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Saanich Pioneer Society’s Log Cabin Museum celebrates 90 years

The building is the oldest purpose-built museum in B.C.

The Saanich Pioneer Society’s Log Cabin Museum is marking a historic milestone of its own.

The museum opened on July 1, 1933, and the society held a special 90th anniversary party Saturday (July 8). The event featured tours, displays, a car show, music, demonstrations and more.

“We didn’t hold our celebration on July 1 because we didn’t want to compete with Canada Day,” museum event coordinator and board member Norma Sealey said.

The building is the oldest purpose-built museum in British Columbia and is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Schools are also welcome to arrange visits.

“There’s something fascinating to see everywhere you look in the museum,” said Michele Sealey, Saanich Pioneer Society communications director and board member. “It’s especially cool that descendants of the founders are still involved and serving the society.”

The building was even a temporary municipal hall and district office when Central Saanich became a new municipality in 1952.

The displays at the museum are usually updated quarterly.

“It will sometimes depend on when people donate items,” Norma added. “We try to accept items that are local or that were used locally. People will be cleaning up and decide that they have something that may be interesting for us. It happens randomly.”

Norma said the museum is very important to her and the Saanich Peninsula.

“My favourite place in the museum is the fireplace, and the joy it brings to visitors, particularly children, Norma said. “It’s a focal point for Christmas in the Cabin, part of the Saanichton Village Association winter celebration.”

The museum holds talk and tea events with the most recent discussion covering the Sikhs of Tod Inlet on April 16.

“Sometimes we reach capacity and turn people away,” Norma said. “We have a maximum capacity of 70.”

The next talk and tea season will begin in September. The society hasn’t set the subjects yet, and they are open to suggestions.

The museum is supported by donations and grants, and people can make a contribution at

The society is looking for volunteers who have an interest in local history and learning more about this area, but others are also welcome to help out.

Those interested in volunteering can call the society at 250-652-1116.

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