Founded by William Wallcraft on a farm in what is now the Municipality of Pembina, the museum’s administrative building housed an archive of books and photographs. Surrounding it were buildings that had been moved to the site from nearby areas. Two of Nellie McClung’s homes were featured, both furnished with artifacts and mannequins in period costume, including the 1878 log house where she boarded during her first teaching position (1890-1891), and a large frame house owned by McClung with her druggist husband Wesley (1904-1911).
Nearby buildings included the Wilson home, clad in decorative tin siding (built 1880, with an addition from 1908), and the former Canadian Pacific Railway type 8 station from La Riviere (1898), a provincially-designated historic site, with its distinctive mansard roof. The station, outfitted as it would have looked during operation, included an interesting collection of booster cables for locomotive engines. In front of the station was the obligatory wooden caboose, dating from 1913. The former Archibald Methodist Church (Archibald United Church) was also located on the grounds, renovated in the 2000s as part of the Manitoba Prairie Churches Project.
Sheds and a large, three-storey barn were filled with such items as buggies, cars, tractors, machinery, and tools. The second level of the barn had a representation of an old country store with all its goods. There were many free-standing items including farm implements throughout the museum grounds, as well as a shed containing aboriginal artifacts.
The museum closed in 2014 and its collections were dispersed to other museums and archives around the province. The McClung buildings were moved near the Log Cabin Tourist Centre in Manitou. A large quantity of agricultural equipment was transferred to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum near Austin. A railway caboose was moved to the Miami Railway Museum. The historic railway station was moved to Manitou and the Archibald Church was relocated to the Manitou Cemetery.
Former entrance to the Archibald Historical Museum (2004)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough
Agricultural equipment at the former Archibald Historical Museum (2004)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough
Former Canadian Pacific Railway station from La Riviere (June 1998)
Source: George Penner
Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.29825, W98.63600
denoted by symbol on the map above
Memorable Manitobans: William Robert “Bill” Wallcraft (1900-1992)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: McClung House (97 Chestnut Street, Winnipeg)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Archibald Methodist Church / Archibald United Church (Municipality of Pembina)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Canadian Pacific Railway Station (Front Avenue, Manitou, Municipality of Pembina)
History of the Archibald Museum, Rural Municipality of Pembina
Archibald United Church, Manitoba Municipal Heritage Site No. 173, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Provincially Designated Historic Sites
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Prairie Churches Project / Manitoba Prairie Icons Project
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Railway Stations
Railway Stations of Manitoba: A Building Inventory by Patricia Trainor, Farhad Rahbary, and David Butterfield, Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 1984, 233 pages. [Manitoba Legislative Library]
We thank Manny Jacob and Pat Miles for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 11 November 2023
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