In 1910, Will Stanhope left England, travelled to Canada and crossed the country by train. Horse and buggy brought him to his final destination: French Creek. He bought 10 acres of land now known as Stanhope Road and Wembley Mall. In 1912, his parents joined him.

For 10 years, Will corresponded by letters with Nina Howes. After the war, Nina travelled to French Creek and she and Will were married at St. Anne’s Church in 1919. Like all smart women, Nina had a return ticket in her purse……just in case.

Nina and Will Stanhope were influential leaders in the community; they helped to secure the Parksville Flats as our Parksville Community Park and they organized the Coombs Fall Fair.

More about this couple on p. 95 Parksville & then some by Marjorie Leffler


More Stories


Well, we see the name on the insurance business in both Parksville and Qualicum Beach, ‘Thwaites – Norris’ but what’s the story behind the name? In 1912, Edgar Dundas (E.D.) Thwaites moved to Parksville with his family and set up a real estate and insurance office....

read more


Like the present day snowbirds flocking to Vancouver Island to avoid the cold winters, the same was happening in the early 1900’s. Ernest and Maud Leffler left Winnipeg and arrived in 1913 and bought 10 acres of land in Errington at $40 an acre with the intention of...

read more


Charles Robert Tryon, fourth son of Rear Admiral Tryon, arrived at French Creek after being a tea planter in Ceylon; sheep rancher in Grenfell, Saskatchewan; scout with the Northwest Mounted Police; grain elevator owner in Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan; and, private bank...

read more

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.

1245 East Island Highway
Parksville, BC V9P 2E5

Phone: 250-248-6966
Email Us

View Map

Follow Us


By Donation
Recommended Amount:
$5 per person
$10 per family or group
All Events are Free


Heritage Buildings are closed until Spring 2022.
The grounds are always open to enjoy.