Digging up history on Princeton businesses

Do you have pictures, information or memories?

The Princeton Museum is drumming up a lot of new business these days.

Well, old business really.

Museum staff and volunteers are embarking on a three-year project to research and document the locations of businesses throughout the town over the years.

“Right back from when it started,” said manager Terry Malanchuk.

The museum often gets inquiries from residents and visitors, people asking about businesses that used to exist in town.

“There isn’t very much documentation,” said Malanchuk. “I can’t think of a more important project for Princeton.”

There have been attempts in the past to chronicle Princeton’s business history, but they never got off the ground, he added.

The idea to map and collect photographs and memories of stores was discussed at a recent board meeting and captured a lot of imaginations, said museum volunteer Evelyn McCallum.

“This project has gone off like a bombshell. It’s amazing, absolutely amazing how people have started in on this.”

The museum is looking for any information residents or former residents have about Princeton businesses of long ago.

“I’ve been here 65 years and I’ve seen the stores come and go and all the differences on the street.”

McCallum said Princeton had a much larger business community before the opening of the Coquihalla highway.

“That was our downfall.”

McCallum remembers Princeton when it had two fully stocked department stores, car dealerships, a tailor shop and a shoe maker.

The current location of The Spotlight used to be a china store, she said.

“That was Mrs. White’s. She had the most beautiful stuff.”

Malanchuk invites anyone interested in the project to visit the museum and hopefully share their information. Or you can email princetonmuseum@gmail.com

The information, when it’s compiled will be published in a book, he said.

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