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On to White Rock: A Building's Journey Through Time
White Rock Museum and Archives
White Rock , British Columbia

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   On New Year’s Day in 1913
a new train station opened on
the shore of Semiahmoo Bay in
White Rock, British Columbia,
a tiny community in the
southwest corner of Canada.
There, it welcomed the trains
of the Great Northern and the
Burlington Northern (later
known as the Burlington

Northern & Santa Fe) as they
rolled by on their way to
Vancouver or Seattle. Over
the decades, the station, a
focal point of the community
for most of its existence,
has become as much an icon to
the town as the huge white
boulder from which it takes
its name.

   From the early 1900s to
the 1950s trains brought
hordes of summertime visitors
to the sandy beaches of
Semiahmoo Bay from all over
the Lower Mainland of British
Columbia. The bustling
station, set in the midst of
a peaceful little town, was
vital both culturally and

economically until the wane
of the railway era, when
Burlington Northern Railway
sold the building to the city
of White Rock for one dollar.
Reborn as a combined arts
centre, Chamber of Commerce
and museum, the station once
again reclaimed its role of
importance in the community.

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