Craigdarroch Castle

This private home was built by Robert Dunsmuir on a 28 acre site above downtown Victoria. He died in 1899, just months before it was completed.

Dunsmuir was from a middle class coal mining family in England and emigrated to Canada in 1850. He worked hands-on for others in the new coal mines in British Columbia and in 1869 struck out on his own. By good luck, his own hard work and skillful manipulation of the political and business environment he became the richest man in British Columbia, owning mines, railways and ship lines. He served briefly in the provincial House of British Columbia - and shamelessly used the position to further his own interests.

When he died he left his multi-millions to his wife Joan - an unheard of action in those times - she with her two sons ran the businesses. Their 10 children and grandchildren by-in-large did not handle their wealth particularly happily. One son died young, an alcoholic, and the daughters married for social position and 6 of the eight ended up miserable. Joan died in 1908 and the house was later a WW I veteran's hospital and a college.

The main staircase... 87 steps, four floors. The ball room was on the top level.

The Breakfast nook.... a cozy place for the family....

The Smoking Room - with appropriate stained glass Window

One of the lesser bedrooms - used by a grandchild.


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