Heritage Register

1436 Elford Street

Built 1898
Heritage-Designated 2010

For: Theophilus Elford

1436 Elford


This is a tall, two-storey, Queen Anne house. It has a steeply-pitched hipped roof, sandwich brackets in the eaves and a stepped, through-the-roof chimney. Two-storey pedimented gabled bays on the front and left sides have square bays above and sunburst-bracketed cutaway bays below. The small square extension on the right side is reportedly a 1914 addition, according to the date on newspapers found during renovations. There is an inset corner porch on the front right with square turned posts, brackets and a more recent metal balustrade. The house has decorative shingles in the gables and drop siding on the body and the foundation.The house was duplexed in 1950.

Owners: 1898-1979: Theophilus Elford (b. San Raphael, CA, 1854-1917) and his family. Theo was the second son of Hannah (née Taylor, b. Cornwall, ENG, 1817-1894) and Robert Elford (b. Devon, ENG, 1819-1896). The family arrived in Victoria in 1859 via Australia and California on the HMS Bounty, and bought 40 acres between Pandora and Fort, west of the Oak Bay Junction. The family home was on Fort St, or Cadboro Bay Rd as it was then known. 1436 Elford was built by Theo as a rental house on part of the family land. Theo and his family lived at 24, later 1426 Stadacona Av (demolished).

Theo married Lillie (Lilla) Louisa (née Robertson, b. 1858) in Victoria in 1875; she and their daughter Grace died in the Point Ellice Bridge disaster on May 26, 1896. In 1898 Theo married Ethel Edith Ann (née Davidson, b. Capetown, SA, 1874-1948) in New Westminster.

Theo Elford bought the Shawnigan Mill from W.E. Losee (242 Robert St, Vic West) in 1891 and founded Shawnigan Lake Lumber Co with William Munsey. Theo was manager of the company for many years. He served as chair of both the Victoria Branch of BC Lumber & Shingle Manufacturers and of BC Pioneers Society. During Theo’s last lengthy illness, his sons William Raymond “Ray” and Frank Theophilus took over management of the Shawnigan Lake Mills. In 1903 Frank married Florence Lavinia, the daughter of pioneer Victoria druggist Thomas Shotbolt.


Tenants: 1899-1925:
George Jay Jr (b. Norwich, ENG, 1861-1940) and Emily Louisa (née Bowden, b. New Westminster, 1864-1948) married in Victoria in 1885. George came to Canada with his family about 1866. He was articled at 16 to Edwin Johnson, a leading lawyer and in 1883 became a barrister-at-law. For many years he was the partner of John Stuart Yates, as Yates and Jay. George became a police court magistrate for Saanich Municipality and later a judge in small debts court for the BC government. In 1908 he was chairman of the Victoria School Board, and in 1909 the school at 1118 Princess St, Fernwood, was named for him. George died at 520 Linden Av, where they had lived since the 1930s with their daughter, Gertrude Helen, and son-in-law, Thomas Watson Lawrie Mutch, who married in Victoria in 1923.

1926-79: Owners and residents Ray Elford (1880-1971) and Hannah Thelma (née Peterson, b. Brighton, MA, USA, 1883-1979) married in April 1906 when Ray was living at Shawnigan working with his father. Ray was the fourth child of Theo and Lillie. He ran the Shawnigan Mill for some years, then worked for the City of Victoria on wharf maintenance. Hannah was residing at Sandringham Private Hospital when she died.


• Fernwood History

• Fernwood Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume One: Fernwood & Victoria West

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