Heritage Register

1243 Rudlin Street
(formerly 220 Johnson St; ex-9 Pandora South Av)

Built 1861; moved 1897-98
Heritage-Designated 2003

For: John & Charlotte Dandridge;
Joseph & Carmella Zarelli

1243 Rudlin


This tall two-storey, front-gabled Homestead house has narrow eaves and two gabled additions at the rear. A prominent stringcourse at the base of the front gable gives it the appearance of being pedimented. There are decorative shingles in the gable. The façade has three windows which sit on a high beltcourse above a full-width, hip-roofed verandah. The verandah has three chamfered square posts and square balusters. It has a pair of windows and an entry door with sidelights and a transom. All the windows on the front are the original two-over-twos. The façade has shingles above the beltcourse and drop siding below. There is bevelled siding on the verandah. The house was moved to this property in 1897-98 and was then put on a concrete block foundation. The rear of the house was extended in 1900 and it was converted to a triplex in 1950. The exterior was stuccoed in 1967 and three sides are still stuccoed. The verandah, which was missing, was replaced when the house was rehabilitated by owners Davyd McMinn and Linda Carlson, and Nick and Sharon Russell. In 2006 they won both Hallmark Society and Heritage Society of BC awards for their work.

When the house was purchased in 2002, the owners were told that it was built in 1899. A friend however attended a funeral in McCall’s Flower Chapel and thereby discovered on the wall a very old photo of the house and information about its former location at the NW corner of Johnson and Vancouver Sts ( where the Flower Chapel now stands) and its move to 1243 Rudlin. Since 220 Johnson St wasn’t in the 1898 city directory, the house was likely moved in late 1897.


1861-71: Labourer John Dandridge (b. Virginia, USA) and Charlotte (b. Flemington, NJ, c.1793-1863) were living on Johnson St when the First Victoria Directory was published in March 1860. John was a waiter in 1850 when they lived in Buffalo, NY. They were among 700 other Black families who came to Victoria from San Francisco in 1858 at the invitation of Gov. James Douglas, as were their daughter Sydnia (Sydney) Edmonia Robella (b. Virginia, USA, 1815-1889) and her husband Abner Hunt Francis (b. Flemington, NJ, 1813-1872). Abner, a shopkeeper, went bankrupt in 1863, and was not insured when his store burnt down in 1870. Abner and Charlotte were buried together in the Old Burying Ground on Quadra St.

John applied for citizenship in 1858 with 53 other Black men. In 1860 he took the oath of allegiance, but in 1861, the Court of Revision was still discussing whether John and 30 other “colored” men, including Mifflin Gibbs and Peter Lester, should be given voting rights. In 1866-67 Victoria City Councilor Mifflin Wistar Gibbs became the second Black person elected to public office in Canada.

1864-71: Sydnia Francis and Peter Lester actually owned the property and paid the taxes. Peter (b. Virginia, USA) and Nancy (née Davis, b. Haddensfield, NJ, 1810-1892) also came from San Francisco in 1858. Peter and Mifflin had a grocery and provision shop, Lester and Gibbs.

1872-88: Barber John Frederick Becker (c1840-1893), a partner in Geiger & Becker of the San Francisco Baths on Government St, and his wife Nicoline (c.1839-1908). Born in Holstein, Germany, they came to Victoria 1864. They owned the house and paid taxes from 1872, but were living on Fort St in 1874, according to the city directory. They later lived at 217 (1041) Fort St until their deaths. John was a member of AF&AM and AOUW.


Owner: 1888-97: Charles Fox Todd (1041 St Charles St, Rockland) built his own house in 1884 on the lot to the west (Todd’s house later became McCall’s first funeral home). He rented this house out, then sold it to be moved.

Tenants: 1888-92: William Patrick and Abigail Crawford. Abigail and her daughter Catherine Wright ran a boarding house here after William’s death in 1889, then at 78 Pandora Av (later 820) until Abigail’s death in 1908. Abigail came to Canada from Ireland in the late 1840s with her first husband, Thomas Wright. In 1881 their daughters Martha and Catherine were Berlin Wool Dealers in Toronto. William and Abigail married before 1881 and lived in Toronto; William was a turnkey and Abigail a matron at an institution. Abigail was working in Victoria as a nurse by 1882, and by 1891 she was living in the house with Catherine, granddaughter Kate Adelaide Braid and two lodgers, both widowers in their 60s. Kate later worked as a “typewriter.”

1893: Dressmaker Alvena Smith, widow of John “Wesley” Smith, also ran a boarding house here, then ran one at 90 Pandora Av (later 838). Alvena was a widow when she and her family came to Victoria in 1891. That year her daughter Mary Elizabeth, son-in-law Henry Burns Ball, a barber, and their two children were living with her as well as Alvena’s four other offspring, and five male lodgers from the building trades. [The Balls built 1033 Queens Av, North Park, in 1911.] In 1924 Alvena died at the Fairfield Hotel at 1601-09 Douglas St, Downtown, where she had been living with her daughter Georgina and son-in-law Philip Crombie, who ran the hotel.

1894-95: Widower Ludger Oliver Demers, a grocery clerk at Pither & Leiser, and his sons Ernest, a plumber and barber, and Numa, a hotel clerk. All were born in Quebec. By 1901 Ludger was a hotelkeeper in Colwood.
1897: George Peter and Mary Kelly came to Victoria from the Maritimes c.1886. George was a telephone wireman.

1897-1923: Guiseppe “Joe” Zarrelli (b. Carolei, Italy, 1855-1930) bought this lot on Rudlin from Amor de Cosmos for $260, and moved the house to it. Members of the Zarrelli (Zarelli) family had emigrated from Carolei, Cosenza, Italy, in the 1880s and ‘90s to Victoria. Joe arrived, via Algeria and the USA, in 1891 with his wife Carmella (b.1870) and young family. Joe first worked as a labourer, then a plumbing contractor. Many city plumbing permits from the late 1890s-1930 list him as the pipe-layer. Capt. George Rudlin after whom Rudlin St is named was a neighbour in 1901. [Note: Joe’s younger brother Diego “Tony” and his family, and brothers Francesco “Frank” and Angelo lived nearby. The brothers were bootblacks (shoe-shine men) and Tony eventually ran a string of eight shoe-shine parlours downtown, the original in Trounce Alley.] Joe moved another house to 1241 Rudlin, and in 1910-12 he built two houses next door: 1245 Rudlin, now gone, and 1247. Carmella had moved to California and Joe had moved to 1247 by 1923.

1923-46: Widow Dorothy Hawkrigg (née Manton, b. Croydon, Surrey, ENG, 1879-1968), a box maker at Dominion Carton & Printing. Her husband George Hawkrigg, a piledriver whom she married in West Vancouver in 1906, died in 1911. Joe’s cousin Balla Sarre (Ballasare) Domenico Zarrelli (1882-1963) became her husband. Balla Sarre was a shoe shiner until retiring in 1952.

1947-48: Joseph and Mabel Van der Hulst, and Alise Van der Hulst, Department of Veterans’ Affairs stenographer.
1950: William Henry and Lydia McAllister of 3020 Jutland Rd converted the house to three rental suites. Lydia and Patricia McAllister ran the Pat-Mar Cake Shop. William was local manager for the Vancouver Sun.


• Fernwood History

• Fernwood Heritage Register

• Before & Afters

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

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