Point Ellice House was designated a National Historic Site in 1966 and became a Provincial Historic Site in 1975. The house is also listed on the City of Victoria’s heritage registry. (pointellicehouse.com)

New operators share future vision for hidden Victoria landmark

Point Ellice House, constructed in 1860s, among the oldest homes in the city

A gem of charming Victoria history, hidden away in the midst of an industrial area, has been taken on by a new organization excited about expanding the experience for visitors.

Point Ellice House, a provincial historic site overlooking the Gorge Waterway, was constructed during 1860s and is among the oldest homes in the city.

The O’Reilly family owned the home for 108 years before turning the house and its contents into a museum and selling it to the Province of British Columbia. The house was turned over with a century’s worth of O’Reilly family possessions including furniture, dishes, luggage, letters, pictures, paintings, musical instruments, clothing, and more.

While similar homes and properties surrounding it were demolished as Victoria grew, Point Ellice House – with its contents and its gardens – was protected.

Point Ellice House was designated a National Historic Site in 1966 and became a Provincial Historic Site in 1975. The house is also listed on the City of Victoria’s heritage registry.

ALSO READ: Historian revisits Victoria’s high society roots

Formerly operated by the Point Ellice House Preservation Society until the agreement ended in 2018, the Vancouver Island Local History Society has now been chosen to manage the site through a request for proposal managed by BC Bid.

The Heritage Branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the Vancouver Island Local History Society have entered into a five-year agreement for the management of Point Ellice House.

“The Vancouver Island Local History Society looks forward to connecting people to the history of Vancouver Island and British Columbia through the compelling historic setting provided by Point Ellice House,” said Kelly Black, executive director of the Vancouver Island Local History Society.

“We are also looking forward to strengthening the connections between the house and other businesses in the Rock Bay neighbourhood to encourage increased public recreation and use of the site.”

The society will take care of programming, caretaking, public access, and operational services at the site.

ALSO READ: Oak Bay author up for $30,000 TD children’s literature award

“We are working with site managers to find ways of enhancing reconciliation with First Nations,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Peter O’Reilly, the original O’Reilly who first moved into Point Ellice House in 1867, served as an Indian Reserve Commissioner and was tasked with setting out and, in many cases, reducing the size of reserve lands for First Nations across the Province.

The society is reaching out to local First Nations to help tell the story of First Nations use of the site.

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria votes to slash sister city celebrations

Victoria will only celebrate its anniversary with Morioka, Japan this year

Dozen Metchosin ‘barn cats’ on the hunt for new homes

Broken Promises Animal Rescue hoping to re-home feral cats

Shortlisted options for Beacon Wharf replacement cost between $6.3 and $14.2 million

Select committee will investigate various questions around proposed replacement of iconic wharf

Swimmers, advocates plead to Victoria council for new Crystal Pool facility

Many swimmers dependant on the pool are afraid to be without any athletic resources

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Dashcam records driver’s near-miss near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

Most Read