Welcome to the Quesnel & District Museum and Archives

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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.

Featured Photo of the month

Chaps in Chaps

Quesnel served as a welcomed rest spot on the Cariboo Wagon road and Hugh Gillis and Thomas Brown built the Occidental Hotel in 1865 to cater to the comforts of the weary miners as they made their way to the gold-rich creeks. The hotel was sold in 1907, to Edward Kepner of Seattle, who tore down the old building, and built Quesnel’s first 4-story structure, containing 100 rooms. The new hotel boasted a large, well-appointed dining room complete with bar and billiard table. Unfortunately this beautiful building was consumed in the fire of 1916, and was not rebuilt. This put a financial strain on Edward Kepner and he returned to Seattle.  In 1922, a local businessman, William T. Ewing, bought the lot, and also the defunct Anglican Church boarding school, which was built in 1913 and was located on upper Kinchant Street.  Ewing moved this building down to the Front Street site and in 1925, after much renovation, the hotel re-opened, as the new British American Hotel.  Shortly after opening, Mr. Ewing passed away. A later owner, Percy Elsey, in 1930, renamed it the Quesnel Hotel.  The hotel continues to operate today through numerous owners and some further renovations. In 2014 the current owners renamed it back to The Occidental.

Seen here out front of The Occidental are Scotty Mitchell and Steve Bastin sitting on the railing with (left to right) Alex Nevue, Remmie Henry, Lore Michael, Joe Donnelly, and Alex Shand standing below.

P2010.13.6 donated by Velma Hill care of Tom Moffat