popular feature of the museum visit today,
Moss Cottage is the oldest standing pioneer
home west of Victoria. Built in 1869/70
by James Welsh for his bride, Mary Ellen
Flynn, it was home to the couple for ten
years. James Welsh was connected to the
pioneer Muir family, and the cottage was
built on Muir land.
Ellen Welsh gave birth to six children
over the next ten years. When she passed
away in 1880, the cottage was vacant
for a time, and her surviving children
brought up elsewhere. In 1902, Matilda
Gordon, a daughter of Michael Muir,
moved into the frame home after her
husband Jack Gordon died of consumption.
many years of changing times, the cottage
stood in 1977 as a sad derelict, with the
property up for sale. Owner Ernie Welsh
kindly donated the historic cottage to the
Sooke Region Historical Society, who relocated
the building to the museum grounds.
visitors to the cottage are welcomed inside
by our interpretive guide in the character
of Matilda "Aunt Tilly" Gordon
who is raising her two children, Alice and
Harry, on her own, in 1902. Household tasks
of the turn of the century are demonstrated
by Aunt Tilly as she chats with visitors
while bustling about her chores.