Social History


Canadian Pacific Railway employee H.E. Beasley

As you step upstairs, you will be welcomed by the First Nations exhibit and a replica of the Qualicum Beach train station platform.

In 1905, CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) employee H.E. Beasley was put in charge of expanding the island’s railway north from Nanaimo, and this promoted development in the Qualicum Beach area. The surrounding land was surveyed and divided into 20 acre lots. In 1913, the train station was built. One year later, the railway was extended to Qualicum Beach.

Trains operated on the line from 1913 to 2011, which facilitated easy travel to the Qualicum Beach area. This caused tourism in the area and Qualicum Beach’s local population to quickly expand.

Continue through the collection to learn about the Qualicum Beach Hotel and its influential host, Brigadier General Money.

Constructed in 1913, the Qualicum Beach Hotel was the pride of the community and a prime destination for the rich and famous (including Shirley Temple, Bing Crosby and the King of Siam). The hotel and the attached golf course were managed by Noel Money, an enthusiastic game hunter and fisherman. The Brigadier General passed away in 1941, and the hotel was torn down in 1969, but the stories of this fascinating era of our town’s history lives on at the Qualicum Beach Museum.

While the QB hotel tells the story of Qualicum’s wealthy visitors and residents, our pioneer kitchen and classroom reflect the lives of everyday citizens. The historical objects in the kitchen date back to the first half of the 20th century, including a circa 1910 Hoosier cabinet owned by the Garrett family. How was laundry done before electricity? How did pioneers make butter? Where and how did people get their food? There is also a section on school history dating back to 1896, and many stories of colourful individuals who have made Qualicum Beach their home over the years. Do come and visit, you will find ‘more than a little history’ about this fascinating place.