The Bittancourt House Museum
Open 11:00 – 4:00 Monday through Friday until September
Admission is free, Donations are welcome.
On the Institute’s grounds at 351 Rainbow Road is the Bittancourt Museum. It is a heritage building housing artifacts, farming implements and antique equipment on display.
The museum is housed in an 1884 house which was built in Vesuvius by Estalon Bittancourt. The house was moved to the grounds of the Farmers Institute in 1980 to be used as a museum illustrating the lives of the early settlers on Salt Spring Island. The displays have been expanded to include items from the 1880s until the 1950s. All of the items in the museum have been donated by Salt Spring families.
In 2007 and in 2014 volunteers from the Farmers’ Institute built additions to the original house in order to accommodate the ongoing donation of additional museum items.
Among the pieces on display are:
- A large map, hand drawn in 1912, showing the boundaries of properties on the island at that time,
- Photographs of some of the homes and farm activities from the early 1900s,
- A large scale model of the HMS Ganges,
- Housewares and kitchen utensils from turn of the century homes,
- Displays illustrating the lives of Salt Spring settlers in the 1800s.
- A summer kitchen and old farm machinery are on display outside.
The museum can be rented for educational classes or meetings.
To arrange a visit, make a donation or to volunteer to assist with documentation or displays call the Farmers’ Institute at 250-537-4755 or John Fulker at 250-537-4895.
The museum is regularly open during the Fall Fair or by arrangement.
School and other group visits are encouraged.