This museum, named for J. A. V.
David, was located in Killarney’s first
post office. Constructed in 1889 for the postmaster Charles Bate, it
also served as his home and, for the first few years, a store. A large
front room served the post office and a room above it, which was
accessed by an outside staircase—was rented for meetings of the
municipal council and literary society, a music studio, and a Sunday
school. The building also served as the Bate family residence. In the
1950s the building was purchased by the Town of Killarney and the RM of
A library was
located on the lower floor beginning in 1958 and a museum
opened on the upper floor in 1960. Later the library moved out and the
museum took over the whole building. In 1967, the name of the museum
was changed from the Lakeland Museum to the J. A. Victor David Museum.
The museum, which is now located on land next to the former museum
building, has a growing collection of period clothing and furniture,
tools, war mementos, cameras, photographs, and archival material. It is
run by a board of directors responsible to the municipal council, which
owns and helps to maintain the building. In deteriorating condition,
the original building was demolished in December 2011.
Historic Sites of Manitoba....
JAV DAVID MUSEUM·WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018
The J.A.V. David Museum is located in Killarney, Manitoba.
History of the Museum
The Bate building was one of Killarney’s most historic buildings. The
property (lot 6 & 7 on Williams Ave.) was bought by Charles Bate
from John Williams for $200.in February 1889. James MacNaughton,
contractor and lumber dealer, was engaged to supply material and
workmanship for the building which was completed in August for
Charles Bate was appointed Postmaster in 1883, collecting the mail from
Wakopa to which it had come by courier from Brandon via Deloraine. The
post office on his homestead burned down so he first moved to T.J.
Lawlor’s store and then to a tar-paper shack on Broadway, just north of
the present post office. The new building on Williams Ave. was to be
his home and the front room the postoffice and for a few years a store.
The room above the post office, which where accessed by stairs on the
outside was rented out for council meetings, the literary society, a
music studio, and a Sunday school. Mr. Bate was postmaster until his
death in 1920, when he was succeeded by his daughter Aquila. In the
1950’s, Mrs. A.M. High, Charles Bate daughter, wished the building and
grounds to be used for some community purpose. The property was
purchased jointly by the Town of Killarney and the R.M. of Turtle
The Museum has been in existence since Charles Havelock needed a home
for his Natural History Display in 1958. It was first stored n a lean
to behind the library in the Bate building. Mr. J.AV. David, Mayor of
Killarney at that time, arranged to develop the second floor of the
building as a museum. Much work and initiative was required to make the
rooms suitable, but with the help of many volunteers (notably, W.A.
McKnight, S.E. Rigby, and Alex Cochrane) and many community donations
the Lakeland Museum was opened in 1960. The Centennial Year, 1967, the
museum was renamed the J.A. Victor David Museum in honor of its
It came as a great relief when the overcrowded museum could spread out
into the lower floor, vacated by the Library. Overcrowding again made
its self felt and a new building was constructed adjacent to the first
building in 1985, with the assistance of federal grants, private
donations as well as generous support from the R.M. of Turtle Mountain
and the Town of Killarney. In 1991 the archives and storage room were
added to the museum.
The property is owned by the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain,
which contributes the cost of utilities and maintenance and upkeep of
the building. The museum itself is administered by a volunteer board.
Unfortunately in 2009 all artifacts were moved out of the building to
protect them from mold and excessive moisture in the building. The
building was demolished on Dec. 8. 2011.
Emerald Memorial Park was opened Sept. 8, 2014 on the land where the
Bate building stood. Grants from the Killarney Foundation, Agrium,
donations and many volunteer hours, made it possible.
Exhibits include a Pioneer Kitchen & Dining Room, Children’s
Room and General Store and Post Office. There is a large Camera
collection from the Edward’s Studio, Church exhibit and the Charles
Havelock Natural History Exhibit. There is many period clothing and
furniture, books, musical instruments, local paintings and photographs.
In addition we have a large exhibit of personal artifacts from the
Military from this area. Agricultural exhibit and the Gordon
Randall Collection of arrowheads and other pre contact artifacts.
The museum also has a large amount of archival material in the Archives
including maps, photographs, letters, family histories and historical
documents from many local service groups.
Our museum hosts a wide array of artifacts and archives
showcasing the wonderful legacy of this area.
J.A.V. David Museum
414 William Ave
Killarney MB R0K 1G0
Primary Phone: 204-523-7325
Admission: By donation
July 2nd- August 28th, Closed on Mondays
10AM - Noon & 1 - 5PM
Off Season Hours:
by appointment, please call 204-523-7325, or 204-523-7325 or
About the Museum:
The J.A.V. David Museum features Native and Pioneer artifacts, war
relics, photographs, cameras, maps, trophies, textiles, art, and a
restored historic post office.