This photograph of the Fennell Store in Chu Chua shows damage done after the safe in the post office was blown using nitroglycerine. (North Thompson Museum Archives W.F. Montgomery photo)

North Thompson Museum replica of 1900’s Fennell Store stocked with history

Hello from Flora Copley and Mackenzie Ransome at the North Thompson Museum and Archives in Barriere.

Since we have been highlighting displays in the ‘The Store’ building at the Museum, we feel it is appropriate to talk about ‘The Store’ display itself.

‘The Store’ is set up to resemble the Fennell Store in the early 1900s, which was located in Chu Chua. Opened by George Fennell, the Fennell Store thrived off the business of the railway workers at the nearby CN station. However, just as the railway played an important part in the beginning of the store, it also played a part in the demise of it when the section crew and station personnel were eliminated in the 1960s.

Here is a story about the Fennell Store in its prime as told by Les Edgar, a Chu Chua local at the time.

“Word had gotten out that a worker on the railway won a sweepstake, which brought an outsider to Chu Chua looking to steal the winnings. With the idea that the money was being kept in the Fennell Store safe, the individual broke into the store, locating the safe at the back of the store near the post office. To break into the safe, they poured nitroglycerine around the safe door (which they acquired through melting dynamite at their camp nearby) and added a coat of soap, together reacting and blowing the safe’s door clean off. Many recalled the safe afterwards looking as if it had been cut by a torch. The man’s efforts were not rewarded, as the money he had hoped to find was not in the Store but, actually in the safe above the CN station.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Blaze takes commercial building in Louis Creek Industrial Park

Firefighters, paramedics and RCMP from Barriere and Chu Chua were on scene

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read