The following story was written by former Golden resident Peter Miller about the building of the Golden Museum.
In the spring of 1969, the Historical Society held a Walkathon from Parson to Golden, and collected over $10,000. The raising of this sum was the first step in the construction of a Museum for Golden.
At the annual meeting in March, 1970, I was elected president of the Golden and District Historical Society, and my first project was to make plans for the construction of a museum. After investigating many possibilities I found members of the Elk Lodge were willing to dinate five adjoining lots (at the site of the present museum). We now had a site for our structure. After receiving many price quotes, we decided that one did look promising a forty by fifty Steiner Arch building which could be erected on a foundation for $7,332.
At this point, Mr. Uwe Sorensen joined our Society. To Mr. Sorensen belongs most of the credit for the construction of the Museum. I designed the interior, and looked after the costs. Without Mr. Sorensen’s knowledge of carpentry and his leadership as foreman, results would have been less satisfying. The footings were poured by Historical Society members in June, 1971, and the Steiner Archi shell was erected shortly, after.
To raise money, we rented the building to Evans Products during the winter of 1971-72 for a storage place. We held another Walkathon and winter skateathon. We sold raffle tickets for donated articles; and Historical Publications. We received donations from Service clubs. The floor of the Museum was poured in November 1972. We were fortunate to receive two L.I.P. Grants to help us. The cabinets in which the artifacts are held are designed by my wife, Naomi Miller.
After my two years as president, Mrs. Margaret Olson took over for a year. She was succeeded by Mrs. Ethel King under who presidency the construction was finalized.
The museum was officially opened to the public on June 1, 1974. The opening was performed by Mayor Zazulak with Mr. Wenman and Mr. Cecil Parson assisting in the ribbon cutting. Music was supplied by the Golden Secondary School Band under the leadership of Mr. John Mutter. Guest speaker was Mr. John Kyte, the Provincial Museums Advisor. Among the honored guest were: Mr Edgar Dunning of radio fame and Mr. James Chabot, MLA for Columbia. It was a very satisfactory day – a fitting conclusion to a job well done – thanks to the efforts of so many people.
The Town of Golden should be proud of its Museum. Visitors from all over the world have been favorably impressed. Your children and grandchildren now have a building in which to view pioneer artifacts and read the early history of our area.
The roof on the Golden Museum has been leaking like mad for the past several years and the Historical Society has applied for several grants to not only get a new roof on the building but to also increase the insulation, drop the ceiling, install new energy efficient lighting and dig out the entrance doors. All donations will be gratefully received and tax receipts (we have charitable status) written to everyone who donates.