The Farmers' Bank of Rustico is a building of national importance, an important monument of P.E.I. architecture as well as a symbol of Acadian survival. The Bank operated from 1864 to 1894 and was an important link in the establishment of "Les Caisses populaires" in Quebec and "Credit Unions" in the rest of Canada.
The building is a legacy of an extraordinary person, Reverend Georges-Antoine Belcourt, parish priest of Rustico from 1859 to 1869. On arriving in Rustico, he noted the lack of education and the extreme economic hardships of the inhabitants. He organized the "Catholic Institute" with over 250 members. Meetings and study clubs resulted in the establishment of the Bank which provided loans to farmers at reasonable rates of interest. The Bank operated for thirty years but was forced to close its doors as a result of the passage of the Bank Act in 1871.
Father Belcourt and his parishioners constructed a building sixty by forty feet in dimensions. The building was of frame construction covered on all sides with sandstone. It was a very imposing structure and built to denote the strength and solidity deserving of a bank. It served as a Parish Hall for many years and is now used as a Museum to commemorate the work accomplished by Father Belcourt during his stay in Rustico.
FATHER BELCOURT'S STEAM POWERED AUTOMOBILE
After hearing about a new form of transportation, Father Georges Antoine Belcourt wrote a letter to Mr. Aliza DeWare of New Jersey, USA expressing his interest in acquiring a carriage that would carry people without the use of horses. Soon he had purchased the steam powered vehicle. Father Belcourt's new one-seater vehicle was powered by a two-cylinder steam engine... More.
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HOURS OF OPERATION
Mon. to Sat. 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Sun. 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
(closed on Sundays in Sept.)
Open June 1 through Sept. 30
Off season tours by request.
$6.00 Adults $4.50 Seniors
$12.00 Family Rate
(2 adults, 2 children under 13)
$3.50 Students (13 years and older)
Single: $12.00. Family: $17.00
All rates above include HST.