Journey into the past, as part of your Alaska Highway road trip, at the Hudson’s Hope Museum.
Here, you can get up-to-speed on the history of the Peace River area, from the dinosaur times through the gold rush and into the present. Learn about the fur trading post built here in the early 1800’s, and the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, built in the 1960’s. Ask about educational programs for children and adults.
“Quite a good small-town museum,” exclaimed one visitor on TripAdvisor, giving the Hudson’s Hope Museum a five star rating, and commenting:
“The helpful clerk at the Visitor Center suggested we come here and it turned out to be a very worthwhile visit. This museum is not large, but has a lot of artifacts and displays in it, all nicely designed so it doesn’t look cluttered. The inside has exhibits from BC’s gold rush and logging history. There are also some stuffed animals as well as a number of skins that you can touch. There are informational boards to read that chronicle the history of the area. Outside, there is more! There are several old buildings set up as “mini-museums’. One is set up as a typical trapper’s cabin. There is also a display of a variety of old farm and logging equipment which is interesting. Next door – although not part of the museum – is a little log church called St Peter’s shared ministry. Although I didn’t go inside, it is a charming building. There are lovely green lawns, pretty flowers, and also some benches to sit and look out at the beautiful sweeping view of the Peace River Valley. I’d recommend this little museum to anybody visiting town.” –TripAdvisor
Hudson’s Hope Museum is operated by the Hudson’s Hope Historical Society, a non-profit organization that opened it in 1969, the same year the W.A.C. Bennet Dam was finished (the Dam is renowned as one of the highest earth-fill dams in the world).
The Museum — a member of both the BC Museums Association and the Canadian Museums Association and recipient of the BC Museums Association Award of Merit in 2009 — is run by the community. Volunteers are responsible for everything here, from archiving to conducting guided tours.
If you’re travelling with family, you’ll want to bring the kids here because – you guessed it — the Museum houses an amazing collection of fossils and displays about the Peace Canyon dinosaur tracks (this area of BC is dinosaur country). Marine reptile displays feature the “Hudsonelpidia,” a unique ichthyosaur named after the town. The word “elpis” means hope in Greek.
At the Museum gift shop, take some time and browse through a wide and deep product assortment that includes fleece jackets, vests, t-shirts, magnets, mugs, W.A.C. Bennett Dam china plates, St. Peter’s Church china plates, jewelry (including First Nations products), toys, wind chimes, local, regional and BC history books, cookbooks, handmade moccasins, bowls, spoon rests, mugs…and an absolute ton of dinosaur stuff!
Hudson’s Hope is on the banks of the mighty Peace River in northeastern BC. It’s a small rural town of 1,100 people, 80 km from Fort St. John and 375 km from Prince George. The Northwest Trading Company established a fur trading post here in 1805. Hudson’s Hope is also home to one of the world’s largest earthen dams, the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, which stretches 2 km across the Peace River, creating BC’s largest reservoir lake, Williston Lake, covering 410,000 acres.
Contact Hudson’s Hope Museum directly, as follows:
Hudson’s Hope Museum
9510 Beattie Drive