Kilby was a bustling whistle stop destination home to thousands at its peak where Mr Acton Kilby ran the general store (1906), post office, hotel, and most elements you’d find in a turn-of-the-century town.
When the rail lines changed and the gold rush ended, it became a ghost town however many elements from the 1920s and 30s era were preserved by Acton Kilby. In the 1970s the Kilby family decided to turn the whole place into a museum – from old gas pumps, barns, elevated boardwalks, and of course the general store. Mr Kilby had collected so many items over the years – rooms full, really – including everything from turn of the century cigarette tins, to canned goods and clothing, the diversity of the collection is remarkable.
Aside from the museum, they have a farm (with goats, bunnies, ducks, chickens, and cows) and they work together with the local 4-H Club.
The gift shop is filled with goodies from local artisans and their restaurant serves up hearty meals from old-fashioned recipes including hand-squeezed lemonade, fresh baked pies, and their pulled-chicken sandwich.
You can visit Kilby from Thursday to Monday (11:00am to 5:00pm) and as of May 14th they’re open every day from 11:00am to 5:00pm. The family admission price is $24 (for families of any size) and they also have seasons passes, $22 for adults and $52 for the whole family.
They also have special events throughout the year including a Black Powder Festival, a Thanksgiving meal, and even spooky haunted Halloween tours.
The Kilby Historic Site is also adjacent to a campground (with 22 spots) in Harrison Bay where I’m certain my family has stayed before but will merit another visit sometime soon. The history, natural beauty, farm features, and stories told at Kilby definitely make the trip worthwhile.