Built in 1910-11, the Home Bank moved into the premises in March, 1911 from temporary premises across the street in the Liphardt block. The second story of the building was first occupied by Sherwood Herchmer’s law office. The Home Bank operated here until the failure of the bank in 1923. Many Fernie residents lost their life savings as the result of this failure, when deposits in Fernie totalled $800,000. The Royal Bank occupied the building from 1924 until 1937, when the branch closed due to insufficient business. After that, the building was bought by East Kootenay Power, with ownership transferred to BC Hydro in 1966. BC Hydro sold the building to the City of Fernie in September 2008.
The building now serves as a museum and archives with two floors of exhibits. This Is Our Fernie, a permanent exhibit highlighting the story of Fernie from the Ktunaxa’s traditional territory to the discovery and mining of coal to its early roots as a tourism region, is located on the main floor. Rotating art and heritage exhibits in the second floor gallery highlight specific stories or work by Elk Valley artists; the summer 2017 exhibit is Fernie Artography, which explores the places that define Fernie as seen through artists’ lenses, part of the Museum’s Canada 150 Cultural Series.