Tuesday, December 6, 2011


This gorgeous piece of real estate is in Shaugnessy and happens to be one of the largest estates there. It was built in 1915 for whiskey baron Edward Tulk and Tulk named it Rosemary after his daughter. (my father and I are quite close but he has never named an estate after me. I'll have to talk to him about  that!)

I wasn't able to find anything on Tulk on the Internet - I guess whiskey barons on that era kept a low profile - but there are other things to mention.

As you can see the home was built in the Tudor Revival style as an English Manor. It was designed by architects Maclure and Fox. (Samuel Maclure was involved in many notable projects including being a consultant to the legendary Butchart Gardens near Victoria. And Maclure was born in Sapperton New Westminster BC.)

Besides the Tulks, the Rosemary has had a few very interesting occupants. Including someone who once owned The Shannon- Austin Taylor who was the owner of the Bralorne gold mine.

For a while John W. Fordham Johnson, BC's future Lieutenant Governor, lived at this estate.

Johnson was born in England in 1866 and at the age of 22 he left to embark on a new life. He began working for a bank in Oregon and was there for ten years before he was transferred to Vancouver.

Once in Vancouver Johnson found opportunities. In 1900 he left the employ of the bank and went to work for BC Sugar Co., eventually becoming president of the company in 1920.

On August 1, 1931 John William Fordham Johnson was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and he served the province for five years, until 1936 when his ill health forced him to retire to Vancouver. He died two years later.

The Order of the Convent of Our Lady of the Cenacle owned this estate from 1947 until 1994. They used it as a retreat.What a beautiful place to commune with God.

In the current owners took steps to protect the estate by entering into a Heritage Revitalization Agreement with the City. They have allowed the grounds to be subdivided into three parcels which will allow other buildings to be put on the grounds and still keep the manor as it always has been and will hopefully continue to be for years to come.
I thoroughly enjoy my strolls through Shaugnessy. Maybe I'm hoping that the wealth will rub off on me - that just breathing the same air, walking the same streets, looking at the same houses will entice money to come to me. The Lotto 649 is 12 million dollars tonight so here's hoping! If not I'm getting my fresh air, exercise and vitamin D.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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  1. Rosemary was still alive five months ago, and there is quite a lot of Albert Edward Tulk info out there, including genealogical info, directory listings, a description of AE Tulk, and plenty of familial info - obits, B/M/D, etc - all on the web.
    UVic holds abt 49 drawings/plans for the house, which was apparently added onto the smaller end past the porte cochere. Outbuildings listed were: greenhouses, chicken house, stable, and summer house (gazebo type structure but walled or windowed on three sides and open on the front). Three buildings still exist although two of them are on the subdivided property but have been restored. The house is in need of some work.

    1. thanks also for the hint on finding information about Tulk - helps if I look for the right name!

  2. Those photos were taken in November or December of 2011.

  3. Apparently the summer house was removed - not the same as the gazebo type structure that still stands in the back yard.
    Overall, the house is in pretty good shape.

  4. Love the house. Great pictures and article as always.

  5. Great history explained and photos too!

  6. Beautiful pictures and great article. I love BC. Thank you Karen for the tour. 8-) <3

  7. Imagine building such a place then dying 7 years later? Tulk died in 1922.

    1. Think of the Shannon estate Travis. B.T. Rogers died before it was finished. Thanks for reading and commenting.