School Tour at the Museum

If you would like to come for a tour with your class, please contact us to arrange a time to come in. We will make sure we have enough staff and volunteers on site to accommodate your students. We charge $5 per student with teachers and parent drivers free.  We discourage very young siblings as there are hazards for small children but if they must attend, we ask that parents keep at least one hand on them at all times.

There are many different aspects to focus on when taking a tour of the Museum. Depending on the grade and subject level of your students, we will adjust the level of the material to best suit your students’ needs.

The main tour looks at the following important aspects, but again, will be slightly different depending on our audience and their needs.

  • Maple Ridge was created out of eight smaller communities. In 1874, Maple Ridge was incorporated as a district when these communities realized that they’d be further ahead to pool their resources for road-building and public health purposes. Only those who are familiar with the history of Maple Ridge, or those who have lived in one of the communities for some time, refer to those separate communities today. They are the Ridge, Port Haney, Hammond, Albion, Whonnock, Ruskin, Webster’s Corners, and Yennadon.
  • The history of the settlement pattern with references to the Fraser River and the railroad. We also discuss the many communities along the river and the work available during these early times, such as brick work, logging, and farming. We discuss many ways that people made a living in this area, and the fact that almost every man in early Maple Ridge did some logging, no matter what their intended occupation was.
  • Technology and how it affected the way in which things were done. In one room alone, there are approximately eight different examples of how technology influenced lifestyles and work.
  • The telephone exchange, which served up to 125 subscribers in the Hammond area, used three digit numbers. When they had more numbers than this, they had to add another exchange. We allow students to try the exchange and see the working parts inside as it makes a call to our second phone. Once connected, they are usually impressed with the clarity.
  • Household appliances, which are pre-electricity and show how much work had to go into household chores. Butter churns, for example, allowed milk products to be handled and processed fresh in a time with little cold storage available.
  • The Japanese population of Maple Ridge once formed 30% of the total population. Their focus was mainly on greenhouse growing, the berry industry, fishing and forestry. Japanese children provided a boost to the local schools with many expanding to accommodate these students who formed nearly half of the school population by the late 1930s. When the Japanese were interned, it had many long-term effects for Maple Ridge. The high school population collapsed, Grade 13 was cancelled, it set one part of the community against the other and broke up families and life-long friendships.
  • A visit to the Dewdney-Alouette Railway Society model train diorama on the lower level, where students can see how Port Haney looked in the mid 1920s when railway logging was at its peak. Some tours also get to visit the 1944 CPR caboose on site, where students can climb into the cupola while hearing about the purpose of cabooses and the roles they used to play.

While we can accommodate most students, we have found the greatest success with Grades 2 to 12. The younger children in K–1 don’t have sufficient understanding of time depth, though it is possible to do a more limited tour that focuses on trains, including the model railway and the CPR caboose.

We also have limited access for the disabled —there is a level entry to the main floor of the museum and another for the lower floor but one must go outside and down the path between them. Haney House has stairs at both entrances and inside. Do phone ahead if you anticipate problems with disabled access: 604.463.5311