When the Roscoes’ effects were auctioned in 1878, the list of items for sale included “a flock of Braham fowl”. The list misspelled the name, but Brahma chickens were a recently developed breed. Both the light and dark Brahma were included in the first British Poultry Standard, published by the original Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1865. Nine of the grand new birds were presented to Queen Victoria in 1852. Large and docile, they quickly became very popular on both sides of the Atlantic. By the 1930’s these 12-16 lb dual-purpose birds (both meat and eggs) were the most common chicken in America.
The Ross Bay Villa flock will not reach their adult size until October this year, when they will start laying large brown eggs. Stop by on Saturday between 11:00 and 2:00 if you would like to meet the Brahmas.
All funds raised go to the conservation, restoration and maintenance of the Ross Bay Villa Historic House Museum.
Welcome to Ross Bay Villa!
Ross Bay Villa was the home of Francis James Roscoe and his wife Anna Letitia from 1865 to 1879. While living there, they had five children: Mary, Katherine, Francis, Millicent and Thomas.
Roscoe a prominent merchant in Victoria, was a Member of Parliament for Victoria from 1874 to 1878. Prior to becoming an MP, he was a staunch supporter of British Columbia joining Confederation in 1871.
After his election, he fought for British Columbia and worked at making sure that the terms of Confederation were maintained – specifically the promised joining of British Columbia with the rest of the country by a continental railway – the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Ross Bay Villa Historic House Museum has been preserved and restored to the way it would have looked when the Roscoe family were in residence. The Entry Hall; Drawing Room; and Dining Room have all been restored to the 1865-1879 appearance. A children’s room is currently under restoration.
One of the three bedrooms is currently an office for the Old Cemeteries Society, which leads Sunday tours of the historic Ross Bay Cemetery, directly across the street from Ross Bay Villa. Their rental income helps to preserve the house and garden.
Ross Bay Villa – and the volunteer Ross Bay Villa Society that has been working to preserve and restore this rare 1865 house since 1999 – welcomes visitors. Join us for a guided tour every Saturday at 2:00.