Heritage Register

1442 Elford Street

Built 1901-03
Heritage-Designated 2020

For: John Pitcairn Elford

Builder: John Pitcairn Elford

1442 Elford


The hipped roof and the asymmetrically placed gables on this 1½-storey house are basic features of a Queen Anne residence. The front and left bays have square bays over cutaway bays with scrollsawn brackets. There is a bellcast beltcourse between the first and second floors and Queen Anne windows on the front and two sides. Like 1436 Elford St, this house has an inset corner porch with turned square posts. There are sandwich brackets as capitals and turned spindles in the balustrade. A heavily bracketed through-the-roof wall dormer sits on the right front above the porch. The original surface has been covered with asbestos siding for decades.

Owner: 1901-16+: John Pitcairn Elford (b. Australia, 1850-1917) built this house, like his brother Theo, for revenue on part of the family property. John was christened on Pitcairn Island on the family’s way to California (see 1436 Elford). John later went back to San Francisco to apprentice, then work as a carpenter. He returned to Victoria and after several years became a contractor in partnership with his father, building many houses and business blocks, including the old Royal Jubilee Hospital (1900 Fort St, Jubilee), North Ward School, the Post Office, and the Driard Hotel. In 1886 John and William J. Smith set up Queen City Brick & Tile Works, later Victoria Brick & Tile Co. In 1912 their plant, 10 acres east of Douglas St and north of Topaz Av, was producing 40,000 bricks and 12,000 feet of drain tiles a day for the building boom.

John married Mary Hattie Robertson (1854-1887) in 1874; she was the daughter of Capt. John Robertson of Cleveland, OH, who had a summer home at Foul Bay. Two years after Mary’s death from pneumonia, John married Agnes Frances Lilley (b.1858) of Maple Bay. In 1900 John “Herbert” Elford, John and Mary’s son, married Agnes’s sister Sarah Jane Lilley (1119 Ormond St, Fernwood). Their brother Herbert was the proprietor of Lilley’s Candy Factory at 1417 Douglas - 1004 Catherine St, Vic West. John was also involved in sealing, was a City Councillor in 1904-05, and a member of IOOF and a Royal Arch Mason.


There are no numbers in street directories for most of Elford before 1908, so it is difficult to tell who lived in the house before then.
Tenants: 1908-15: Malcolm Morrison, a bookkeeper, clerk at the Balmoral Hotel, agent with Globe Realty Co, manager of Union Real Estate Co, and then a grocer, and his wife Ann (née Rood). Living with them were their offspring: Malcolm Dempster Morrison, Jr, a traveller for J. Piercy & Co, then Frederick A. Pauline & Co, then Turner Beeton & Co; Ethel M. Morrison, a nurse; and Stanley Morrison, a BC Forestry Department employee.

1920-22: Dry goods merchant William and Emily Wilson, and their sons Thomas Gilbert, a clerk at Turner Beeton & Co, and Ralph Harris Lund, an accountant, then a real estate and insurance agent. Emily and William came to Canada in 1860. Their sons remained bachelors.
1923: Mona Holroyd, a nurse with Dr. Scott-Moncrieff, and her siblings: Harold Holroyd, proprietor and mechanic at Fernwood Auto Repair Shop, 2720 Fernwood Rd; Phoebe Holroyd; and Fenella Marie Holroyd, a housekeeper. The sisters all remained single.
1924-27: Surveyor Alistair Irvine and Maud Violet Robertson; Alistair came to Canada in 1899 and they married in Victoria in 1907. In 1908 Alistair was a student with Gore & McGregor, surveyors & civil engineers, and by 1909 had set up in business with Frank Cyril Swannell as Swannell & Robertson.

1929-44: Manual training instructor Donald S. and Jeannie Cameron. 1945-1963: Dr. Walter Emerson Bavis (b. ENG, 1872-1961) and Agnes Victoria (née Hughes, b. Droitwich, ENG, c.1883-1974). Agnes was a registered nurse and Walter a widower when they married in Victoria in 1913. Walter retired in 1944.


• Fernwood History

• Fernwood Heritage Register

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

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