Not only is it a beautiful landmark, but it has quite the soap opera story to go with it!
Dale was such an entrancing narrator --- you can tell he loves history, and the history of Victoria, and loves watching folk’s reactions to the story of Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune from Vancouver Island coal.
We drove up, and my jaw dropped open!
From TheCastle.ca website:
Craigdarroch was built between 1887-1890 for Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune from Vancouver Island coal. This legendary Victorian mansion, built on a hill overlooking the City of Victoria announced to the world that Robert Dunsmuir was the richest and most important man in Western Canada.
The castle dwarfs our 1954 Cadillac Limousine!
Robert died in 1889 leaving his entire estate to his wife Joan who lived in the Castle until her death in 1908. The immense fortune of the Dunsmuir family is reflected in the four floors of exquisite stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and fabulous Victorian era furnishings.
There are 39 rooms, most of which are furnished lavishly in the 1890s-1900s period, so enjoy the ambiance as you climb the 87 stairs to the tower. There you’ll see fabulous views of Victoria, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Olympic Mountains.
With over 20,000 square feet of interior space, the house and gardens are being restored exactly as they were originally built.
Further info from Wiki:
Upon the death of Robert Dunsmuir's widow, Joan, the Craigdarroch estate was sold to land speculator Griffith Hughes for $38,000 who subdivided the estate into building lots.
To stimulate sales during a slow real estate market, Griffiths announced that the castle would be the subject of a raffle, to be won by one of the purchasers of the residential parcels carved from the estate.
The winner, Solomon Cameron, mortgaged the castle to finance other speculative ventures which failed, leaving him broke, and in 1919 ownership of the castle passed to one of Cameron's creditors, the Bank of Montreal.
The four-story Craigdarroch Castle still has lavish furnishings from the 1890s and is known for its stained-glass and intricate woodwork.
The Castle is currently owned by the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society, which is a private non-profit society, and is open to the public. The castle is a tourist attraction, and receives 150,000 visitors a year.
We didn't tour inside…our day was quickly passing and we had a reservation for dinner!
Our Caddie ride continued to the Fireside Grill, another great building with neat history!
The fireside grill is a large old tudor style home that eventually became a dance hall back in the day. It’s now a very nice restaurant with a ton of old fashioned charm and ambiance!
Here we all are, DH and myself, my sister-in-law, Pam and DH’s brother Myron on the steps of the Fireside Grill.
Our Victoria BC adventure was not over yet! Stay tuned for more!
Don’t forget that tonight is Quilt-Cam at 9pm Eastern! I’m considering it as a treadle night. I’ve been having a lot of fun with that new to me Singer 227M in the treadle cabinet….set your clocks, bring a project, and come join me!