A 1967 centennial project to build a museum led to the White Rock Local Council of Women starting a collection of historical objects.
In 1976, the City established the White Rock Museum & Archives in the ticket office of the former Burlington Northern Railway Station. The holdings grew steadily and after the acquisition of a private collection from Irene Maccaud-Nelson, in 1979, the City leased two floors of the former White Rock Post Office for the Museum and Archives. In 1984, they expanded to three floors.
The White Rock Museum & Archives Society was formed in 1983. The City supported the Museum with a small annual grant. In 1988, when the Post Office was sold by the federal government, the collection was placed in storage until a new facility could be found.
In 1991, the City renovated the former Burlington Northern Station and turned it over to the Museum and Archives. The collection was brought out of storage, a shop was established and in July 1992, the Museum opened its first major exhibit. The White Rock Museum & Archives Society became a registered non-profit organization in 1993. The Society maintains an operating board that oversees the general function of the Museum and Archives.
Built by the Great Northern Railway in 1912, and opened on January 1, 1913, the Station has always been a significant building in White Rock and was designated a heritage site on April 9, 1979.
The White Rock Station is larger than most stations constructed in comparably sized communities along the rail system. This was to accommodate Customs and Immigration staff. The "lock up", complete with barred windows, was situated at the east end of the building. The rail portion, at the west end, contained a baggage room, waiting room, ticket office and washrooms. Services such as mail and telegraph gave these buildings both social and commercial importance.
Passenger train service was discontinued to White Rock in 1975. At that time, the Station was vacated by railway staff and donated to the City of White Rock. The building was shared by the Chamber of Commerce, the Museum & Archives and the Community Arts Council until 1979. In 1979, the Community Arts Council took over the entire building. When the Community Arts Council moved to new quarters in 1990, the Museum and Archives returned.
Today, the Museum takes advantage of its historic location to interpret and exhibit local history and culture based on four themes:
Read "Theories abound on white rock's origin", Peace Arch News, April 9, 2010 (418 KB)
Also, please refer to a more complete description on the "Legend of the White Rock".
In addition to our permanent exhibit, we feature revolving exhibits throughout the year that are sure to both educate and entertain.