Our Story

Looking Ahead and Looking Backwards

The founding members of the museum decided that the society would be named after the large body of water above Masset Inlet, Dixon Entrance. Dixon Entrance is a named for Capt. George Dixon, among the first Europeans who came through the area in 1787. 

Today, we acknowledge that there are many Xaad Kíl names for this area, from Gaw Káahlii Masset Inlet to Needan Gawée Naden Harbour,  Tang xyáanglaas saltwater running through the south of Old Massett to Hl’yáalan Káahlii Bay at the mouth of Hiellen. For more information see the Xaad Kil Nee office. 

Early Days

Built in 1914 to serve as the island's first hospital, the building was the first with a concrete foundation on the islands.  By 1948 though, it was turned over to the School District for a dollar when the Health Services decided to move closer to the town centre on Main Street. 

1948-1950’s the building was used by the School District as a high school.

1950 - 1994
School Life
Many Uses

1960’s It was turned into 2 teacher apartments when the new elementary school was built and the old school turned into the highschool.

1970’s The district turned the building into a Resource Centre for educational materials

1989 It was briefly used as an Alternative school when the DRC was moved to Queen Charlotte City.

In the early 1990’s the building was leased for a few years to Northwest Community College(now Coast Mountain Community College)

The Dream Takes Shape
A Museum is Born

From then until 1998, the building sat empty, until David Phillips convinced the Village of Masset to purchase the building from the School District for $1.  The Dixon Entrance Maritime Museum Society then signed a 99 year lease for $1 per year. 

Due to the many renovations over the years, the building does not qualify for Heritage status. Renovations to the building to turn it into the museum, however, brought its original character back to life. 

Enhanced Heritage
New Features Enhance

In 2019 a new entrance bridge was built to welcome visitors and accommodate electric wheelchairs.  In 2020 the cedar shingle roof was replaced with a recycled rubber material in the look of a shingle roof. 

Permanent Collection

Learn about the long standing tradition of boat-building in Masset