Who’s ready to step back into 19th-century BC? The oldest house in the province happens to be situated on its original property in Victoria, and it was once the home of Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken.

A surgeon with the Hudson’s Bay Company, Helmcken constructed the home in 1852 when he married the daughter of Governor James Douglas. According to the Royal BC Museum, he went on to become a statesman and helped negotiate the entry of British Columbia into Canada.

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helmcken house bc
Photo via Royal Museum of BC

The one-storey log house has two distinctive wood-frame additions, according to Tourism Victoria. It faces Elliot Street Square and sits beside the Royal BC Museum on its original site.

In addition to being the first speaker of an elected assembly in BC, Dr. Helmcken is known as an early Vancouver Island doctor, and the first president of the Canadian Medical Association.

Location & info

Ready to check it out for yourself? Admission to the Royal BC Museum starts at $11 for students and children, and $18 for adults. Visitors can check out the Helmcken House at no additional cost.

Visitors can also see Dr. Helmcken’s original 19th-century medical kit on display.

The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm from Monday to Wednesday, and until 6 pm from Thursday to Sunday.

So there you have it, BC! If you’ve ever wanted to see inside one of the oldest buildings in the province, it’s worth adding the Helmcken House to your map!

Helmcken House 

Where: 638 Douglas Street, Victoria