A Museum Home That Welcomes Snoopers

I wrote before about the Baillie House in Merritt, B.C. and what a pleasant surprise it was to learn about this treasure in the small, Western town.

Well, I was driving with the family through Merritt again last weekend, and made sure to include a stop at the most friendly information centre I know of – the Merritt Information Centre on 2250 Voght Street, where we were once again plied with home-made lemonade and iced tea, and offered a tour of the adjoining Baillie House.

Less pressed for time this time round, we decided to take up the offer and had a good snoop through the old heritage place.

According to our friendly tour guide, the place is furnished with items donated by the community. I was so impressed by the homeyness of the place, with a front parlor (above) ready for tea time and a dining room set for a formal dinner, complete with a baby’s high chair, bowl, cup and silver spoon, and this old record player, which we actually got to listen to for a bit:

Everything is museum quality and from around the same time – give or take a few decades – as the house, which was built in 1908.

I really felt like baking something – apple pie anyone? – in this kitchen.

The tour guide encouraged us (within reason, of course) to poke around, take clothes out of the bedroom closet to hold up for size, try on hats, peek behind closed doors. It was the most fun museum experience I think I’ve ever had! Especially because I am an old snoop at heart, and love to look with my hands (when it isn’t frowned upon, of course).

After that imaginary pie is put in the oven, I’m going to head upstairs to this desk and type out something literary. The next Great Canadian Novel, no doubt.

I also loved this old drop-leaf desk, at the top of the steep, narrow staircase. Such delicious nicks and wear marks in the wood.

Too bad we don’t travel with luggage like this anymore. But I have a feeling that it would be over-weight, even before you put anything in it!

My daughter Amélie had a ball pretending to iron these little doll dresses. Both my kids were ready to move right in. I was ready to let them (as long as it came with the furnishings, too).

Here they are with their cousin, Sarah, in the old buggy parked in front of the house.

Alas, after an hour or so of snooping it was time to go. But I’ll be keeping an eye open for a house just like it for our own someday.

How about you? Do you prefer old, heritage homes or newly built houses? Of course, the perfect one (for me) would be a brand new replica.

Read more about the history of Baillie House here.

– Words and photos by Lori-Anne Poirier

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  1. Who knew this was in Merritt! I will have to remember to take the time to check it out one day. I am with you…the perfect house for me would also be a replica of an old stye.

  2. Just realized that I wrote ‘old stye’…that should say ‘old style’.
    Love the photos!

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