Run by The Fraser Heritage Society, Kilby Farm is a historic site with a museum and campground located in Harrison Mills in the Fraser Valley.
KILBY SITE AND COVID-19
As a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus, both the historic site and the museum were closed for a number of weeks. As of the middle of July, however, both the grounds and the museum have reopened.
The campgrounds near the historic site also reopened in mid-July. In addition to the coronavirus, the campgrounds at Kilby Park were negatively impacted by floods in the area. Some of the campsites had to be rebuilt, but the campground is now functional once again.
Admission to the heritage site is by donation this summer. As of early August, tours of the General Store Museum, Post Office and Manchester House Hotel are by reservation. They cost $6.50 to anyone over the age of 12.
Kilby Farm & Campground in the Fraser Valley
The Kilby Historic Site is a tourist attraction located about an hour and 40 minutes east of Vancouver. It was originally built as a farm in the early 1900’s.
Kilby Farm is located at 215 Kilby Road in Harrison Mills. This is about 20 minutes from Agassiz and less than 25 minutes from Harrison Hot Springs.
Admission and Hours
The historic farm is normally closed from late December until mid-April. As explained later in this article, however, the campground is open year-round.
In 2019 the tourist attraction was open at the following times:
- April 18th to June 24th – from Thursday to Monday between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm.
- June 27th to September 2nd – every day from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
- September 5th to October 27th – from Thursday to Monday between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm.
- October 31st to December 22nd – from Thursday to Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Admission to the museum is usually about $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 for youth and students, and free for kids under the age of 6. There is also a family pack available for $25. Folk who are BCAA members get a 10% discount as well. Prices in 2020 are different.
Events at Kilby
Below are some of the events that Kilby Historic Site offers throughout the year. (Note: Event details are subject to change.)
- Easter Egg Hunt – on Easter weekend in April
- Mother’s Day – in May
- Pioneer Days – on select days in May, June, August and September
- Father’s Day – in June
- Kilby Kids Summer Carnival – in the summer (July)
- Harvest Festival – in the fall (September)
- Thanksgiving Dinners – on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in October
- Kilby Kids Halloween Party – near Halloween
- Eagle Festival – in November
- Old Fashioned Christmas Luncheon – on several dates close to Christmas in December
Waterloo Farm at Kilby Historic Site
All three hectares of the farm have been preserved in their original, historic condition. Folk of all ages can interact with and learn about the variety of animals they have stocked at the farm.
In addition to the farm animals, there is also an orchard and playground on-site. Kilby Historic Site also has a small snack bar, gift shop and dining area (although the eat-in dining area is closed in 2020). Around back is a rose garden with tables and chairs where you can enjoy your lunch. On the front lawns there are also picnic tables.
In 2020, due to COVID-19, only chickens, a rooster and turkeys are at the farm. There are usually other animals, including a couple of donkeys and a miniature horse, but not this year.
The Kilby General Store Museum has been preserved from its origins in the 1900s and showcases a variety of merchandise with packaging dating back from the 1920s/1930s.
Especially in the summer and busy times, there are workers dressed in period clothing around the museum who are there to answer questions or just chat.
In the General Store Museum is the Post Office. It was also run by the Kilby family beginning in 1906 and used as the family’s business office.
Upstairs from the General Store is the Manchester House Hotel. The rooms are furnished with décor from the 1920s. It was opened by Eliza Kilby who named it after her hometown of Manchester, England.
The museum at Kilby Historic Site is impressive. It’s a good size and has lots of interesting artifacts. The interpreters in the General Store are generally very knowledgeable and make the experience even more interesting. When we went, talking with Ernie the tour guide was a highlight of our visit!
Camping at Kilby Park
Kilby Park is situated close to where the Harrison and Fraser Rivers come together. There are 35 campsites at the park along with a day-use picnic area, beach, trails and a boat launch.
Of the 35 campsites, 17 are usually available for reservations. In 2020, however, only 34 sites are functional and of those just 31 are reservable.
Daily rates for camping are as follows. (Note: Rates are subject to change. See the Kilby Park Campground website for details.)
- January 2nd to February 28th – $15
- March 1st to May 14th – $25 (seniors 65 & over $20)
- May 15th to September 30th – $30
- October 1st to 31st – $25 (seniors 65 & over $20)
- November 1st to January 1st – $15 (water turned off)
Use of the boat launch costs $10. It also costs $10 to picnic in the day-use area of the campground (although free if you are just at the beach).
To learn more about the campsites, see our article about Kilby Park and Campground.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your visit to the Kilby Historic Site.
TIP # 1: Combine your trip to the farm with a visit to other places of interest in the area. Harrison Hot Springs, for example, is a beautiful spot and just a short drive away.
TIP # 2: Visit the historic site on an event day. Those are the most interesting times to be there (although other days are nice too). Other good times can be when there are festivals in the region, including the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival in November.
TIP # 3: While in the Fraser Valley, don’t forget to fill up with gas. Fuel prices in communities like Abbotsford and Chilliwack are typically 10 cents or so less per litre than at stations within Metro Vancouver. Gas stations in Harrison Hot Springs and Mission are good places to fill up too, although usually a penny or two more.
TIP # 4: If you like historic places and heritage homes, an interesting place to visit within the City of Vancouver is the Roedde House Museum. Also in the Fraser Valley is Fort Langley, and in Burnaby there is the Burnaby Village Museum.
For more information about the historic site see the Kilby Historic Site website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Lower Mainland Parks & Places in Nature
- Lower Mainland History & Culture
- Vancouver Educational Places
- Festivals & Events Calendar