Here is an explanatory excerpt from Chapter 7 of From Devastation To Beauty – The Creation Of The Butchart Gardens:
“…..Although the term “Chinaman’s Cottage” would be considered extremely offensive today, it was commonly used in late 19th and early 20th century British Columbia.
Wealthy families, like the Butcharts, employed servants and often provided separate accommodation for their domestic staff. The servants were often Chinese or Asian, which led to the term “Chinaman’s Cottage.”
This building was originally used as a residence for some of the Butchart’s Chinese household staff. The original 1917 Samuel Maclure plans show two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living room. The absence of a kitchen suggests that the staff members prepared and ate their meals in Benvenuto, the main house.
By 1922, the “Chinaman’s Cottage” was being referred to as the “Gardener’s Cottage.”
The Butchart Gardens now uses this building as a “Men’s Washroom” facility…..”
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