Vancouver's oldest building sits on Alma Street, near picturesque Jericho Beach.
The Old Hastings Mill Store Museum is over 150 years old.
The iconic store stood in Gastown for more than 60 years, before it was saved when Hastings Sawmill was slated for demolition. In 1930 the building was shipped by barge to its current location in Point Grey.
It was re-opened as a museum in 1932 by a historical society composed of B.C.-born women. A volunteer group known as Friends of Old Hastings Mill Store Museum now leases the land from the city and maintains the site's vast collection of artifacts.
The museum’s unique heritage items include one of Vancouver’s first city council tables, lifeguard Joe Fortes’ certificate from the city, and an original full-size hansom cab.
Today, the building is run completely by volunteers while depending on donations and grants. Despite a big fundraising push last year, the museum still desperately needs public funds for further upgrades in order to remain open.
The museum's Lisa Anne Smith says there is always ongoing work.
"There's rot happening around the exterior features and the roof eventually will need replacing. The fire doors need replacing, badly."
Smith details the history of Hastings Mill in a forthcoming book, due in several months, and all proceeds will be donated back to preserving the store.
"I think it's important because it puts us in touch with our past and the more you appreciate your past, the more you can value your present," says Smith.
The museum is currently open on weekends from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with social distancing protocols in place.