The Pas Court House and Community Building
The Sam Waller Museum is housed in The Pas Court House and Community Building. Constructed in 1916, this building reflected Manitoba's faith in the "New North" and the strategic importance of The Pas as a regional centre. The town was named the seat of the Northern Judicial District in 1916, four years after the province's boundary was extended to the 60th parallel, to include this region. (The Town of The Pas was incorporated in 1912, the same year the current provincial boundary was set.)
George Nelson Taylor, the first architect in The Pas, designed the Court House building for the new District. It was unique among Manitoba court houses as it had an upper story used exclusively as a public assembly hall, separate from the main floor court room and judicial offices. Completed in 1917, it became the centre for the town's social activities. The lower level of the building contained jail cells and living quarters for the Chief of Police and his family. Throughout the years the interior of the building was reconfigured to suit the changing needs of the community.
The building closed after new court facilities opened in 1982. With strong local support, the building was acquired by the town from the provincial government, and in 1991 it was designated as a Provincial Heritage Site by the Province of Manitoba.
Today the prominent town landmark retains it's authentic exterior, and many of its original interior elements. It is the oldest standing brick building in northern Manitoba, and, as an important part of the region's heritage, it is a suitable home for the Sam Waller Museum.