Helmcken House – Victoria’s Oldest Residence

Helmcken House in Elliott Street Square

Built in 1852, by BC’s first surgeon, Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken, his house is one of the oldest houses in British Colombia still on it’s original location.  Marrying the daughter of the BC Governor, James Douglas, Dr Helmcken settled in Victoria and established himself as surgeon, and later statesman helping forge BC’s entry into Canadian Confederation.
As with most homes of the era, the log cabin was built in the fur trade post-in-sill style as perfected by the trades people of the Hudson Bay Company.  When the Helmcken family grew so did the house, with additions in 1856 and 1883.

The 1852 original cabin (left) with noticable additions in 1856 & 1883

Situated in Elliot Street Square, adjacent to the Royal BC Museum, Helmcken House and neighbouring St Ann’s Schoolhouse are part of BC’s living history. Open to the public and housing artifacts and memorabilia from the era, they are a chance for visitors to experience the way they lived when the fur trade and gold rush were bringing scores of newcomers to the new world.

Built in 1884, moved to it's present location in 1974, St Ann's Schoolhouse may be the oldest structure in Victoria

Helmcken House is open May 20, 2011 through September 5, 2011 from Noon to 4 pm daily. Included with museum admission or membership, or by donation.

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