We have driven past this museum plenty of times in the past few years and finally this past weekend, we had a chance to stop by and check the place out.
A little more known than the Canmore museum but still somewhat small, the Whyte museum takes you through the history of Banff. The museum focuses on the Luxton family, the Whyte family as well as the importance of the Stoney Nakoda Nations people back when Banff was just beginning to grow. Both families and the Nations people played a huge role in turning Banff into the popular tourist town it is today.
We don't want to spoil any juicy details or good stories for you so we'll let you check it out for yourself!
There are many collections of traditional clothing from the Stoney Nakoda Nations people and animal heads and furs that one of the townspeople (Mr. Luxton) used to kill and sell. Ever wanted to feel the fur of a black bear, goat or a bison? Well you can with the patches of fur next to the fur shop that Mr. Luxton had that is now set up on display.
For all the ladies, there is another room dedicated to the fashion of the 1900's. You can find a collection of women's fashionable attire including evening gowns, jewelry, shoes, handbags and lingerie (see, they even included something to keep the men entertained!).
Downstairs, there are different showings for different times. Right now until April 2011, they are selling some artwork pieces including hand blown glass and a chair made up of mirror pieces. Not too sure how comfortable that chair would be to sit up, but intriguing none-the-less especially for all you ladies who like shiny stuff!
Currently in another room, they have the "Through the Lens" collection which are digital photographs that have been taken by high school students. Although amateur, you wouldn't have guessed so with some of the pieces on the wall.
And lastly, the best part of the museum was the included 30 min tour of 2 heritage homes that belonged to Philip and Pearl (Brewster) Moore and the Whytes. The Whyte house is the original house of Peter and Catharine Whyte who founded the Whyte museum and is still sitting in the same place as it did when it was first built in the early 1900's. The house includes all the original contents belonging to the family down to the paintings, furniture and book collections.
The Moore's house was moved closer to the museum but it is the original house with the original contents as well (except for the kitchen which fell off when the house was being moved and therefore has a modern 1970's look that does not fit with the rest of the house).
Both houses are beautiful and have some incredible stories to accompany them and is a definite bonus to visiting the museum.
If the information above is out of date or we missed something, shoot us an e-mail from our contact page or leave a comment below.