Edgar Dewdney was the engineer who in the 1860s built the first wagon trail into the Kootenays from the Coast. He later became the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia (1892-1897); this is his uniform. Touchstones Nelson Collection

Permanent Exhibitions

Visitors to the permanent exhibitions will experience the geographical challenges, enchanting beauty and human resourcefulness of this place. Visual and interactive modules present the compelling stories of this area including:

  • First People, First Culture, First Land : an introduction to the Sinixt and Ktunaxa nations, their culture and their perspectives
  • European Exploration and the Challenges of Trade and Travel Routes: drawn to the area first by fur and then by gold, early explorers faced unforgiving terrain and challenging travel routes
  • Way Down in the Mines: the beginnings of Nelson’s economic history
  • Transportation: from sturgeon nose canoes to steam driven paddle wheelers – the transportation module focuses on the history of Nelson’s rails and waterways
  • Powerful Water: how the water in our backyard provided one of the first hydroelectric power plants in the province.
  • The Queen City : from John Houston to Taffy Jack this module offers an eclectic and enjoyable overview of Nelson’s colourful human history
  • The Culture in Our Midst, Nelson Today: visitors will learn why we thrive, are still here and are becoming a place of refuge.

Our permanent offerings have another face: Virtual Exhibitions.