The Elko Station in 1901
The Elko station was built in 1901 at Elko, B.C., about 43 miles south-east of Cranbrook.
It is the only surviving Crowsnest Style "B" depot of the CPR, and is noted for its steeply pitched and well-proportioned roof with large front dormer.
It was used continually by the railway until 1985, when its use was discontinued and set for demolition. The railway then offered it to the museum.
The Elko Station in 1987
The museum obtained the building in 1987, as a tax deductible donation, and moved the building to the museum site in Cranbrook on July 10, 1987. This move took three nights on the main highway, with substantial power and telephone line lifting to allow the tall building to move easily.
Many groups, agencies, provincial and local funding sources, assisted in the moving and restoration costs. The interior and exterior restoration was done between August 1987 and March 1988. Special work was done to provide the exterior colours.
The interior was completely re-built to the original plans, as the rooms on the main floor has been changed several times since 1901. Much of the original trim was stripped of paint and re-varnished. Missing pieces were replaced with varnished cedar trim, including the original maple floors in the waiting and office rooms.
The interior was completely stripped due to deterioration of the original lathe and plaster, and new venting and electrical services were installed at that time. New drywall was installed making the building as fire-proof as possible, and yet retaining the original appearance.
The building served from 1988 to 2002 as the visitor reception centre for museum, with gift shop, ticket sales, public washrooms. The historic archives and reference library, with a specialty collection on railway travel, was also contained on the upper floor. It also included additional executive offices, and a large Board Room, facilities which were temporarily housed in some of the restored cars prior to 1987.
The museum was relocated to its new site, about 2 blocks away. This building will remain for other uses. It will retain its connection to the downtown, and the water tower, sitting in the midst of the north railway gardens, which are expanded to include the entire old Museum site.
To the Water Tower