Parksville & District Historical Society

The Society was officially named and registered under the Societies Act in 1976 and is a member of the B.C. Historical Federation, B.C. Museums Association and Archives Association of B.C.

In 1975, through the concern of a few local families the Knox Heritage Church was saved from demolition. The city of Parksville provided land to the Society and the Church was moved to the newly name Craig Heritage Park in 1983. The arrival of the church heralded the beginning of the museum.

Dedicated members of the Society organize tours, set up displays and provide demonstrations in collaboration with community events. The archives provide a wealth of data about the area and its families.

The Society has provided a list of pioneer names to the local government to be used for street naming, and the Society acts as a watch dog to ensure heritage issues are not overlooked.

Multiple historical books have been compiled by the Society, most recently Parksville and Then Some by Marge Leffler, originally published in 1999, a collection of histories of local places, families and events in the Parksville area. Articles are written on an ongoing basis by members of the Society and further publications are in the works. The latest edition of Parksville and Then Some has just been published and is available for sale in the gift shop.

Volunteers are always needed to help out with archives, fund raising, hospitality, maintenance, museum duty, office assistance, publicity, special events, telephoning and textiles. A few donated hours can make a big difference for the Society.

Come and be involved in our history, come to a meeting or join the Society and contribute. Just like a quilt, the more hands involved the more varied and interesting the quilt becomes.


  1. The name of the Society is Parksville & District Historical Society.
  2. The objects of the Society are:
    • To gather and preserve information, records and objects of educational, historical and cultural value associated with the area, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing.
    • To establish and maintain a museum and archives for the purpose of preserving, recording and exhibiting such material for public education and enjoyment.
    • To undertake other activities, which from time to time, may be deemed appropriate.


Bylaws of the Parksville & District Historical Society are available below.
Bylaws of the Parksville & District Historical Society 2018
Bylaws of the Parksville & District Historical Society 2018

Board of Directors

President Susan Wismer contact the president
Vice President David Douglas contact the vice president
Treasurer Ken Fanning contact the treasurer
Secretary Sydney Tomchenko contact the secretary
Directors at Large Tom Bob  
  Sylvia Martin  
  John Wearing  

Susan Wismer

contact the president

Vice President

David Douglas

contact the vice president


Ken Fanning

contact the treasurer



Sydney Tomchenko

contact the secretary

Directors at Large:
Tom Bob

Sylvia Martin

John Wearing

History of the Parksville Museum

The Parksville Museum is owned and operated by the Parksville & District Historical Society.

The museum was opened in 1983 when the first building arrived on site; the Knox Heritage Church. Since then the museum has grown and now boasts 8 heritage buildings as well the main museum, admin offices and exhibit hall.


The museum’s primary mandate is to collect, preserve, and display artifacts and archival materials that pertain to the varied aspects of this area.  The geographic focus of our collection is that of School District 69 which includes Parksville, Errington, Coombs, Hilliers, French Creek and Nanoose Bay. The museum has an expansive collection of objects that help us illustrate the lives and activities of early settlers, organizations and businesses of the local communities.


The Archives section of our organization focuses on the collecting of documents and records of historical and cultural value which details the lives of early pioneers.  Apart from records pertaining to local families and organizations, the holdings also include a large photograph collection, map collection, paintings and prints, oral history tapes, video tapes and films. Reference materials include a newspaper collection and clipping file, published local histories, and biographical notes.

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.


By Donation

Your generous donation helps to make the Museum a vibrant part of our community and allows us to continue offering family-friendly events, programming and exhibits.



Heritage Buildings are now closed for the 2022 season.

The grounds are always open to enjoy.

Join & Support

On At the Museum