Monday, April 02, 2007

Oldest house in Victoria

I am curious what the oldest house in Victoria is? By this I mean a house that still in use and not one of the museum type ones like Helmcken house etc.....

Here is what I have found:

John Tod House
John Tod was born in Scotland and emigrated to Canada in 1811 where he rose to the position of chief fur trader with the Hudson's Bay Company. His house, located at 2564 Heron Street, is western Canada’s oldest house, completed in 1851. Tod built the house from local heavy timber, with pegged and dovetailed construction rare to the area. Since 1929 owners of the house have complained of ghostly activities and unexplained events. Rumours abounded of secret tunnels dug from the house to Oak Bay coves for the purposes of smuggling contraband – but the tunnels have yet to be discovered.

4139 Lambrick Way (ca. 1859) Captain Charles and Grace Dodd

Photo of 4139 Lambrick WayThis is the oldest house still standing in Saanich and was originally situated at 1710 Kenmore Road. It was built for the Dodds as a country home. Dodd, a servant of the Hudson's Bay Company, came to the Coast in 1836 on the paddle wheeler S.S. Beaver. He was promoted to master of the Beaver and later the Labouchere. He eventually became Chief Factor for the northwest coast, but died shortly afterwards on June 2, 1860. In accordance with Dodd's will, Roderick Finlayson and William Fraser Tolmie were appointed Trustees of his estate. A handsome tabletop monument over Dodd's grave still stands in Pioneer Square in Victoria.

This simple, one-storey, cedar-shingled house is country Georgian in style. The interior, with its twelve-foot ceilings, is lined in redwood. In 1978 the house was moved from its original location at the corner of Kenmore Road and Torquay Drive by developer Charles Van Veen, who wished to subdivide the property where it stood.

From a restaurant review
A restaurant I have tried, Four Mile Roadhouse (said to be haunted), is a pleasant stop if you are on the way west of Victoria (perhaps to visit the gardens at Royal Roads or drive to the Sooke area) or returning to town. It's located on a grubby road, the old highway from Victoria out to Colwood, but don't let that put you off. It's the fourth oldest house in Victoria's history - obviously modified over the years.

The house was built by a Peter Calvert from Scotland, who sailed as an indentured servant of the Hudson's Bay Co. He worked for them for five years. On the voyage over to Victoria he fell in love and after his service was over, married. He bought a six-acre parcel of land beside the original highway that the stagecoaches traversed. He decided to open a roadhouse and start a staging service. He had a parrot in a tree outside the Four Mile House (the name comes from its location along the highway), and the parrot was reported to whistle at the horses and call out 'whoa'.

In the late 40's the Four Mile House was translated into a dine and dance place with a brothel upstairs for sailors. Closed down and neglected until 1979, the building was renovated and reopened as the present restaurant and lounge - totally respectable now, of course. The food is inexpensive for the amount served, but not remarkable.
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