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When Fort Victoria was first established in the mid-nineteenth century, eight pioneer families of Europe’s upper class formed the social elite of the modest colony. The self-named aristocracy of this new land, these families shaped a world suited to their proper tastes on the upper floors of the fort, and eventually, in beautiful homes that imitated the height of fashion in Europe. However, between their tea parties and balls, these particular families greatly influenced the progress of the city of Victoria and the province of British Columbia.

In Above Stairs, get to know the the Douglases, the Pembertons, the Skinners, the Creases, the O’Reillys, the Trutches, the Rithets and the Barnards. These families made laws, surveyed land, founded businesses and set a standard of social acceptability for all those living in Victoria at the time. Like a kitchen hand sneaking up the servants’ steps to spy on the rich, discover the glamorous, complicated lives of Victoria’s social elite in Above Stairs.

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