Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken set up house in Victoria when he married the daughter of Governor James Douglas in 1852. Originally a three-room log house, the house was built by Helmcken and expanded as both the prosperity and size of the family grew. A surgeon with the Hudson’s Bay Company, Helmcken went on to become a statesman and helped negotiate the entry of British Columbia as a province into Canada.
Now the oldest house in British Columbia on its original site that still opens for the public, Helmcken House offers you a fascinating glimpse into the way life was lived over a hundred years ago. The good doctor’s original 19th-century medical kit is among the interesting items on display at Helmcken House.
Located in the heart of Victoria’s sparkling Inner Harbour district, Helmcken House is surrounded by all the attractions and activity around Victoria’s Inner Harbour.
The Royal BC Museum anchors an area bounded by Douglas, Belleville and Government Streets, steps from Victoria’s Inner Harbour and across the street from BC’s Legislature Buildings. This cultural precinct includes the BC Archives, Helmcken House, St. Ann’s Schoolhouse, the Netherlands Carillon Tower, Thunderbird Park and Mungo Martin House.
Helmcken House is located outside the main entrance of the Royal BC Museum, adjacent to Thunderbird Park. Helmcken House is closed during the fall and winter seasons, including the Halloween period, with the exception of a special Christmas Open House, which is free with a same-day Royal BC Museum admission ticket. Enquire at the museum for further information on the Christmas week at Helmcken House. The grounds of Helmcken House are always accessible when the heritage house is closed.
c/o Royal BC Museum
675 Belleville Street