Oscar’s Wildlife Museum

Feature type: museum
Province: British Columbia
Oscar (1898-) and Nellie Lamming were born in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, and were married there in 1928. When Oscar and his brother Ernest (1903-1984) bought Adrian Monroe’s sawmill in 1943, Oscar and Nellie to the McBride area.Oscar Laming received his degree from the Northwest School of Taxidermy in 1917, but not until the1950s was he able to pursue his hobby. Oscar set out to complete his first small museum at Lamming Mills as a Centennial project, and 1958 the first museum opened in a garage behind his house. In 1959 Oscar was presented with the Award of Merit as well as the Certificate of Merit, apparently from the British Columbia government. These were on the recommendation of Mr Williston who had visited the museum.

In 1963 Oscar sold his share of the mill, retired from the logging business, and began working on a new museum. On June 17, 1965, Oscar and Nellie opened the museum, near the Doré River, for business. The opening of the new highway to Prince George saw a temporary increase in visitors to the museum, but when the highway was rerouted visitors dropped. In1973, Oscar and Nellie sold property and museum to Maurice Bonneville and moved to Winfield.

According to Bonneville, the museum was a big attraction before the construction of the CNR overpass which re-routed traffic and by-passed the museum. In 1973 there were approximately 9,000 visitors to the museum. The museum operated regularly until 1983. From then on it was operated only on request. The museum contains 30 animal rugs, 40 horn mounts, 45 fully mounted animals, 54 head mounts, 169 or more stuffed animals. Included is a rare kinkajou from Brazil. Also a rock collection, seashell collection, antiques, arrowheads, foreign currencies.

References:

  • Robson Valley Courier. Weekly newspaper published by Pyramid Press of Jasper from1969–88.

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