Heritage Register

1702 Fernwood Road

Built 1907-08
Heritage-Designated 1978

For: Elmer & Mary Wescott

Architect: likely a Pattern Book house

1702 Fernwood


This house is one of Victoria’s finest examples of the Queen Anne style in the Edwardian period (see 1171 Rockland Av, Fairfield and 223 Robert St, Vic West). The main roof is hipped at front and jerkinhead-gabled at the rear. Each side is asymmetrical but its corner façade is perfectly balanced, composed of a central tower flanked by two identical gables over two-storey bays. There is a third identical gable on the right side of the house. The gables have wide curved bargeboards above square upper bays over bracketed cutaway bays. The bays and the tower are connected by a wide hipped roof over the corner verandah. The wrap-around verandah has classical columns on a solid balustrade. The house is shingled above with bevelled siding below and has a brick foundation. The cresting, widow’s walk and the finials have been removed. The finial on the corner tower has been restored. The plaque on the east gable inscribed with Fernwood in fractured Gaelic and Erected 1903 was placed there by a later owner.

1907-52: Elmer Elsworth Wescott (b. Nova Scotia 1864-1952) and Mary Olive “May” (née Handysides, Chatham, ON, 1866-1944) married in 1899, the year she came to Victoria. The Wescotts purchased the property in 1906, connected it to sewer in 1907, and first paid taxes on the house in 1909. The house cost $3,000 to build. It is rumoured that Fred Parfitt (1921-23 Fernwood Rd), newly arrived back in Victoria, framed the house.

Elmer moved to Victoria in 1888 and lived with his brother Alfred at 1924 Belmont Av, Fernwood, in 1891. Like Alfred, he worked at the drygoods firm at Manchester House. Elmer later formed Wescott Bros Dry Goods with brother John Russell Wescott (1334 Johnson St, Fernwood). Elmer sold Wescott Dry Goods in 1913 and became a department manager for David Spencer Ltd, retiring in 1940. May and Elmer were both active members of Metropolitan United Church. Elmer was still residing at 1702 Fernwood at his death. He was a life member of Court Victoria, AOF.


Elmer’s neighbours for over 30 years, Albert and Winnifred Jordan from 1621 Fernwood Rd, then lived in 1702.
1978-late 90s: David and Valerie Hutchinson. Dave, who was active in Fernwood Community Association for many years, restored much of the decorative detailing on the house. The next owner, Gary Lang, continues the work of rehabilitating the house and garage.

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