Maple Ridge Museum
The museum is open from 10am to 4pm Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is by donation.
Museum staff and volunteers also provide assistance and resources to researchers, care for a large historical and archaeological collection, and have a busy schedule of taking temporary displays out into the community as part of numerous community events.
In 1984, after a decade in a corner of the Maple Ridge Library, the Maple Ridge Museum & Community Archives moved to the former manager’s house for Port Haney Brick and Tile. Situated in Jim Hadgkiss Park overlooking the Fraser River, the museum collects, preserves and shares the material culture and stories of historic Maple Ridge.
Situated in Jim Hadgkiss Park overlooking the Fraser River, the museum collects, preserves and shares the material culture and stories of historic Maple Ridge.
The history of the museum begins with the Maple Ridge Historical Society. In the 1950’s, charter members of the society began a collection of objects, pictures, and documents important to community history. This collection lived in a variety of basements and sheds around town until 1967, when a display area was made available in the public library.
The library display did help to attract more attention and donations to the Historical Society, but it was also exposed and not manned full time, and it was inevitable that losses would occur. These losses sparked a drive to find a home for a museum in Maple Ridge. As an interim measure in 1974, a corner of the library was walled off to provide more security for the collections.
Various venues were examined including the Old Post Office building and St. Andrew’s Heritage Church. Both were finally determined to be unsuited to the task due to small size and lack of storage and office space. When the Haney Brick and Tile buildings first came up for discussion in 1977, they were not immediately considered for a museum but for some re-use by the Parks Department.
What followed was the Battle of the Bypass, when the energies of the Historical Society were directed to stopping the plan for a southern bypass which would cut historic Port Haney in half diagonally. They lost that battle, but in the course of planning the bypass, it was determined that the Brickyard buildings would make an ideal site for a museum. The two buildings had been moved during construction of the bypass and had been re-founded on full-height basements, giving two useful floors for the office building and three for the house. A dedicated letter-writing campaign by the Society and members of the public resulted in an agreement in 1983 that the Municipality would lease the buildings to the Historical Society for $1 per year and that the Society would provide a Museum for the community on a fee for service basis.
In partnership with the Dewdney Alouette Railway Society, the Historical Society took on the renovation of the Manager’s house in late 1983. The Museum was officially opened, with Sheila Nickols cutting the ribbon on BC Day, August 6th, 1984.
In the new location, the Museum continued to be operated entirely by volunteer labour until 1993, when a part-time curator was hired. The first priority was to automate the collection records and create an indexing system to make objects and information easier to find.
The Maple Ridge –Pitt Meadows Arts Council had moved into the brickyard office building in 1989 but eventually moved uptown to the ACT after 13 years in Port Haney. The Museum took over the building in 2002 and moved most of the community archives into that structure.
The museum staff now consists of a full-time Director and a Curator plus an ever-changing array of students, part-time staff and volunteers.
Visit our location and hours page to get directions on where and when to find us.
Haney House Museum
This gracious family home was built on the brow of a hill overlooking the Fraser River by pioneer Thomas Haney for his wife Anne and family. Features of the main floor are a farm kitchen, family portraits and furnishings in the parlour and dining room. Upstairs is a fully furnished master bedroom, little girl’s room, priest’s room and bathroom. The Heritage Walk winds through part of the garden and remnants of the orchard behind Haney House.
Thomas Haney, with the help of Samuel Edge and Daniel Callaghan, built this home for his family in 1883. It was patterned after the Haney family home in Ontario. The Haney family and their descendants occupied the house until 1979 when the last occupants donated the home and property to District of Maple Ridge as a museum of family life. Mary Hawley Isaac, the last Haney descendant to live in the house, was well known for opening her home to tours and visitors, long before she donated the land, building and its contents to the District of Maple Ridge.
Since 1883 the house has undergone surprisingly few changes. Part of the dining area was once used as a woodshed, the upstairs bathroom replaced a bedroom, another bathroom replaced a downstairs pantry and double windows were put into the kitchen and dining rooms. In the early 1900’s, the staircase was also changed from a position of dividing the living room and dining room areas, to the north wall of the dining room.
The balcony of the master bedroom was enclosed at one time to care for a daughter, Birdie Haney, with tuberculosis and remained enclosed until the 1979 restoration. Outside there was, at one time, a long milk room attached to the north side of the kitchen.
In 1979 the house underwent significant structural renovations and a live-in Curator/Caretaker was brought in who lived with the original artifacts and furniture. This arrangement proved to be difficult for both the Curator/Caretaker and the artifacts.
In 1981, the building was opened to the public on a regular basis for tours.
In 1984 the former dairy, known from historic photographs, was rebuilt as a 2 bedroom Caretaker apartment with funding provided by the District, the BC Heritage Trust and the Maple Ridge Historical Society. Significant labour and materials were provided by volunteers.
The gardens underwent restoration in 1993 and 1994 after much research by the Curator/Caretaker. Other plants and flowers, mentioned in archival records, that would have been locally available in the early 1900’s were added to the existing apple orchard, moss and climbing roses.
In 1996, the Curator/Caretaker positions were separated and the curatorial, programming and museum services were taken over by the Maple Ridge Historical Society as part of their fee for service agreement with the District of Maple Ridge to provide museum services to the community.
The caretakers look after the yards and gardens and do repairs while also providing site security.
While both the Maple Ridge Museum and Haney House Museum are located in former homes, unlike the brickyard manager’s house, Haney House still looks like a family home inside. The main floor has the kitchen, living room, and dining room, while upstairs there are bedrooms and bathrooms. Each room tells the story of the Haney family and life in general in Maple Ridge through the eras represented. In addition, stories and artifacts are drawn from the Maple Ridge Museum collections to explore particular themes or show seasonal variation.
Haney House Museum hosts events for Culture Days, Halloween, and Spring Break, as well as programs including murder mystery nights and afternoon tea on the veranda.