Those who wonder about BC rural life, as it was in simpler times, head to the Kilby (historic) site, near the Harrison and Fraser River junction. A relic of the lone gone Harrison Mills community, the Kilby estate hosts a gift shop, museum, café and more for visitors to see and experience.
The Waterloo Farm is part of the Kilby estate, a reminder of how times once were. To emulate conditions on the estate from 100 years ago, a society regularly donates livestock to preserve the authenticity of the farm.
Today, the farm resembles itself in the 1920s despite decades gone by and advancements in farming and agriculture. Additionally, an orchard, started in 1926, supplies locals with fresh fruit and keeps money coming to the estate.
Early on, the family erected a gas pump in the yard to accommodate on-estate needs as well as those of farmers and boaters in the area. When roads came to the Harrison Mills area, and (in 1927) when a bridge was built over the Harrison River, the Kilby (later Acton) family served locals (and visitors coming off the highway) with gasoline, recognized for fifty years of service in 1977.
General Store Museum
The general store, opened in 1906, serving the community, and operated by the same family until 1977, served as a hub of area, a place where locals gathered for conversation and collected items for cooking, cleaning, and hygiene.
The space now serves as a museum, featuring ornaments and ambiance of the 1920s. Purveyors of the estate spare nothing in impressing those who take tours; the guides act and dress appropriate for the period and ready to answer any questions guests have about previous eras.
Head upstairs to the once-hotel, where rooms still kept in condition of years ago. You can get a great deal on accommodations at WhistlerPremier.com, but no present-day hotel room looks like those featured at the museum. Move through the downstairs area to see the kitchen, dining, and living room of the Kilby family and regular visitors who paid for rooms.
The estate, once featuring a barn later destroyed in a flood, now hosts a gift shop and restaurant, where delectable dishes delight visitors amid a 1920s motif, maintained throughout the estate. Group reservations, couples, and singles are welcome to enjoy homemade food and cordial surroundings.
Where else can you enjoy home baked pies, hard ice cream, and flame roaster coffee? If you don’t have the means to get back to the 1920s, you can visit the Kilby estate, frozen in time yet still charming first-time and repeat visitors in real time. The barn, housing workhorses until the flood of the 1940s, now serves as the orientation area for Agassiz-Harrison Lions Club and reconstructed to resemble its original form.
Time moves forward but not in this corner of British Columbia. The Kilby Historic Site provides opportunity to relive times of the 1920s. Taste the food, talk to the people, and see genuine living areas of a time long gone.
Martha Smith loves to explore new places. An avid writer, she enjoys sharing her experiences by posting online. You can read her engaging and informative posts on many of today’s top websites and blogs.