Heritage Register

1413 Fernwood Road (ex-37 Fernwood Rd)

Built 1889
Heritage-Designated 1978

For: Charles & Emma Marshall


The Marshalls built all three houses, this one plus 1417 Fernwood Rd in 1890 and 1405 Fernwood Rd in 1901. This is a mirror image of 1417 Fernwood Rd. A two-storey hip-roofed house, it is a good example of late Victorian Italianate style with its numerous sandwich eaves brackets and strong vertical proportions. There are two-storey hip-roofed square bays on the front and the left side, with shingled pent roofs separating the bays. There is a small pent roof supported on brackets over two windows on the right side. A beltcourse continuous with the pent roofs separates the floors. All the bays have four tall windows, except the bay on the lower front, which has a more-recent picture window with a small-paned transom. There is a small porch to the left of the front bay which has been altered and enclosed with glass. The house is clad in drop siding. The house was duplexed between 1944-59. In 1980-82 John and Gretchen Brewin returned this house to a single family dwelling. They removed the 1940s-50s asbestos siding, replaced missing details, gave it a period paint scheme, and won a Hallmark Society Award for restoration in 1982.

1889-1918: Jeweller, engraver and watchmaker Charles Marshall (b. Chapel Thorpe, Wakefield, Yorkshire, ENG, 1828-1904) and Emma (b. ENG 1860), and their son Abraham Lincoln (b.1896). The house cost $4,000 to build in 1889. After working in various collieries in south Yorkshire, Charles emigrated to Philadelphia in 1850 and found work as an engraver. He was a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln (for whom he named his first born) and when the Civil War broke out, he joined the Union army, working in ordnance. After the war he learned watchmaking and had a shop in Columbia, MO. In 1879 he moved to Tremont, NE, then he and Emma, his second or third wife, came to Canada in 1883. Charles’s death certificate listed him as “Retired Gentleman.” He was a past Grand Master of the Knights of Pythias of the Missouri Lodge.

Charles lost money through American investments, so several years before he died he deeded the house and property to Emma. By 1908 she was writing to Charles’s son John, by his first wife, in England, that she had a school teacher boarder to give her a little more income. She was also keeping chickens. Things had become so costly that her expenses were higher than her income. Emma lived in the house with Abraham, a chemist, until he was drafted for service in WWI in April, 1918. Both died out of province.


Cyril Beverly Fenner and Jessie Campbell Rowlinson married in Victoria in 1918. At the time, Jessie was a widow and working as a housekeeper and Cyril worked at Cameron Lumber Co. He was an accountant, a painter and decorator, and a contractor.
1921: Alfred Wilkes and Mary Webb married in Oak Bay in 1919. Alfred signed up for the CEF in Victoria in November 1914. He was a farmer, then an accountant at the Union Bank and later with the Bank of Canada. The marriage was dissolved in 1936.
1925-29: Music teacher Reginald Herbert Goldsmith Cox (b. ENG, 1891-1977) married Mary Christina “Marie” Fraser (b. Van Anda, BC, c.1900) in 1926.

1930-41: Widow Jean Levirs (née Gray, b. SCT, 1869-1941) lived in Victoria for 28 years. Her husband, Lance-Corp William James Levirs (b.Boston, MA, 1871-1923), died of tuberculosis aged 53, and was buried with full military honours. He had been a CPR cook and steward, and was a WWI veteran. 1942-43: Raymond Edward and Amy Dorothy Jones married in Victoria in 1928. Raymond, a labourer, became manager of Canfor Building Products.

1944-59: Frederick John Waldern (b. ENG, 1885-1976) and Hellen Murilla “Ellen” (née Earl, b. Ontario, 1889-1959) duplexed the house for $1,500, then lived in the main suite. The Walderns were retired farmers from Lacombe, AB. Fred later married Florence Nightingale Richards.
1951-58: Divorcée Margery Rundle Garvice (née Cossentine, b. Fowey, Cornwall, ENG, 1891-1978), who had married real estate agent Basil Kendale Garvice (b. Northam, Devon, ENG, 1885-1964) in 1914. [Note: Basil was the youngest child of the prolific and internationally successful British romance novelist, Charles Garvice (1850-1920), whose works are now almost unknown.] Basil and Margery’s marriage was dissolved in 1940.

1980-85: Gretchen (Mann) Brewin, NDP MLA 1991-2001, bought the house with husband John Brewin, NDP MP 1988-93. Born in Ottawa, Gretchen lived in Scotland and Tanzania before Victoria. After serving as city councillor from 1979-85, she was Victoria’s first woman Mayor from 1985-90. During her term, because of her strong interest in community development, the City hired its first heritage and social planners. Gretchen represented Victoria-Beacon Hill as a New Democrat in the BC legislature from 1991-2001, and was appointed as Speaker of the BC Legislature in 1998-2000.


• Fernwood History

• Fernwood Heritage Register

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

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