Heritage Register
James Bay

619 Avalon Road (ex-25 Avalon Rd)

Built 1891
Heritage-Designated 1977

For: Frederick & Elizabeth Jackson

619 Avalon


619 Avalon plays an important function in the rhythm of this heritage streetscape, providing a vertical counterpoint to its low-profile Arts & Crafts neighbours. The quietly imposing home conveys the material success of Frederick Jackson, co-owner of a drugstore, and his stature in the community as a celebrated athlete in baseball and rowing.

This is a two-storey, hip-roofed, cubical Italianate house with a two-storey angled bay on the right front and a one-storey entry porch on the left with chamfered square supports and a decked hipped roof. There is a more recent one-storey square bay window with a hipped roof on the right side, and a small gabled wing at the rear. It has closed eaves with a frieze board on the sides and vertical and diagonal board panels in front, and elaborate carved brackets all around. Most windows are one-over-one sashes with horns. It is clad in drop siding. Assessed for $750 in 1892, this house dropped to $400 in 1894 during the worldwide depression, and went up to $1,200 in 1897. The property was first in Fred’s name, then Elizabeth’s from 1897.


Fred Jackson (1870-1940) and Elizabeth Lorimer (1874-1923) were born in Victoria, married in 1892 and lived in this house for the rest of their lives. Fred was the son of English Anglicans, William Jackson, who came to Victoria in 1862 on the Cyclone, and Annie Mead who came around the Horn in 1864 on the Himalaya with young son William. William Snr. was a druggist and doctor at the Marine Hospital in Victoria West. When he died in 1890, Fred and brother William took over the pharmacy.

Fred, a member of the James Bay Athletic Association (JBAA) rowing team, competed in regattas around the NW; and he was the baseball team’s star pitcher in 1888. Elizabeth’s Scottish Presbyterian parents Lily Main and William Lorimer came from Uddingston, Glasgow, in 1870. William was a draughtsman on the Dallas Hotel and foreman metal pattern maker for Albion Iron Works. Elizabeth’s siblings included Christina Widdowson (624 Avalon Rd) and William A. Lorimer (122 South Turner St, James Bay).

Like sister Christina and sister-in-law Elsie Lorimer, Elizabeth was a teacher at South Park School before her marriage. Fred retired after her death and spent much time fishing and gardening at his summer home on Saanich Inlet, near his brother Richard (427 Parry St, James Bay).

The house was inherited by son William Herbert Jackson, who sold it in 1945.


Since 1979 it has been owned by librarian Jane Taylor, who has restored the house. In 2013 she received an Honourable Mention at Hallmark Society Awards Night for her many years of work on the house.


• Statement of Significance (Canadian Register of Historic Places)

• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Two: James Bay

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