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There are three (3) main themes for
at Canada's Polish Kashub Heritage Museum/Skansen
as well as permanent & seasonal displays

# 1. Remembering Our Polish Kashub Pioneers and Pioneer Days in the First Polish Settlement area  as well as in and around the town of Renfrew, Ontario and in the Polish Hills of Otter Lake, Quebec
looking at life on the farm and in the town;
in the home and in the barn;
in the fields and in the forests;
in the church and in the community.
The emphasis is on aspects that  made  the Polish Kashub pioneers unique from other pioneer immigrant groups - things like:
their language and music; & their customs and beliefs. Artifacts include their handmade Wilno Furniture
their Polish prayer and hymn books ("spiewniks"), religious articles,
as well as more typical pioneer artifacts which belonged to the original immigrant families.

blanket box
Old Polish Hymn Book

#2. Remembering Our Roots in Poland
with Kashubian costumes as well as more traditional Polish costumes,
Kashubian embroidery and floral patterns,
pottery and ceramics,
horned objects, and other memorabilia.

#3.  Remembering Our Men who Fought for Poland and for Canada
with emphasis on the young men who fought in the Polish forces [Haller's Army] in WWI and then after the war was over, went to Poland and continued to fight for Poland even though they were Canadian born.
Displays include the "blue" Polish Forces uniform that belonged to Paul Coulas, service records, passports, postcards and medals as well as a  WWI display including photographs and documentation on the men from Canada's First Polish Settlement who fought for Canada. Also a scrapbook on our men who fought in WWII.

Portable Displays
Displays are not limited to the museum site as a number of posters and display boards are used in conjunction with small artifacts to create colourful and informative heritage displays at other venues.

As our Museum/Skansen is still growing with the addition of more buildings,   the displays are also ever-changing although the main themes remain permanent.

September 2003-March 2004: Wilno Heritage Display: "Wilno, Canada's First Polish Settlement, Past & Present"
Main Legislature Building, Queen's Park, Toronto

In 2008, a number of permanent displays were set up in the log farmhouse where the emphasis is on the life of the Polish Kashub immigrant family in their new home in Canada.

The displays in the Log Shed [See Building #2 ] focus on the store, post office, railway station and school in the pioneer Polish Kashub Community, as well as on the life of the farmer, forest worker, carpenter /cabinetmaker and blacksmith. This display area will change in 2009-2010 as the farm, forest and blacksmith articles will be moved to the Timber Frame Shed and displayed along with some larger, handmade farm and forest machinery.

The emphasis of the displays in the main log cabin is on the Polish Kashubian cultural heritage of these immigrant families, as well as the story of their immigration. The main building also houses the Resource Library and Heritage Store and acts as the Welcoming Centre to the Museum and Park.

Then there are also seasonal displays that change each year. In 2006, the emphasis was on music to coincide with the release of the CDs Folk Music from Canada's First Polish Community and Songs and Dances from Canada's First Polish Community.

Kashubian Devil's Fiddle

Seasonal Displays Summer 2007 emphasized the themes of:
#1. food
[in conjunction with the release of the Heritage Society's Canadian Kashubian Cookbook

#2. building [in conjunction with the restoration of the old log farmhouse].

Special Displays in the Summer 2008
TO CANADA 1858-2008
were set up in Wilno at the Polish Kashub Heritage Museum and several other museums (Bytown Museum in Ottawa and McDougall Mill Museum in Renfrew; also smaller displays at the Hoch Park Museum in Killaloe, Champlain Trail Museum in Pembroke, and Mission House Museum in Combermere).  
Kashubian Display at Bytown Museum
in Ottawa - Click Here!

These displays emphasized the arrival of the first Kashub families to Canada, including their identities, immigration documents from 1858, early land documents,
and the difficulties they faced in the new world. 
The displays also celebrated Canada's unique Polish Kashub Cultural Heritage.

Release of Prussian Citizenship Emigration Document
Dated April 24, 1858
for the Szczypior family

This document is the oldest in one of the oldest in the collection of the Polish Kashub Heritage Museum

Also in 2008, a special exhibit on the Kashubs in Canada was featured at the Museum in Wejherowo, Poland.

The main museum link is and for the Canadian Kashub exhibit specifically link to

Seasonal Displays Summer 2009
will focus on the Opeongo Colonization Road
and the first land allotments for the Kashub immigrants starting in 1859:
Reports of the hardships and difficulties they faced will be emphasized. 

Release of Prussian Citizenship Document
Deed for Joseph Lorbetski/Lorbiecki/Rolbiecki

1865 deed for one of the first land claims for Kashubian Immigrant
Joseph Rolbecki/Lorbetski

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For more information on the Wilno Heritage Society e-mail: