Hirst Family


Receiving the dubious distinction as the first white settler to step onto these shores, John Hirst Junior arrived by canoe and purchased 160 acres for $160.

In 1895, John and his wife Ann (Harris of Nanaimo) started building the Rod and Gun Hotel. Unfortunately, John died before it opened but Ann continued with the project on her own and the doors to the hotel opened on 1898. What was the price for bed, breakfast and dinner? See page 11 of Parksville & then some by Marjorie Leffler.


Further Reading

Hirst Family Biography


More Stories



A successful jockey in Ireland until he broke both wrists falling off horses, Ned Despard, took up a homestead on Errington Road naming it “Woodsgift” and later opened up his home as a hobby craft exhibit. Page 62 Parksville & then some by Marjorie Leffler details...



Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1874, George Bernard caught the excitement of Canada’s gold rush and returned from the north wearing a dead man’s set of pants and hat as he had lost his own! A new job working for the railways brought George to Parksville in 1914. He was a...

Craig Family

Craig Family

So…..if you were born in Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, home of the world famous oysters (almost as good as Fanny Bay!) and decided to leave PEI and head west – where would you end up? Craig Bay, Craig Cottage, Craig Historic Park – yup – in Parksville. Arriving in...


Near Oceanside Middle School on Wembley Road, barely visible behind a fir hedge stands the oldest house in Parksville. It has been renovated and declared as a heritage site. In 1893, it was built by Major Robert Fayer Hickey who left a distinguished career in the...

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Otto Renz, born in Nebraska’s Otoe County (hence, the name Otto) came with his family in 1885 to their new home on what is now known as Church Road. Both Otto and his father, who were Catholics, helped build St. Anne’s Anglican Church. Otto was particularly proud of...

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1245 East Island Highway
Parksville, BC V9P 2E5

Phone: 250-248-6966
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The Parksville Museum is located on the unceded, traditional, & ancestral lands of the Coast Salish, Hul’q’umi’num’ speaking people including the Snaw-naw-as and Snuneymuxw people.


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