Heritage Register

1202 Fort Street (ex-24 Fort St)

Built 1906
Heritage-Designated 1977, interior features 2010

For: Joseph & Eleanor Gibbs

Architect: Thomas Hooper & C. Elwood Watkins

1202 Fort


This is a two-storey, hip-roofed Arts & Crafts residence with a hip-roofed wing at the rear. There are two through-the-roof gabled wall dormers on the right side. A gabled two-storey bay on the left has a square bay above a cutaway. Three stepped stained glass windows for the interior stairway cut through the flared beltcourse. The front offset gable with shingled brackets has two angled bays separated by the hipped verandah roof. To the left on the upper floor is a through-the-roof gabled wall dormer. A full-width verandah features paired and tripled Tuscan columns with entasis. They sit on massive battered, random-coursed stone piers which are embedded in the stone foundation. The balusters are turned. There are a number of stained glass windows. All the gables have finials. The upper gables have roughcast and half-timbering, the rest of the gables and the upper floor are shingled, and the lower floor has double-bevelled siding. The house was duplexed by 1952. In 2010 it was converted to offices.

[Note: This house replaced a much earlier house, 24 Cadboro Bay, then 24 Fort St: c.1887-96: John Grant, MPP for Cassiar, then Victoria’s mayor in 1887-91. 1897-1904: Frederick Stephen Hussey, who rose through the ranks of the BC Provincial Police to become superintendent; Hussey was thought to have lived in 1202 Fort, but his house was demolished in 1905 to make way for this house.]


1906-10: Dr. Joseph Gibbs (b. Meaford, ON, 1871-1951) and Eleanor Amelia (née Cusack, b. St. Thomas, ON, 1871-1919) married at the home of her mother, Charlotte Cusack, in Victoria in 1898. [Note: The Cusacks came to the coast in 1884; her brother was the printer and publisher Thomas Cusack.] When they married, Joseph lived in Slocan, BC, but by 1901 the Gibbs and their daughter Eleanor Josephine were living with Charlotte in her boarding house. Eleanor was very active in the Methodist Church. Dr. Gibbs went into specialist practice in 1908 and they later moved to Vancouver. During WWI Eleanor and the children lived in Gibson’s Landing, BC, and Capt. Gibbs, CAMC, spent four years overseas. He was recalled shortly after the armistice because Eleanor was very ill. She died in Vancouver of cancer, and was buried in Ross Bay Cemetery. Their daughter Eleanor took teacher training at Vancouver Normal School; she never married. Dr. Gibbs married widow Annie Victoria Halley in Vancouver in 1925. He retired in 1941 after 50 years in the medical profession.


1911-13: BCER engineer Edward Noyes Horsey (b. Utica, NY, 1883-1964) and Flora (née McDonald, b. Allerton, ON, 1895-1975) married in Prince Rupert in 1909. Their four-month-old son Mervyn died of dysentery in the house in September 1911.
1914-17: Mrs. Edith S. Williams ran a boarding house here.

1924-36: George Miller McDonald (b. Oakland, ON, 1850-1937) and Mary Eliza (née Sipprell, b. Norwich, ON, 1858-1932), the parents of Flora Horsey (above); George was retired by 1930. 1930-47: George and Mary’s son John Stephen McDonald (b. Oshawa, ON, 1883-1945) and his wife Eleanor Jane (née Smith).
1947-51: Machinist James Harold Barber (b. Winnipeg 1904-1948) and Lillian Ada (née Taylor) married in Saanich in 1934; James worked in the shipyards.


• Fernwood History

• Fernwood Heritage Register

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

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