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Heritage Register
Fairfield

924 McClure Street

Built 1906
Heritage-Designated 2008

For: Ernest Temple

924 McClure

ARCHITECTURE:

This British Arts & Crafts front-gabled house sits on a large lot on the high side of McClure St. The roof has a medium pitch with two banded brick chimneys. A smaller gable projects over the recessed entry and porch. Both gables have large finials with drops and wide bargeboards finished in a scroll design. The roof dormers on each side – one gabled and one shed-roofed – are likely later additions. Cladding consists of shingles except for the front gables which appear to be board-and-batten imitating half timbering. The south-facing front façade is distinguished by a wraparound porch on the main floor and a full width upper sleeping porch. Tongue-and-groove boards cover the sleeping porch ceiling as well as the eaves. The main floor porch is accessed via side-facing stairs and features heavy chamfered posts with brackets. It shelters an angled bay window and the recessed entry. Many windows have leaded art glass transoms. A shallow bracketed box bay on the east side consists of four casement windows. The front of the property is defined by a rock retaining wall capped with scroll wire fencing.

ORIGINAL OCCUPANTS:

Ernest Temple (1868-1933) lived here until 1911. He was an accountant and later manager of the Hickman-Tye Hardware Co. Born in London, England, Ernest came to Victoria in 1891. He married Eleanor Annie T. Lee in Vancouver in 1919.

OTHER OCCUPANTS:

Thomas Dufferin “Duff” Pattullo (1873-1956), who was BC’s premier in 1933-41 and a member of the BC Legislature for 29 years, lived here in 1911-12, when Duff was manager of the real estate division of R.V. Winch & Co. He was born in Woodstock, ON, where he began his career in the newspaper industry. During the gold rush of 1898 he went to Dawson City as secretary to the gold commissioner. He married Lillian Reidmeister (1871-1961) of Toledo, OH, in 1899 in the Yukon. They moved to Prince Rupert and Thomas entered the financial and political fields. He was alderman and mayor of Prince Rupert, then elected MLA for that city in 1916. As a stalwart Liberal, he pressed the federal government to finance unemployment during the Depression, and to introduce health insurance in 1936. He resigned in 1941 because he did not want to form a coalition government with the Conservatives, and sat as an independent until 1945. Duff and Lillian retired to Oak Bay for the rest of their lives.

Percy Forbes, an Imperial Bank clerk, was here c.1914-17. Barrister Thomas Edward Clark lived here with his wife Lucy Jeane Hennen (Edgelow, 1876-1949) during the 1920s. Lucy was born in London, England, and came to Canada in 1912. She graduated from nursing school in the early 1920s and ran a nursing home for 20 years.

By 1931, Edward Cornelius Burtt (1878-1949), an electrician and manager of the Wellington Apartments, was the resident. He lived here with his wife, Ellen Josephine (1881-1968), until the mid-1930s. The Burtts came to Victoria from England in 1908. By 1939, Victoria native Walter Engelhardt (1876-1962) and his wife, nurse Elizabeth May (Barkwell, 1880-1961) were living here. Born in Ontario, Elizabeth came to Victoria in 1912, and married Walter that year. Walter was a city clerk from 1909-46, and a water rates collector. A stamp collector, he helped found the Victoria Philatelic Organization in 1931. The Engelhardts lived here until the mid-1940s.

Norman (1898-1954) and Elizabeth (Drysdale, 1903-1970) Isherwood lived here from c.1946 until the early 1950s. Norman was born in Manchester, England, and Elizabeth in Glasgow, Scotland. The Isherwoods lived in Saskatoon for about 30 years before coming to Victoria in 1943. Norman was manager of the Angela Hotel at 923 Burdett St, on the upper side of this same property. Elizabeth was active in local music circles, as a member of the womens’ committees of the Victoria Symphony Society and the Musical Arts Society.

The house was later acquired by the Sisters of St Ann (917, 923 Burdett St, Fairfield).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & IMAGES:

• Fairfield History

• Fairfield Heritage Register

• Hallmark Heritage Society Archives

• Royal BC Museum Archives

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


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