Salt Spring Island Museum

FARMERS’ INSTITUTE MUSEUM ON SALT SPRING ISLAND

museumOne of the ‘dowry houses’ that had been built in the 1884 by Estalon Bittancourt for his daughters, on his property at Vesuvius Bay, was moved to the Farmers’ Institute property on Rainbow Road in Ganges on Salt Spring Island. A seniors group obtained a provincial grant to create a museum in this small, four roomed building.outback

In 1989, the Salt Spring Archives was founded. All the paper materials and collections from the museum were moved to the archives, along with the accession files. Several years later, when an interest was shown by a Farmers’ Institute member, John Fulker, the accession files were returned to the museum, but an agreement was made that the documental evidence should remain in the archives. All the original museum funding was also returned to the Farmers’ Institute and was put to good use in establishing the museum.

plaqueFour young and enthusiastic women gathered artifacts from local residents, took instruction on how to access, catalogue, restore and display the artifacts and opened the museum about 1978. The amount of time and work involved and the lack of adequate volunteer assistance, as well as the fact that these young women had young families at home, led to the undertaking being too much for them. The funding on hand and the key to the building were turned over to the Historical Society in 1985. The money was banked into an account marked ‘museum’ and the building locked up for a number of years. room

John Fulker used the artifacts in the museum to create a farm house of the 1890s, with a large glass case in the ‘parlour’ holding smaller items not necessarily fitting in with the farm house theme. Many of the museum artifacts are stored in one of the rooms for future use. The artifacts represent the furniture, tools, household items and various items of interest from earlier times.

Several extensions to the museum have since been added
and the collection greatly expanded.