Early History and the J.D. McDonald Hall
Come explore the history of Rossland from incorporation to today. Learn about Ross Thompson and his efforts to turn a small mining community into the vibrant city it is today. Stop by the geology section to learn about mineral formations from around the globe. Check out our Nature Wall to discover some local flora and fauna and find out about some that are endangered.
The J.D. McDonald Hall covers various aspects of the social and cultural history of Rossland. You can also view Father Pat's Memorial Ambulance, which was once used to transport the ill and injured.
West Kootenay Power & Light Company
Discover the origins of electricity to the Rossland Mines! From delivering electricity to drills in the mine to providing light to the town, find out how the West Kootenay Power & Light Company developed some of the first power systems in North America.
Cominco Wing & Cominco Theatre
Learn about the Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company and its transition throughout time from its development in 1896 to the industrial powerhouse it is today as Teck Trail Operations.
This permanent exhibit was developed and is maintained in partnership with Teck Trail Operations.
Dive into the rich history of skiing in the Rossland area. From the first ski competitions with Olaus Jeldness to the Rossland and Red Mountain ski clubs, learn about the formation of the area's major attraction.
Come explore the industrial history of Rossland. From the large compressor and CPR Caboose to the Geology Building and Le Roi Tool Warehouse, find out the practices and tools used to mine the vast quantities of gold and other minerals from the depths of Red Mountain.
We’ve been developing additional content to the interpretive signage and outdoor tours for the outdoor displays:
Outdoor Tours occur daily in the summer months: 11am | 1pm | 3pm - included with regular admission, free for members; followed by a gold panning demonstration.
The Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre’s mission is to preserve and dynamically present the history and heritage of Rossland and area and to inspire and engage the public through virtual and real life presentations that bring our history and heritage to life.
To achieve this mission, the Museum is committed to maintaining professional standards and best practices in the stewardship of its collection. The Museum’s collections exist to provide a basis for its exhibition, public and educational programs, for research and study, for special lectures and symposia, and for the cultural and educational enrichment of its visitors and the community as a whole.
The Permanent Collection:
The Permanent Collection includes all objects for which the Museum has ownership and responsibility, which are assigned an accession number, and for which records are kept. The Museum shall pursue, through donation or bequest, objects that contribute significantly to the Museum’s collection and that possess the visual integrity and physical condition necessary to be incorporated into the Museum’s exhibition program.
The Education Collection:
Objects in the Education Collection may be obtained through gift or bequest or purchased through funds allocated for educational purposes. Objects in this collection will not be assigned an accession number, but they will be included in collections records separate from the Permanent Collection.
These collections may lack historical context or may be duplicates or replicas of objects in the Permanent Collection. These collections may be used for RMDC education programs.
Scope of the Collections
The Permanent Collection:
The Permanent Collection largely consists of the mining, skiing, and the social history of Rossland and area as well as a large geological specimen collection. The collection also touches upon areas of power generation, commerce, transportation, agriculture, sports, and more.
The Museum’s primary objectives of collecting are twofold. First to preserve, interpret, exhibit, and educate the Museum’s public about the rich history of Rossland. The second is to have available information and resources, as well as have qualified staff to support the Museum’s role as a research centre where researchers can access archival material and artifacts to support their investigations.
The RMDC shall collect objects that reflect the constantly changing cultural landscape in Rossland, beginning with human occupation through to the present day.
The primary focus includes:
The establishment of the City of Rossland and its residents including the political, economic, industrial, social, and cultural history.
Hard rock mining in the Kootenay area with a specific concentration on the Rossland Mines.
Skiing development and history through to the present day.
The scope can include information from the Cominco-Teck smelter located in Trail where it relates to mining in Rossland.
The geological, paleontological, and natural histories of the region are important elements to the context of Rossland history.
The museum may, when staff resources allow, collect oral histories related to the above-mentioned mandate.
The RMDC collections shall be focused on the town site of Rossland and its immediate surrounding area of the Rossland Range. It also focuses on the geological environment surrounding the Rossland area and may expand wide enough to cover Southeastern BC and northern Washington geology.
Objects may be collected if they are proven to inform the growth and development of the Rossland area and its contribution to British Columbia or Canada as a whole. Due to the restrictive collection area size, the museum places a high priority on making selected additions to existing collections’ strength rather than creating an excessively broad, generalist collection.
The RMDC collection is not focused on any concrete time frame, but all acquisitions acquired for the Museum’s collections must focus and strictly follow the Museum’s objectives, statement of purpose, and interpretive themes while fitting within the Museum’s mission statement.
Surplus objects that are duplicates of items already in the collection will not be accepted unless they are of superior condition, have additional intrinsic value relevant to the museum’s scope, or assist in telling the history of the area (e.g. where multiples are required for exhibition context). In the case of the potential object being of superior condition, the original collection object may be considered for deaccessioning.
Accepting Donations to the Collections
The Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre collects new artifacts and documents year-round.
If the objects do not meet the above requirements, the Collections will be unable to accept the donation.
If the objects meet the above requirements, the Museum Director or Collections Manager will ask you to complete the Temporary Custody and Deed of Gift forms and, depending on the condition or size of the objects, bring the objects to the museum. The objects may then be reviewed by the Collection Committee regarding its entrance into the museum. If approved, the object will enter either the Permanent Collection or the Education Collection depending on the verdict of the Committee.