The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Farmers' Bank of Rustico will be held on March 25th at 7 pm. Read more here.
The Farmer's Bank of Rustico has launched a fundraising campaign to to support the Bank’s mandate of improving standards at the museum. Read more here.
Welcome to Rustico
Rustico is one of the oldest communities established in "La Nouvelle Acadie" following the Treaty of Paris in 1763 and is the oldest Acadian settlement in Prince Edward Island. From this region many Acadians emigrated to other communities such as Bloomfield and St. Charles on Prince Edward Island, Rogersville, Saint-Paul and Acadieville in New Brunswick and Matapedia in Quebec. From the cradle of this contemporary "l'Acadie de l'île", bordering on Rustico Bay and the National Park of Prince Edward Island, visitors may see numerous buildings and dwellings which together serve as a legacy of the past and commemorate the determination and ingenuity of the Acadians. The Farmers' Bank of Rustico, a National Historic Site houses an exhibit of the Rustico Acadians. Enjoy the visit. A nominal fee is charged for a tour of the exhibit and a visit to the Doucet House.
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.
As one of the most historic buildings on P.E.I., the Doucet House is certainly the oldest house in the Rustico area and quite possibly in the whole province.
The house was originally situated on Grand-Père Point (Cymbria) and was continually inhabited by descendants of Doucet families until 1982 when it was acquired by John Langdale who used it as a summer residence. When the latter decided to build a new home on the site, he stated his intention to either demolish it or give it to a person or party who would move it to another site. The Friends of the Farmers' Bank accepted the offer and the house was moved to a site adjacent to the Bank in December 1999. The house had originally been used on occasion as a place of worship at a time when there was no church or other suitable building available in the early days of the colony. The house has been fully restored and contains many items of period antique furnishings.
The re-enactment of the arrival of Jean Doucet and his wife Marguerite Gaudet to Rustico by "shallop" took place on June 26, 2004 and the official opening ceremonies of the Doucet House were held on June 29, 2004.