About the Bonnyville & District Museum
THE BONNYVILLE & DISTRICT MUSEUM houses an impressive collection of thousands of artifacts relevant to the development and settlement of the Bonnyville Region.
Across two acres are two churches, the Durlingville Schoolhouse, the 1920s Vallee Store, an expansive hospital exhibit, and a replica of Angus Shaw’s 1789 North West Company Post at Moose Lake. One quaint 1907 house and a 1920s log cabin typify pioneer life as it was in the early years here in Bonnyville.
The Main Building is home to the 1940s Poitras Collection of charming, folk-art miniatures (a true Canadian treasure), and a working display of post-WWII Lionel model trains. Be sure to visit the Aurora Visual Arts Association Gallery with work by local artists and artisans.
Two large buildings house a significant collection of early agricultural and industrial equipment and machinery. Another highlight of the grounds is a seven-metre high statue of Angus Shaw, fur trader with the Northwest Company who established the first European settlement in the district in 1789.
The Bonnyville and District Historical Society
The Bonnyville and District Historical Society is a registered, non-profit society incorporated in 1980.
The Bonnyville & District Historical Society was established to be a place where the history of the Bonnyville district and its people would ‘live’. Initially, the organization was charged with the task of compiling familial information for the Bonnyville district history book, ‘Echoes of the Past’.
After the book’s completion, the society began to focus on the restoration, preservation, and promotion of local history. Since it was founded, the Bonnyville & District Historical Society has grown thanks to the hard work and dedication of the members and businesses within the community.
In 1991, the Historical Society raised enough funds to open a museum in the town of Bonnyville. The museum features 13 buildings, each building full of local historical artifacts. The museum sees over 1500 visitors each year. It runs various community programming, including educational tours with elementary schools and hosting a festive Canada Day Celebration each year.
The Bonnyville & District Historical Society and Museum continues to promote local history through its ever-growing collection of artifacts donated from members throughout the community.
Mission: To search for, display, and preserve historical sites, artifacts, folklore, and history of Bonnyville and surrounding districts, as well as to promote and preserve the multicultural heritage of the Bonnyville community.