Today we ventured out to the Kilby Historic Site situated in Harrison Mills, BC. It is a beautiful and scenic drive taking Hwy 7 from Mission. Once there, we took a step back in time to experience life as it once was. The Visitor Guide tells about the people and history of the area and explains, “the lumber and railroad industry is what cultivated the beginnings of a settler community at Harrison Mills.”1
The grounds are very well kept with picnic tables scattered about so if you wanted to bring a lunch or snack you could do so. Or take advantage of the gift shop for treats or the cafeteria for a lunch located in the barn.
There were chickens, pigs, a turkey, a goat, some ducks and a rabbit. The chickens and turkey were roaming free and I believe they thought we might have food as they followed us around for quite a while. There is even a fort and old-fashioned teeter-totter that children could play on while their caregivers watch from a nearby bench.
By far, my favourite place to explore was the General Store. Because this is a Historic Site rather than a Museum, the only things in the General Store are the actual items they sold back in the day. It was fascinating to see how some items have evolved as well as see how some packaging has, pretty much, stayed the same. Our costumed interpreter gave life to the items we saw as he told us stories of how the Kilby family conducted business with settlers and the First Nations People. Attached to the General Store is the Manchester Hotel and Post Office. A side note, “the Kilby Historic Site and Campground is situated on the traditional territory of the Qwolo’wt People.”1
A famous Canadian doctor was raised in Harrison Mills: Maud Menten. She did some incredible research abroad and made some amazing discoveries. Kilby honours her by having one of the rooms in the Manchester Hotel dedicated to her and talks about her work, drive and determination. A remarkable and brilliant lady!
I thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Kilby. If you would like to visit, I suggest checking their website for current operating hours at www.kilby.ca .
1Kilby Heritage Society, 2022, Visitor Guide, [Brochure].