The museum celebrates the unique story of the first people's bank in Canada, its Acadian community and the people whose vision and perseverance made it possible. The Farmers' Bank arose out of the needs of the Acadian people.
The Farmers' Bank of Rustico opened in May, 1864, it is recognized by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada as the precursor to the Credit Union Movement in North America. The Bank produced its own banknotes and operated successfully from 1864 to 1894.
Father Georges-Antoine Belcourt of Saint Augustine's Church was responsible for the raising of the building and the creation of the Farmers' Bank. Loved by the community, he brought them many innovations including the first people's bank in Canada, a library, a model school, a band, a temperance club - the Catholic Institute, and renewed hope and vitality.
In 1758 with the fall of Fortress Louisbourg, Île-Saint-Jean was forfeited to the English. Thirty-five hundred Acadians were deported to France while the remainder fled. Some families managed to stay on the Island by hiding from the British. The community of Rustico was formed as Acadians came out of hiding with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763.
We invite you to explore with us:
- The Farmers' Bank of Rustico, the first people's bank in Canada
- Acadian settlement in Prince Edward Island and the Rustico area
- Father Georges-Antoine Belcourt
- St. Augustine's Church, opened in 1838, the oldest Catholic Church in PEI.
- The preservation and restoration of the Farmers' Bank completed in 1867.
- The preservation and restoration of the Doucet House built circa 1772.