Heritage Register

1139 Burdett Avenue (ex-61 Bellot St)

Built 1893
Heritage-Designated 1989

For: Arthur & Florence Scroggs

Architect: attributed to John Gerhard Tiarks

1139 Burdett


A single front gable with huge perforated bargeboards would be unusual and dramatic in Victoria: Here, the double gables make this house one of Victoria’s best known and best loved Gothic Revival confections, though it must have seemed old-fashioned, even when it was new. The two steep, two-storey bays are surprisingly asymmetrical: the left one significantly more dramatic than its mate. Both units project slightly from the hip-roofed central core, with its Tudor arch and recessed porch.

The unusually ornate bargeboards include flattened trefoils –a popular Gothic motif—and emphasize unique window treatments: Both upper window units have scalloped wooden appliqué elements, with applied shields. And while the right-hand windows have decorative trim boards, the left-hand windows incorporate a narrow doorway onto a small balcony above a box bay.

The house may have been designed by John Gerhard Tiarks, as he signed the plumbing permit as agent for owner in 1897. That he used elaborate Gothic bargeboards is evident from his design for a waterfront bungalow three years later at 508 Dallas Rd, James Bay. He also used Tudor arches in many of his houses.


Arthur Scroggs (c.1861-1897) was an engineer. He and Florence (Webb), who were born in London and Worcester, England, were married in 1891 in Victoria. Arthur drowned near Sooke Harbour in March 1897, and Florence left Victoria by 1901.


William George (1850-1936) and Annie Marie Henriette (Devereux) Pinder lived in this house about 10 years from c.1898. They were married in the new Reformed Episcopal Church (626 Blanshard, Downtown) in 1877, by Bishop Cridge. William was born in London, England, and came to Canada in 1873. Annie was born in Wales in 1856 and came here in 1873. Pinder was a civil engineer and land surveyor. He surveyed for the CPR when the original transcontinental line was pushed through BC. He then worked for the Dunsmuirs, surveying for the E&N line and the Wellington Colliery lines for coal mines at Nanaimo and Comox, and the prospecting party to the Comox Valley in February 1888, along with Joseph Hunter (514 Government St, James Bay). By 1914 Pinder had formed a company, Topp, Pinder & Co, Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors, and he was living at Maple Bay. Both William and his eldest son, Beauchamp Pinder, died at the Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale, William in 1936, and Beauchamp in 1923 at 44, just three years after his marriage to Frances Joan Burrell, who, three years later, married Edward W. Harrington in Vancouver.

Between 1908 and 1922, various tenants occupied this house. Civil engineer Alexander Evans and his wife Ethel (1470 Rockland Av, Rockland) lived here in 1908, then Mrs Leigh Spencer in 1910-11, and lumber salesman Herbert M. Olsen in 1912. Conyers and Violet Bridgewater lived here c.1914-17. Conyers was a barrister from London, England, who moved here as a land speculator. He married Violet Irene Powell, youngest daughter of Dr. Israel W. Powell and Jennie Branks (865 Academy Cl, Fairfield & 565 Michigan St, James Bay) in 1910. Violet and her mother helped form the Ladies’ Musical Club, later called the Victoria Musical Art Society. Violet was also an accompanist for the Arion Club. The Bridgewaters left Victoria at some point and moved back to London where Violet became a professional pianist and composer. She and Conyers had one son, Bentley Bridgewater (1911-1996), who spent his life as a senior administrator at the British Museum.

From 1923 until 1967, the house was owned by the Richards family. Grocer Edward Ernest (1871-1950) and Ada Margaret (Bauer, 1871-1946) Richards were born in Dublin, Ireland, and London, England, married in Toronto in 1898 and came to Victoria in 1906. They had 10 daughters and one son, R.S.M. David Richards of the 3rd Light Anti-Aircraft, who died during WWII. Several of their daughters lived here until 1967. Mildred M. and Ivy (1910-1986) Richards were saleswomen at Eatons. A third sister, Lillian, worked at Norrington’s Bakery. The sisters began taking in boarders in 1953.

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