Heritage Register

906 Fairfield Road
(ex-12 Beechy, 637 Rupert St, 637 Quadra St)

Built 1889
Heritage-Designated 2009

For: Patrick & Hannah Farrell

637 Quadra


This single-storey, modest Vernacular cottage has Italianate features, including brackets at the eaves, and a front-facing gabled roof. The exterior is finished with drop siding. The front has an angled bay to the left balanced by the small entrance porch to the right. The gable has a small 1-over-1 double-hung window, and 1-over-1 sashes are also used in the front bay. Side windows are 2-over-2. The main windows all have moulded headers and scrolled fretwork below. The porch has moulded and chamfered posts with fretwork brackets, steps to the side and one post replaced by a pendant. There are geometric patterned cutout balusters. Above the finely panelled door is a narrow transom. The house is set on a very small corner lot.


Patrick (1831-1906) and Hannah (Annie) Farrell (Ferrall) came to Canada from Dublin, Ireland, in 1863 and 1864 respectively. Their first child, Cecilia, was born in 1866 (d.1943) in Victoria, and the 1871 city census lists them on Beechy St, which this section of Fairfield Rd was then called. Patrick was a nightwatchman, then a guard at Victoria Gaol on Hillside Av. Eldest son Patrick Gerald (1870-1926) apprenticed at Albion Iron Works and by 1895 was a machinist with the firm. Younger son John Dominick (1875-1932) was a post office clerk, but Cecilia was never listed as having a job. Patrick Sr. later became a brass polisher at AIW, but retired before 1906, sold the house to son Patrick, and lived here as a tenant.


When the house was connected with sewer in 1906, the owner was BC Land & Investment Agency. By 1908, two small lots had been sold off the NW part of lot 1354, and 903 and 907 Collinson St were built. The house was now listed as 637 Rupert St, as Quadra below McClure was then called. Hannah (d.1940) and George (1875-1949) Kearsley, a marine engineer on cargo ships, lived here. From c.1910-12, widow Mary E. Walker lived here with her daughters Evaline, a nurse, and Alice, a clerk with the Times. By 1914, it was occupied by Charles W. Adams, a constable for the BC Coast Steamship Service. And in 1917, the resident was Thomas Patterson.

The house was vacant in the early 1920s, but by 1924 widow Sophie M. Harris owned the home and lived here with her daughter Marion, a steno with Dunlop & Foot. By 1926 the house was owned by dressmaker Mary Depew (Fortman, 1872-1955), who lived and worked here for over 20 years. Mary was born in Hamilton, ON, and came to Victoria in 1892 with her husband, John Abbington Depew (1865-1950), and their son John (1892-1961). John was a butcher, then by 1903 foreman of J.A. Sayward’s ranch, Alderley Farm. However, by 1910 Mary and her son were living on their own on Broughton St and she was working as a dressmaker.


• Map of Victoria Heritage Register Properties

• Fairfield History

• Fairfield Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Four: Fairfield, Gonzales & Jubilee

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