“Heritage Acres” - Where Families Come Together To Have Fun
Truly passionate individuals who keenly desire to preserve our unique and special past, is how I would describe the fabulous people I met at the Saanich Historical Artifacts Society, also known as the Saanich Historical Society, or “Heritage Acres”.
We are very fortunate that it was founded in 1968 by Willard Michell and a group of enthusiastic supporters. In fact, it was really started much earlier than that, probably during the late 1920’s. This is when Willard, a member of a long-standing farm family of the region, started collecting odds and sods. Back then, you never threw anything out, after all, you never know when you might need something.
The first workshop was on Willard’s farm. Meeting were help in members’ homes and the first building was temporarily set up on the Saanichton Fair Grounds. With the help of B.C. Land Commission and Central Saanich Municipal Council they received grants and the permanent location they now enjoy.
Today the dedicated members of the society are sharing the wealth of their knowledge in the areas of mechanics, construction, welding, hydraulics, and blacksmithing to name a few. They welcome anyone who would like to join them as learners, teachers, or enthusiasts. They also would be happy to accept any donations of old tools, farm and household equipment.
They have many wonderful things to see and do. The Society is dedicated to collecting, restoring, and demonstrating artifacts from Saanich's rural past
There is a Log Cabin;
The Moody Gosset Building (the oldest metal building in Canada);
The Newman Building (a fabulous collection of marine artifacts, cameras, and photographs;
The Tillicum Building (home of a fantastic carriage collection);
Home of the Famous Vancouver Island Model Engineers (a separate group who run several different scale model trains around);
The Hatch Car Shed (an incredible collection of scale tram models crafted by Gordon W. Hatch, after the original that operated in Victoria and the Peninsula);
And the Picnic Grounds.
Every year they have wonderful events for all the family to enjoy; Car Shows, Farming demonstrations, Seminars, Picnics, Fall and Winter Displays, and a whole lot more. Their facilities are a great place to hold your next meeting, seminar, or wedding. They have one of Western Canada’s largest collections of working steam engines, tractors, agricultural machinery, and household and industrial artifacts. As a matter fact, kids (and parents) can climb all over the farming equipment, see the mini railroad, a sawmill, planer mill and other artifacts at this 12-hectare site with a small lake, forest trails and pond.
The Saanich Historical Artifacts Society meets on the last Saturday of each month in the School House at 12 noon. Everyone is welcome. Individual memberships are $20.00 per year and Family memberships are $30.00 per year, payable in January.
Summer Hours: June 19 – Sept 17 9:30 am – 4 pm, daily
Winter Hours: October – May 9:30 – noon, daily
Trains run on various days from 12 – 3:30
Check out our events at http://heritageacresbc.ca/events