Welcome to the Quesnel & District Museum and Archives

For information on the Friends of the Museum book sale click here!

The Quesnel Museum

There is always plenty to discover at the Quesnel Museum. Learn the secrets of "Mandy, the Haunted Doll." Listen to the stories of Chinese and First Nations Elders or visit a Sikh temple through interactive video installations. Meet the residents of early twentieth century Quesnel through the remarkable photographs of C.D. Hoy and C.S. Wing. Dress up in the children's activity centre or participate in a scavenger hunt. Click here to view our upcoming special events and programs.

Favourite exhibits include the Titanic, Footprints in Stone, dedicated to local First Nations culture, and vignettes recreating Quesnel's pioneer homes and businesses. From rare Chinese artifacts used during the gold rush era, to ephemera that will evoke childhood memories, the extensive collections are sure to appeal to all ages and interests. Come and see why the Quesnel Museum has been proclaimed one of BC's top 10 community museums.

Special Projects

Restoration of Quesnel’s Cornish Water Wheel

The Cornish waterwheel was erected on Front Street, beside the Fraser River Bridge in 1930 as a memorial to the Pioneer Miners of the Cariboo. Repaired and rebuilt a number of times in the intervening years, when the Friends of the Quesnel Museum commissioned conservator, Carl Schlicting to prepare a conservation plan for all the large industrial artifacts located along the Riverfront Trail in 2014, he concluded that a plan should be developed to rebuild the wheel.  The original metal elements (the axel and crank arm)  were reused and the rebuild incorporated conservation measures to extend the life of the new wood timbers. The project was initiated in 2015 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Cariboo Wagon Road.   

The Quesnel Museum wishes to acknowledge the workmanship of the team from C2000 ( Dave & Angela Lakeman, Rina Hofer and Doug Aspinal) and WestFraser Mills for supplying  suitable air dried Douglas Fir. We gratefully acknowledge all those who contributed financially to this project:

La roue d’eau a été restauré pour célébrer le 150e anniversaire de la complétion du Cariboo Wagon Road en 1865.

Featured Photo of the month

Title: Horse Racing in LeBourdais Park, circa 1920s

Located in the centre of this photograph is Tom Windt. Mr. Windt grew up on his family ranch in Alexandria and at the age of fifteen, he worked with his brothers hauling for the Hudson’s Bay Company with horse teams.

During the 1920s and 1930s, horse races were hosted on a dirt track in what is now known as LeBourdais Park.  A horse race was the principal attraction of the Dominion Day celebrations on July 1. Races also occurred during Labor Day weekend.  A race card from the Labor Day weekend in 1927 provides us an idea of what competitors received as prize money. In the Prince George Stakes, ¼-mile, open, first place received $100.00, second place $20.00, and third place $10.00. In the Ladies’ Saddle Horse, ¼-mile, local, first place received $25.00, second $10.00, and third $5.00. In the Quesnel Derby, ¾-mile, open, first place received $400.00, second $75.00, third $25.00. In the ¾-mile race for the local First Nations, first place received $20.00, second $10.00, and third $5.00.

In the 1950s, the track at LeBourdais Park was used for car races.

Photograph from Alex Windt, P1986.92.1