Accession Number
Alternate Name
guest book; visitors' book
A blue padded leather guestbook made for use on the “TSSY Dolaura”, the front cover embossed in gilded font with the words “VISITORS’ BOOK.” in the centre and on the top right, with the word “DOLAURA.”, the inside cover bearing a pasted-on photograph of the twin screw steam yacht Dolaura, the inside containing 259 blank pages and the first 20 pages bearing signatures of guests who visited the yacht Dolaura and others who later visited at the Colwood residence of Dola Dunsmuir (Mrs. Henry Cavendish) also named Dolaura.
This guestbook was specially made for use on the Dunsmuir yacht, TSSY Dolaura. The letters “TSSY” stand for twin-screw steam yacht. The name Dolaura is derived from combining the names Dola and Laura.

Completed in Scotland in 1908 at a cost of approximately $200,000, the vessel measured 218 feet long and had quarters for 29 crew members. The inside cover bears a photograph of TSSY Dolaura.

The first guest to sign it was German Kaiser Wilhelm II when he came aboard in Kiel, Germany on June 22, 1908. One of the guests simply signed, "Norfolk". This person was the 15th Duke of Norfolk. He was the Earl Marshall who signed an invitation to "Mrs. Dunsmuir" to the coronation of King Edward VII (see Craigdarroch Primary Collection 983.804)

By July, 1908 Dolaura was in Quebec City for the Tercentenary celebration of that city. The names of prominent Canadian leaders of government and business are found on the first seven pages: Norfolk; Reford; Shaughnessy; Grey; Strathcona; Gillespie; Barnard, etc. Entries by visitors aboard the TSSY Dolaura cease in 1911.

The vessel was sold by Hon. James Dunsmuir before his death. His daughter Dola (Dunsmuir) Cavendish in 1942 named her new residence on Esquimalt Lagoon ‘Dolaura’. Her sisters Muriel and Marion were the first guests to sign the newly-purposed Dolaura guestbook. The last dated entries are on August 4, 1965. Dola died in 1966.
History of Use
This guestbook was used aboard TSSY Dolaura from 1908 to 1911. It was then probably stored at the Dunsmuir’s Colwood residence, Hatley Park until 1942 when it began to be used by Dola Dunsmuir (Mrs. Henry Cavendish) at her Colwood residence, also named Dolaura. After Dola’s death in 1966, the guestbook became the property of Dola’s sister’s daughter, Judith Marie Kathleen Humphreys (Mrs. Donovan Joy). Her daughter donated the guestbook to Craigdarroch Castle.
26.5 cm x 21.5 cm
Paper; Leather
Visitors' Book. Dolaura.
Country of Origin

Related people/businesses/organizations
James Dunsmuir (owner)
Dola Frances Dunsmuir (owner)
Judith Marie Kathleen Humphreys (owner)
Kathleen Euphemia "Kathleen" Dunsmuir (owner)
Laura Miller Dunsmuir (nee Surles) (owner)
Related Associations
Dolaura (Twin Screw Steam Yacht) (depicts)
Dolaura (Twin Screw Steam Yacht) (was used in)
Hatley Park (was used in)
Dolaura (house) (was used in)
Related Objects

photograph, 992.017.009 (is related to)

frame, picture, 2008.015.004 (is related to)