Five reasons to visit Roedde House Museum this May

Roedde House Museum Victorian table settings

Roedde House Museum Victorian table settings

Located in Barclay Square in the heart of the West End, the Roedde House Museum is one of the city’s hidden gems, sort of like the Jimi Hendrix Shrine, but with wainscotting.

A Victorian-era house restored to its original condition, more or less, Roedde House is the scene of monthly concerts as well as exhibits that give visitors a glimpse into the lifestyles of a Victorian middle-class family.

To celebrate Roedde House’s 25th anniversary, the museum’s staff has planned some special events and festivities. Here are five reasons to pencil a visit to Roedde House in to your May schedule.

1. B.C. History. Built in the Queen Anne revival style, 122-year-old house was designed by architect Francis Rattenbury, who also designed Victoria’s Empress Hotel and the BC Law Court (the current home of the Vancouver Art Gallery). According to a press release, “The Roedde family sold the house in 1925, and it functioned as a boarding house for single men living in the West End between the 1920s and the 1970s.” It was slated for demolition in the mid-seventies but the neighbourhood intervened, and the interior was restored. It’s been open to the public since 1990 (hence the 25th anniversary events this month).

kitchen

2.By donation. For the entire month, admission is by donation. Visitors can choose a “pay what you can” tour through the 11 fully restored rooms with one of the volunteers. And, on May 12, Roedde House Museum will be open for special “candlelight’ tours” between 4 – 9 p. m. that will demonstrate what the heritage house would have looked back in its heyday, when it was illuminated only by natural light.

3. Exhibit. For the anniversary, Roedde House Museum’s Collections Room hosts an exhibit that recounts the story of the original owners, and documents how the house has evolved and changed over the years.

4. Live music. The house’s acoustics and ambience lend themselves to small, intimate concerts. For the 25th anniversary, visitors can enjoy a classical concert with flautist Jeff Pelletier and clarinetist Julie Begg on May 10. On May 14 at 7 p.m., the Roedde’s monthly evening of jazz features the ensemble Braveheart.

5. Victorian Farmstead Day. On May 23, between 11 and 3, visitors can experience everyday living circa 1900. Artisans, vendors and historians will demonstrate everyday tasks and interactions such as butter churning, urban chicken farming, and weaving.

Roedde House Museum is located at 1415 Barclay St. Visit Roeddehouse.org for more info.

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