Welcome to the Quesnel & District Museum and Archives

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

Harvesting wheat on the Carson Farm, 1941

Alfred Carson left his homeland of Sweden in 1864 and arrived in the Cariboo in 1872.  After chopping wood and clearing land for others, Carson was able to set up a blacksmith shop on Front Street.  In 1875 the newly constructed Quesnel River Bridge was washed out by high water and Alfred became the ferryman until the bridge was rebuilt.  He met John Boyd of Coldspring House, and later Cottonwood House, through mining ventures and the two became lifelong friends.  He set up a second blacksmith shop on the street that became Carson Avenue and built a residence beside it.  In 1876 John Boyd’s eldest daughter, Mary Ann, came from the States to join the family at Cold Spring. 

Over the next ten years Alfred and Mary Ann grew fond of each other.  In 1886 Alfred became the owner of a farm on the east bank of the Quesnel River and on May 24 he and Mary Ann were married at Cold Spring.  They settled at the farm and raised chickens, pigs, cattle and sheep, and grew vegetables and potatoes as well as grain crops that included wheat, oats and barley.  Between 1888 and 1896 they had four children, two boys and two girls.  Unfortunately, Mary Ann passed away in 1901 at age of 41.  Alfred raised their children and sent the boys to business school in Vancouver in 1905.  However, the boys returned home after one term to help their father on the farm.  In May, 1935 Alfred passed away at the age of 90.  The eldest son, Carl, then became the official farm manager and with his brother Amos continued farming into the 1960s, when they sold the property to a developer.
Amos is on the reaper, left, and Carl on the tractor, right, with Mr. Short looking on.
P2005.8.30 – Janet Carson photo