Brick by Brick: Uncovering the Past at Point Ellice House

Dr. Kelly Black, Executive Director It seems like each week at Point Ellice House we uncover a mystery that needs solving or a new artifact to identify. This past October was no exception! As part of our ongoing rehabilitation of the South Garden, Fallingwater Property Services began a small project to clear and level an area around our new garden shed. What began as a simple three day project became something much bigger when workers uncovered a significant but forgotten feature of the South Garden – a long and winding brick pathway about 20 centimeters below the soil. Although we…...Continue reading

Rehabilitating the South Garden at Point Ellice House

Dr. Kelly Black, Executive Director According to heritage garden expert Cyril Hume, the gardens at Point Ellice House are one of the best surviving examples of Victorian-era gardens in North America. The importance of the gardens is reflected in the site’s statement of significance; the gardens are a character defining element of heritage value, especially all of the mature historic garden and landscaping features, which include the croquet/tennis lawns, pathways, rose bushes, flower beds, mature trees and shrubs, and the sequoia tree planted by Peter O’Reilly. The gardens at Point Ellice House are an extension of the site’s collection –…...Continue reading

Point Ellice House & Victoria’s Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Point Ellice House, Museum & Gardens National Historic Site is a green oasis surrounded by industrial lands on the shores of the Selkirk Water. The Point Ellice House shore is a component of the Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary and the Victoria “naturehood,” as recognized by Nature Canada. The site’s vegetated shoreline was restored in 2014 and is among the wildest left in Victoria Harbour and nearby waters. This restoration work continues today. To be a part of our ongoing efforts, consider volunteering at Point Ellice House. Guest Post by Jacques Sirois, Co-Warden – Trial Islands Ecological Reserve, Caretaker –…...Continue reading

Uncovering the Stories of Point Ellice House

Last week at Point Ellice House, our Head Gardener Sheila and volunteer Tim were working around the circular drive, trimming holly trees and tidying up the garden beds. As they trimmed back holly branches, they uncovered an enormous stump, likely a horse chestnut tree planted by Peter O’Reilly in the 1870s. The stump was new to us and a reminder that Point Ellice House and its gardens continue to surprise. There’s a lot we know about the house and families that lived here, but there’s still so much we have yet to uncover. There’s rarely a dull moment in the…...Continue reading

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