A beauty parlour, service station and farmer all await visitors at the Sidney Museum.
“We tried to do it as if you were a visitor coming off the Anacortes ferry and what you would see if you walked into Sidney,” said volunteer Eleanore Arkestyne, one of the many volunteers who help set up the Be a Tourist in 1920s Sidney display. You would perhaps pick up petrol, check out the fashions, get a hairdo and maybe take in a film, she explained.
Downstairs Charlie Chaplin entertains a small crowd in a small, dim theatre’ Movie posters promote Chaplin’s still-loved silent films like 39 East and Shoulder Arms.
“All of these played in Sidney in the 1920s,” Arkestyne said.
In a prominent corner of the Beacon Avenue museum sits a special display to commemorate the Peninsula News Review’s 100 years o fbringing news to the community.
“There were no paved roads or electric lights in the area, but that didn’t stop the group of businessmen who met in 1912 from seeing a very different future,” writes former PNR editor Judy Reimche as part of the display. “The foresighted group realized they needed a public voice if the area was ever going to be taken seriously as its own entity.”
The News Review – then the Sidney and Islands Review – published its first issue Dec. 13, 1912.
“Over the decades a succession of editors and reporters has continued that vision, covering the news of the Peninsula – at first called North Saanich – and the Gulf Islands through world wars, struggling economic times, successes and celebrations.”
That work is marked with a series of 10 front pages on display, marking the decades and showing the dramatic changes to information and production over the past century. Original newspapers, typewriters and archive photos show how production of the PNR has changed over the years.
Be a Tourist in 1920s Sidney runs to the end of July at Sidney Museum, 2423 Beacon Ave. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., admission is by donation.