Heritage Register

238-40 Memorial Crescent
(ex-4 Lovers' Lane, 1664 Dallas Rd)

Built 1892
Heritage-Designated 1981

For: James O'Neill

238-40 Memorial


This 2-storey Italianate house is the mate of 228 Memorial Cr, differentiated mainly by the “rising sun” gable motif, which was popular during the 1890s. (And the pattern may even have been on the other house originally, before the attic window was inserted.) Certainly, the similarity of the two houses suggests that Burrell Baukins built this one, too, perhaps pre-sold to O’Neill. The house features an ornamented entrance porch with turned columns and spindles and Queen Anne glass in the transom. The fish-scale shingles are much less evident here, limited to the mid-band on the front. The angled bay and recessed porch are the same as next door, as is the unique (and labour-intensive!) coved soffit between wall and roof.


James O’Neill, about whom we know nothing, except he’s listed as a realtor in 1892 & 1893 city directories, paid taxes on this property until 1895, at which time the Vancouver Island Building Society assumed ownership.

The earliest known to occupants of this house were Mary Claxton Heathorn (Warnes, c.1836-1905), widow of William Heathorn (1828-1890), and her son Herbert for a year or two c.1894. William Heathorn (c.1828-1890) came to Victoria in 1862 and established Victoria Boot and Shoe Manufactory, which he sold in 1889 to Ames Holden Manufacturing Co. By 1875 he established the Rock Bay Tannery. He was also a City alderman. In 1893 Mary sold the family estate in Rock Bay at the corner of Bay and Bridge St to Dennis Harris (999 Burdett St, Fairfield, 601-03 Superior St, James Bay). At this point she and her unmarried children likely moved to Memorial Cr. By 1901, Mary had moved to Vancouver and was living with her married daughter Florence Richardson and her remaining unmarried daughters.


By 1898 the Henly family had occupied the house. They lived here until about 1900, and by 1901 were living at 1526 Dallas Rd. Born in Victoria, James Trimble Henly (1872-1941) was a laborer. In 1895 he married Maria Jane Nicholl (c.1871-1912), daughter of farmer James Nicholl and Sarah, who was born in Kansas and came to Victoria as a child.

Newlyweds Henry Nugent (1870-1917) and Sarah (Pauline, 1873-1959) Short lived here briefly 1902-03. Henry was born in Victoria to Henry and Alice Short. Henry Sr. was a gunsmith who arrived in Victoria on the Tynemouth in 1862. After Henry Sr.’s death in 1902, his sons Henry and Richard took over the family business for a time until competition forced them to shut down. Henry joined City staff, and by 1907 was working for the treasury department. Born in Birmingham, England, Sarah was the youngest of 13 children born to Frederick Pauline and Mary Cutler. She came to Victoria in 1888 and for many years the family resided at the Tod House in Oak Bay. She was the sister of politician Frederick Arthur Pauline, father of Frederick Charles Pauline (245 Linden Av, Fairfield).

William (1854-1937) and Catherine Pattenson (Carlisle, 1860-1944) Armstrong bought this house in 1904 and owned it for the next 40 years, but rented it out for about five years before WWI. The Armstrongs came to Victoria from England in 1890. William was a rancher, and later an elevator operator in the Sayward building until he retired in the early 1930s. Although he was listed on active service during WWI, his attestation papers indicate that he was medically unfit to serve overseas. William was a member of Alexandra Lodge, Sons of England, and Catherine was a member of Princess Patricia Lodge, Daughters of St. George. She lived in this house after William died until her own death in 1944.

This house was duplexed in the late 1940s. In 1984 owners Deborah Greene and Humphrey Melling won a Hallmark Society Award for their restoration of this house.


• Fairfield History

• Fairfield Heritage Register

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

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