses; arranged interesting and informative speakers; sent representatives to seminars and conventions; interviewed and recorded old-timers; arranged field trips; and paid visits to local schools. Time well spent they were learning how to run a museum. In 1983, the preparation was put to good use when a suitable space became available in the village. 

The collection has grown; the building has been modified; and many dedicated volunteers have come and gone. The original purpose is still the same: to preserve and celebrate the history of Shawnigan Lake; and to provide a permanent repository for information, records and objects of historical and cultural value associated with the area. A local museum is a resource for the benefit of both the community, and visitors. On behalf of the community, we continue to receive a steady stream of donations of artifacts, written material and photos. With these generous donations, the story of Shawnigan Lake continues to develop.

Shawnigan Fire Hall 1966

The old Firehall  became the new home of the Shawnigan Lake Historical Society Museum .  

If you are interested in the history and development of Shawnigan Lake, or like many of us have forged a strong bond with the area, the museum offers an intimate look at its interesting and surprising past.

You can see an elaborate light fixture that once hung in the lobby of the Strathcona Hotel (c 1900); hear the unique sound of a gramophone; tap out a message on the telegraph keys; learn about the early settlers, and enjoy the ambience of an old-time theatre while watching slideshows. The displays, which strive to highlight the social, industrial and recreational aspects of the area, continue to evolve and change. We invite the community and visitors to enjoy the museum and, bring your friends and family.

Don’t underestimate the size of the museum building. A common observation from visitors it is much bigger inside than it looks from the outside! We will surprise you.

A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark. 
Dante Alighieri

The Museum Board

                       Our Dedicated Board - 2015

What to Find at the Museum

Contact The Museum 
Provided by The Shawnigan Lake Historical Society

The Shawnigan Lake Museum
1775 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road , Shawnigan Lake, BC Canada V0R 2W0
Phone: 250-743-8675
Email: info@shawniganlakemuseum.com