• Saanich Pioneer Society

Finding Heritage at Home

The theme for this year's Heritage Week, which runs from February 15 to 21, is a question: Where do you find heritage? Here at the Saanich Pioneer Society, our collections reflect the everyday lives of the families who settled on the Saanich Peninsula and the generations after them who have called this place home.

In that spirit, we're sharing some typical household objects from days past. These items could have been found in a busy family home, such as Mount Newton Cottage.

Family standing on front steps and porch of house.
Pope-Henderson Residence, Mount Newton Cottage (Saanich Pioneer Society Archives F537C Ph #22)


Leisure time was often spent playing games, such as dominoes or cribbage. For those more interested in technology, stereoscopes allowed the viewer to see images in 3-D.

Pictured: Deck of cards in case (SPSM 995.2.2); stereoscope viewer and stereograph cards (SPSM 989.1.1389, 989.001.10a); jacks in tin (SPSM 2011.004.007); cribbage board (SPSM 995.2.1); colour dominoes (018.014.001).

At the Table

Just the smell of a particular food can take us back in time. Then as now, many memories were made at the table. Even messes can be part of the story - a table crumb pan and brush probably came in handy!

Pictured: Green rimmed plate, tea plate, saucer, and cup (SPSM 011.019.001 a,c,d,e); fork (SMSM 997.47.1d); knife (SPSM 012.004.004.e); salt shaker (SPSM 997.39.5b); pepper shaker (SPSM 997.39.2b); cookie jar (SPSM 989.635a,b); teapot (SPSM 993.11.1); cream (SPSM 993.11.3); sugar (SPSM 993.11.2); table brush and pan, Thomson family (SPSM 018.006.034-G2 and 018.006.034-G1); plate with floral design (SPSM

In the Kitchen

Kitchen gadgets are nothing new! There was a tool for everything, including pie funnels to keep your crust light and flaky inside and out.

Pictured: Flour sifter (SPSM 017.019.001c); pie funnel (SPSM 997.6.3); glass rolling pin (SPSM 000.45.001); timbal, used to make a fried dough treat (SPSM 019.029.001); egg beater (017.019.001b); kettle, said to have come around the Horn with the William Derrinberg family (SPSM 989.001.1463a); wooden mixing bowl, Thomson family (SPSM 018.006.015b); potato masher (SPSM 017.019.001-a); embroidered blue check tablecloth (SPSM 011.4.6).

Family Memories

Of course, heritage can be found in the paper-based (archival) records we would expect: family photographs and books, including Bibles.

Pictured: Stewart Family Bible (SPSM 2020.004.001); wildflower books (SPSL 005.451); portrait of Wilfred Stephen Butler and Virginie Jacquelin Rey on their wedding day, 1901 (SPSA 989-001-539); photo of Fred Turgoose in buggy, in front of the Turgoose House, ca. 1890 (SPSA 989.001.664, F518C Ph #13).

Your Heritage - Questions to Consider

What do you use in your home? What things do you keep? If your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, or other family or friends handed things down, what do those objects represent to you, and what memories do they bring back? Looking at the items that you use regularly now, where will you or those who come after find heritage in the future?

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