Japanese Canadian citizens being transferred into waiting trucks outside Hope Station House.
NNMCC L2021-2-1-004. Photographs courtesy of the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre

Tashme Historical Society officially the new owners of the Hope Station House as of Nov.4

Tashme Society taking a “short breath” before starting next steps for Station House

After a long battle to save it from demolition, ownership of the Station House is officially transferred to the Tashme Historical Society.

And they’re thanking everyone who made this purchase possible.

“[The Tashme Society] is so humbled, grateful, with this amazing responsibility of the Station House,” says Ryan Ellan the founder and curator of Tashme Society. “We felt it was very important to thank everyone who has been involved, especially the Coalition for the preservation of the Hope Station House. And Christian and Erica Ward. Those individuals — that entire group — were sort of the trailblazers for us to get involved.”

The museum officially signed the purchase agreement last Friday (Nov. 4), making them the new and proud owners of the historic building. The new ownership comes a few weeks after the previous council, in a now declassified meeting that took place on Oct. 19 in camera, authorized, “the Chief Administrative Officer to finalize and execute the Station House Relocation and Purchase Agreement between the District of Hope and the Tashme Historical Society regarding the transfer of ownership of the Station House and operations on District land located at 919 Water Avenue.”

“It’s surreal right now,” says Ellan. “We’re taking a short breath before the real work starts. It’s been, definitely a long journey. With the Tashme Historical Society, we’ve been involved for a year and a half now. Again not as long as some other individuals in Hope.”

Part of the agreement, says Ellan, is to move the Station House from its current location to Water Avenue, by the Hope Visitor Centre. Aside from the relocation, future plans for the Station House includes making it part of the Sunshine Valley Tashme Museum, so that the people can better understand how it played a role in the history of Japanese-Canadian internment camps.

“The next step is to create a Hope Station House community advisory committee,” says Ellan. “So, of course, a team would be made up of very open minded, team-oriented, individuals who all work together…But I think we all have seen the Station House to be that historical hub. And that would include the Tashme museum, the Hope museum, the visitor center, and additional flex space to have special events for the future.”

The issue of preserving the Station House has been an ongoing battle for many years that reached a head in 2020 when the District indicated their plans to demolish it.

Following their announcement, a dedicated group of Hope’s citizens protested the decision and began to spearhead the movement to “save” the Station House.

At this time, the Tashme Society saw the significance of the Station House, due to the history that the Japanese-Canadian community has with it, and offered to work with the District to buy and relocate it.

“When the Japanese-Canadian community was forcibly relocated throughout the province, most of the Japanese-Canadians were from Hastings park,” says Ellan. “The time they spent in Hastings park were in the livestock buildings. Left the livestock buildings, boarded on trains. And then the Hope Station House was sort of a hub. There were nearly 9000 Japanese-Canadians that got off trains at the Hope Station House…to be transferred to the other internment camps throughout B.C. Or off the train, at Hope Station House, to the waiting trucks to make the 14 mile trek to Tashme.”

READ MORE: Ownership of Station House to be transferred to Tashme Historical Society


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