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617 Battery Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8V, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1980/08/14

Exterior view of Pinehurst, 2002; Victoria Heritage Foundation, Derek Trachsel 2005
southwest elevation
Exterior view of 617 Battery Street, c. 1903; City of Victoria Archives, 1983
south elevation
Exterior vew of 617 Battery Street, c. 1891; City of Victoria Archives, 1984
south and west elevations

Other Name(s)

Milne House
Beacon House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Pinehurst is a two-and-one-half storey, wood frame house overlooking Holland Point and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is sited in the southeastern part of the James Bay neighbourhood, a peninsula southwest of the Victoria Harbour and downtown core.

Heritage Value

Pinehurst was built in 1889 and is valued as an outstanding example of the type of Queen Anne Revival mansion that many wealthy individuals chose as a residence in Victoria at the turn of the twentieth century. It is also valued as the home of two prominent Victoria citizens, William James Macaulay and Dr. George Lawson Milne. The house is valued as well because it was built by prolific Victoria contractor George C. Mesher.

As first built, it was an austere house with Queen Anne form and massing but little surface decoration, reminiscent of the Shingle Style popular at the time for seaside mansions on the American northeast coast and in keeping with the house's site. The second owner added several features that transformed the house to its present Queen Anne Revival style.

W. J. Macaulay represents the type of wealthy individual who found Victoria an attractive retirement home in this era. Having amassed a considerable fortune in Ontario and the United States, he retired to Victoria in 1888. Unable to stay retired, he returned to the lumber business by purchasing timber interests and establishing a sawmill.

G. L. Milne epitomizes the citizens who established the character of Victoria society at the turn of the twentieth century. He was instrumental in the founding of the Royal Jubilee Hospital, the British Columbia Medical Council, and the British Columbia Medical Act. In the Dominion Medical Service he ultimately held the title Controller of Chinese and was responsible for the collection of the head tax. He was a school trustee and was elected to the Provincial Legislature. He also had business interests in Victoria, such as real estate and shares in the street railway company.

Sources: City of Victoria Planning & Development Department; Victoria Heritage Foundation

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of Pinehurst include its:
- site facing the cliffs of Holland Point and the Strait of Juan de Fuca
- front-gabled with cross gables and a round tower
- features typical of the original construction of the house, such as the curved drop siding on the tower
- features typical of the Queen Anne style of the renovated house, such as the quatrefoil gable trusses, wraparound porch, and quarter ring eave brackets



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Multiple Dwelling


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer



George C. Mesher

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Sources: City of Victoria Planning & Development Department; Victoria Heritage Foundation

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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