Sunday, August 21, 2011

Burnaby Village Museum - Part II

1922 home of the Bateman family

Display of decorations in dining room from a 1924 wedding

Master bedroom – note the village quilt is made of 1920s style fabrics, all of the hexagonal pieces were sewn by hand by staff and volunteers.

The above house was more like a home of wealthy family. The one below was a home of middle-class family - Jesse Love Farmhouse built in 1893.

Antique wooden wall telephone - any idea how it works and how to dial? Based on my research, the two brass bells would ring when receiving a call. How about dialing??? No touch tone, no rotary dial ... just turn the crank handle on the right! Cranking the magneto can produce a high voltage alternating signal to ring the bells of another phone and to alert the operator.

I'm pretty sure this is an old fashioned washing machine. I saw a similar one in BC Hydro Power Smart Village during Winter Olympics last year. It looks very different from today's washing machines!

Here's a photo of an old Singer sewing machine. In 1851, the first Singer sewing machine released in the market. Singer also built the first sewing machine where the needle moved up and down rather than sideways and the needle was powered by a foot treadle rather than a hand crank. These old sewing machines can be very stylish with decals like rose and cornflower, La Vincendora, Ottoman, Persian ... (
Backyard (sideyard?) of the house where the fruit trees and crops were grown.

Seaforth School was opened in Burnaby in 1922 with 20 students. It was located on the north side of Burnaby Lake at Government Street and Piper Avenue. Grades 1 through 7 were taught in one room by a single teacher.

Grade 3 was reading the Rainbow Bridge ... what is the story about? I don't know neither.
Grade 4 was reading the story of Aladdin ... this one I know ... a very famous folk tale from One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights)! But I don't know the answers to the questions on the board, all I can remember is a young boy and the magic lamp.
Grade 5 was reading Pandora's Box ... any idea what it is? Now I don't think I know too many fairy tales.

Demonstration of writing with fountain pen. The staff dipped the nib into the ink bottle before he wrote. That was the way people performed writing until 1960s when the use of ballpoint pens gained dominance over the use of fountain pens.

This is the original building of dry-goods business of Flora and William Bell from 1922 to 1937. The store was fresh, tidy and comfortable in my opinion.

Burnaby Village Museum - Part I

Tired of shopping in downtown, malls and night markets? How about go somewhere that’s completely different and fun! Burnaby Village Museum is not a bad option. It’s located on 6501 Deer Lake Avenue in Burnaby, 15 minutes from Metrotown by bus. This year (up to October 29) the admission is free since the museum is celebrating its 40th anniversary! I already visited it on June 11.

According to Wikipedia, Burnaby Village Museum is an open air museum located at Deer Lake Park. It is a reconstructed 1920s village, containing 31 full scale buildings, as well as costumed staff demonstrating traditional trades. The museum spans 10 acres of land. Some of the buildings are original heritage buildings, moved from other locations in the community and restored. Others are replica buildings, created to house specific displays and artifacts, including a 1912 B.C. Electric Railway interurban tram. The Museum is also known for the 1912 C. W. Parker Carousel, available for visitors to ride.

So, let’s go in …

First greeted by grassy cows

From 1891 until 1958 the whole Greater Vancouver area was served by a passenger tram rail system – Interurban Tram. There were five lines operated by the British Columbia Electric Railway Company:

The Central Park Line – ran between Vancouver and New Westminster via Central Park in Burnaby (

The Burnaby Lake Line – ran between Vancouver and New Westminster via Burnaby Lake

The Fraser Valley Line – ran between New Westminster and Chilliwack

The North Arm Line – ran between Marpole and New Westminster along the North Arm of the Fraser River

The Steveston Line – ran between the south end of Granville Bridge and Steveston in Richmond via Marpole (

The interurban tram system was discontinued and replaced by buses in 1958.

Now I’m in front of Interurban Tram 1223 which was in service between 1913 and 1958.

Picture of interurban trams on the busy Calgary Street, Alberta in 1915. It reflects the importance of this tram rail system back to a century ago.

C. W. Parker Carousel was built in 1912 by the C. W. Parker Company.

A 1920s barbershop which was modelled after Burnaby’s McKay barbershop that operated on Kingsway.

A typical 1920s general store in Burnaby. There was a post office with a very old style typewriter in the store.

Way Sang Yuen Wat Kee - contents of this replica Chinese herbalist's shop came from a store which operated in Victoria from 1900 to 1971. Interesting!

The original "Home Bakery" was located on Kingsway, east of Boundary Road.

Burnaby’s first bank was a Royal Bank at McKay and Kingsway which opened in July 1921. It was called the McKay B.C. Branch.

I wonder how much money people could make per month during 1920s and what portion they could contribute to the savings???

In 1920s, 4 room furnished house for rent - $23 per month. In 2010s, 4 bedroom furnished house for rent - $2300 per month!

In 1920s, 4 bedroom house for sale - $1200. In 2010s, 4 bedroom house for sale - 1 million!

If you are looking for a 3D or 4D film with lots of visual, sound and physical effects, this is not the place for you. But if you love to watch a movie with no colour and sound, welcome in ...

It's playing one of Charlie Charpin movies. Even though it's a slient movie, I could tell he's a very talented actor with good sense of humour!

In 1920s, an adult movie ticket was $0.25. Now is free! I mean for the same movie.