Old St. Andrews



Niger Reef Tea House



In 1897 Captain Thomas Wheelock of Boston and Shanghai, built his summer home called "Topside" at the top of King Street. His daughter, Florence Ayscough, later a long-standing summer resident of St. Andrews, in connection with the local chapter of the I.O.D.E., built a tea house next to the West Point Blockhouse and donated it to the town. At that time, with the establishment of a fleet of C.P.R. steamers connecting Vancouver with Japan and the orient, things oriental were much in vogue, and Ms. Ayscough commissioned her friend Lucille Douglas to adorn the tea house wall with Japanese landscapes. The Tea House opened in 1926. In the 1990's a restoration project headed up by local designer Jeff Gauley uncovered these delicate murals, which had been boarded over and long forgotten. At this point in time the Niger Reef Tea House is rented out in the summer to entrepreneurs wishing to use the building and site as a summer restaurant.