Kilby General Store Museum

Feature Type:Provincial Historic Site - Property, whether a site of nature or a work of man, that is of interest for its architectural, historical, cultural, environmental, aesthetic, or scientific value.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: N side Fraser River, just N of mouth of Harrison River, New Westminster Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°14'10''N, 121°57'25''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92H/4

Origin Notes and History:

Kilby Historic Park established by Order in Council #2919, 28 August 1973. Kilby Historic Park cancelled and the property separated into two sites per Orders in Council #1950 and #1946, both 20 October 1988, to be known as Kilby Park (Provincial Park) and Kilby General Store Museum (Provincial Heritage Property).

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

In 1904 Thomas Kilby built a general store here to serve workers from the nearby Rat Portage Sawmill, and workers at Harrison Mills across the river - the largest shingle sawmill in the province. Thomas' son, Acton, took over the business in the 1920's and ran the artifact-filled store until 1976.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"The focal point at Kilby is the magnificent General Store and its collection of products representing the 1920s and 1930s. Kilby Farm had its beginnings in the 1880s. Thomas and Eliza Kilby opened the Kilby General Store in 1906, and their son Acton ran the store and farm from 1922 until 1977. In 1926, automobiles began to appear at Harrison Mills, and the Kilbys installed gravity-fed gas pumps that served travellers till 1977." (January 1999, BC Heritage website)

Source: included with note

Borden number: DhRl-68. A Borden number is a unique identifier code that is assigned to an archaeological or historic site on the basis of its location.

Source: BC Heritage Branch files

Designated Property; OIC 1908; 03 November 1986. Designated Property; OIC 1946; 29 July 1988.

Source: BC Heritage Branch files

The Kilby Store and Farm, located at Harrison Mills at the confluence of the Harrison and Fraser Rivers, is comprised of a general store, a cottage, a tin shed, boardwalks, and an orchard.

Source: BC Heritage Branch files

Established in 1906 by Thomas and Eliza Kilby, Kilby Store and Farm is valued as a historic reminder of the once-thriving community of Harrison Mills. During its heyday (1925-1935), Kilby General Store supplied the Upper Fraser Valley and was the social and commercial nucleus of the community. This site is a valuable representation of a business and homestead owned and operated by one multi-generational family for over seventy years. Evidence of the commercial diversification - which ranged from trade to agriculture - practised by the Kilbys in order to accommodate the needs of the community (and travelers on the nearby rail and rivers) can be seen in such elements of the site as the post office and hotel rooms in the general store building, the orchard which provided fruit for local consumption, and the 1930s tin shed that housed the equipment for the dairy farm, all of which supplemented the Kilbys' general store income. Architecturally, the buildings at Kilby Store and Farm are significant in their forms and designs. The general store is a fine example of a three-storey, false front, wood-frame commercial building. It is significant that the entrance of the store is located on the second storey - it was constructed to be level with the rail bed, ensuring visibility for passengers stopping on the train. The raised height of the store and the Kilbys' cottage - and the raised boardwalks between them - provides a valuable reminder of the need to elevate these structures built on the flood plain. The tin shed at this site is a rare example of a typical metal shed of the 1930s.

Source: BC Heritage Branch files

The character-defining elements of the Kilby Store and Farm include: - the relationship of the site with the Harrison River, the Fraser River, and the CPR main line - the relationship of the site with the dykes that define and protect it in its proximity to the Harrison and Fraser Rivers - the three-storey, wood-frame General Store with its false front fa├žade and second-storey entrance - historic interior furnishings and fittings within the store, including tongue-and-groove wall finishes, wooden floors, ceiling, product shelving and store counters - the general patina inside the buildings of the site, resulting from the years of use by the Kilby family and their patrons - ancillary buildings dating to the time of the Kilbys' occupancy, such as the cottage, the oil shed and the tin shed - the relationship between the general store, the Kilbys' cottage, and the oil shed, and the boardwalks which connect them - the orchard

Source: BC Heritage Branch files

To learn more about Kilby General Store Museum, visit the Canadian Register of Historic Places website: www.historicplaces.ca.

Source: BC Heritage Branch files