The Saanich Pioneers’ Society is a non-profit charitable society, dedicated to the preservation of the historical records of the Saanich Peninsula. The Log Cabin Museum and Archives are volunteer run and supported by grants and donations, for which receipts can be given for tax purposes. We welcome new members with an interest in archives, museums, and local history.
The Society began with settler families who lived on the Peninsula in the late 1860s. They gathered for social activities like dances and mutual support. Some of them started an agricultural fall fair based on the Cowichan Fall Fair, which they had visited. The resulting annual fair, the North and South Saanich Agricultural Fair, has been held since 1868.
The social group flourished for a few years and then interest faded. On November 14, 1922 a social to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. W. Richardson (Polly and “old Bill”) was held in the Temperance Hall on East Saanich Road. It was a wonderful gathering of neighbours and from it evolved the nucleus of the Pioneers’ Society. Meetings were held in the homes of various members, but they wanted a place of their own where the group could socialize and at the same time store memorabilia the members thought should be saved for future generations. From that came the present log cabin that was built in 1933 with the first log being rolled into place by B.C. Premier Dr. Simon F. Tolmie on Feb. 8. It was finished within five months with volunteer labour and materials and formally opened July 1, 1933. The Society was registered in 1941.
The Log Cabin Museum houses many exhibits of local interest showing how people lived in past years. School classes and seniors’ groups are welcome to tour the Log Cabin. The Archives contains many records, stories and photographs form the Peninsula’s past. Visitors to the Archives are welcome by appointment.
We acknowledge that the historical records we preserve and share are primarily those of the settlers who came to this place, which has been home to the W̱SÁNEĆ people since time immemorial. We respectfully recognize that we inhabit and have benefitted from the colonization of the ancestral land within the traditional territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ peoples: W̱JOȽEȽP (Tsartlip), BOḰEĆEN (Pauquachin), SȾÁUTW̱ (Tsawout), W̱SIḴEM (Tseycum) and MÁLEXEȽ (Malahat) Nations; and commit ourselves to listening and learning in the spirit of reconciliation.
W̱SÁNEĆ means "the emerging people" in SENĆOŦEN, a W̱SÁNEĆ language, referring to an ancient story of a great flood the land emerged from. SENĆOŦEN is one of several languages the W̱SÁNEĆ people traditionally spoke in order to communicate with other Nations. They have occupied the Saanich Peninsula, Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands and surrounding area for thousands of years. W̱SÁNEĆ refers to the people as well as the land and is where the English derivation of "Saanich" comes from.