Ricarton Presbyterian Church near Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, overlooks the graveyard where Robert Dunsmuir's parents and grandparents are buried. Lynne Bowen




Robert Dunsmuir Cover



Robert Dunsmuir

Laird of the Mines (1999)



Though he came to the wilds of colonial Vancouver Island as an indentured coal miner, Robert Dunsmuir became a mine owner, a railroad builder and the richest man in British Columbia. A man of exceptional ability, he had no patience with underlings who defied his paternalistic methods. Legend has it that he promised his wife a castle if she would leave Scotland, and he kept his promise. Craigdarroch Castle rose on a hill overlooking Victoria, but he died before it was completed.


Dunsmuir's coal wharves at Departure Bay
BC Archives

Robert Dunsmuir, in a top hat which makes him look much taller than he was.
BC Archives

Dunsmuir's son, James, built Hatley Park so he could have a castle like his father.
BC Archives



Robert Dunsmuir can be found at:

Nanaimo Art Gallery

Dundurn (Publishing)


Major libraries or through inter-library loan.

A second-hand copy can be purchased through AbeBooks.