One of the best known and most picturesque landmarks of its day in Victoria, Four Mile Roadhouse is the fourth oldest house in Victoria’s history. The three others at Helmcken House, Todd Manor and Craigflower Manor (now more than 130 years old). A young Peter Calvert left the heathered hills of Scotland behind him in 1849, and sailed to Victoria by way of Cape Horn in the immigrant ship the Norman Morrison.
He came as an indentured servant of the Hudson’s Bay Company. In return for a free passage he was required to work for the Company for a period of five years. He then married a young woman, Miss Elizabeth Montgomery, with whom he had fallen in love on the voyage from Britain. They moved up the hill and bought a six-acre parcel of land through which the original Island Highway ran. Calvert built himself a small four-room cottage and as the family increased the cottage grew.
At that early time, the Victoria stage coaches struggled up the tough Four Mile Hill on the way to Sooke and up island places. Calvert opened a roadhouse and started a staging service offering a breather for the horses and a chance for dusty travellers to quench their thirst. To those local citizens who patronized his premises he offered polite attention and first class refreshments. A local remembers that his grandmother once said, “They used to have a parrot in a tree outside the Four Mile that would whistle at the horses coming up the hill and it would call out “Whoa!” and the horses would stop and turn in”. The reputation of Four Mile grew but the onset of the First World War and the years of prohibition put a halt to activity at the House.
In the late 40’s the Four Mile opened as a dine-and dance place under the banner of The Lantern House Inn – the Coziest Cabaret on the Coast. The upstairs of the House contained a notorious brothel frequented by sailors which was raided by the local police and was eventually shut down. Not used commercially since the early 50’s Four Mile stood neglected until 1979 when it was bought by its present owners, Graham and Wendy Haymes. After extensive renovations Four Mile Roadhouse has been preserved with the dignity its age and historic past deserve.
Step back with us
We’re 100 years behind the times….
Four Mile Spirits
Around the house the spirits soar
Reaching upwards evermore…
…a little local folklore
“…One day I was a wee boy my great-aunt died and was buried on Thetis Point. In the years after a figure of a “Lady in White” was seen on the rocks looking out to sea. This rock became known as White Lady Point, and the beach in Thetis Cove became named as White Lady Beach, to all our local folk.
Tale as told by Wilf Gouge, born June 30, 1897
Grandson of Peter Calvert the pioneer of
Four Mile House established 1858.
The White Lady was Wilf Gouge’s great-aunt who came to stay with the family when her husband, a sea captain, went on a long voyage. She would take daily walks to Thetis Point (just behind Four Mile) and stand high up on the rocks looking out to sea. She passed away after a lengthy illness before her husband returned. In the years after a lady in white was seen frequently by locals standing on the rocks looking out to sea waiting for her man.
The staff at Four Mile over the years has constantly heard noises in the early morning, a teaspoon tapping against a teacup in the present empty dining room, a voice softly calling, the image of a customer sitting quietly at a table seen out of the corner of ones eye in passing…only to vanish upon closer inspection, leaving the chair slightly ajar at the table; and footsteps heard upstairs late at night. Small items missing suddenly and when we ask for it to be returned we find the item lost the last time returned instead, resting in the same spot. Almost like a humorous lost and found in a quiet corner of the kitchen.
Jake is another one of out resident ghosts at Four Mile. Jake Matteson was a Scottish gentleman who came by ship in the late 1840’s. He was reputed to have staked the land before the original owners and had plans drawn to build a home for his sweetheart. He kept his gold on a rope, in and old well on the property. Before he could execute his plans he “died suddenly”. We are still looking for that gold. (We found two “old wells” during various stages of renovation…no gold yet!)
A women in full length gown has been seen infrequently in full daylight standing in an upper window looking down at the gardens. One can sense her enjoyment of the spring and fall work being done by the gardeners. We are sure that this is Margaret.
Margaret’s mother Elizabeth was the lady of the Manor and was said to have healing powers and extensive knowledge of herbs and their properties, she learned the language of the local natives and was renowned as a medicine women for the local folk. When she died the local natives danced the mask dance in her honor (one reserved for chiefs and great warriors). At her funeral they all took part in accompanying her casket to the graveside.
There is a warm healing spiritual essence here around the house, that one can feel, as you sit back and enjoy the ambiance and fine Westcoast cuisine of Four Mile House.