Heritage Register
James Bay

152 Dallas Road (ex-118 Dallas Rd)
Dallas Cottage

Built 1879; 1985; 1988
Heritage Covenant

For: Annie Cox; D.W. Smith & Assoc; Coast Forest Management Ltd

Architect: John Keay 1985, 1988

152 Dallas


This house was situated directly across the road from Juan de Fuca Strait, as shown on the 1889 Bird’s Eye Map of Victoria. The shoreline was dredged and filled in when the Ogden Point Docks and Breakwater were constructed and expanded. The house lost its prime waterfont location.

This rare 1870s house represents one of the two basic vernacular working class cottage types (see 428 Superior St for the side-gabled version, also with a full-width front verandah). It was a simple, hip-roofed bungalow, with two corbelled chimneys at the front and one in the kitchen at the rear, and a narrow verandah across the front. The 1959 photo shows a small enclosed front porch had replaced the verandah. In 1985 the house was converted to office use and rehabilitated; the rehabilitation was designed by architect John Keay. The later picture windows were replaced by narrower paired, double-paned windows. An old front door and side light assembly were added. The small front porch was replaced by a full-width verandah with simple posts, brackets and balustrades. The left and the rear are parts of the 1879 house which have retained its original drop siding.

The building as it is today is about one-third wider and sits on a new foundation. The new extension, contructed in 1988, is on the right and has a box bay on the front, a Scottish through-the-roof dormer on the right and a roof dormer on the rear. The Scottish dormer is located on the verandah roof; the verandah now wraps around the extension, with an alcove at the rear. One of the two original corbelled chimneys was removed; the remaining chimney is still corbelled and brick capped. The alterations and additions were all done for the same company by John Keay; the company changed its name in 1986.


Owner/Tenant: 1879-93: Mrs. Anne Cox (b. Staffordshire, ENG, 1817-1894), widow of John Cox, was in Victoria by 1869. She bought this property at the corner of Dallas and Montreal in 1878 from Frank Pagden of Plummer & Pagden, Auctioneers and Valuers on Wharf St. She built the first house in 1879; it is likely this house, as it was the largest on the property. In 1881 she had a boarder, Sarah Jane Sandford Cresswell, and in July Annie was a witness at her marriage to miner William Johns. Although Annie sold to Samuel Bednall (see next page) in 1886, he went back to England that year, and she continued to live on the property until 1893. From 1888 there were two houses on the lot: this one-storey house (118, later 152 Dallas) and a small 1½-storey house (181, later 16 Montreal) at the northern corner of the property, where Annie lived.

Tenants: 1889-1891: 118 was called Dallas Cottage when bookkeeper William Richard Grahame (b. Ontario, 1853-1912) and Maud Lavinia (née Ramsden, b. Huddersfield, ENG, 1858-1902) were the residents. Maud came to Canada in 1887. They had three children in Victoria from 1888-93; Jessie Maud was born in June 1891 and the family home is listed as 118 Dallas on her birth certificate. They were living in Vancouver when Maud died of dysentery. William died of tuberculosis in Tranquille Sanatorium near Kamloops, BC.


Owners: 1886-91: Samuel Bednall and then his estate.Samuel Bednall (1829-1888) and Eliza (née Bonsall, 1820-1884) immigrated from Derbyshire, England, to BC in 1862. About 1870 they preempted a large section of crown land in the Comiaken District of Cowichan and farmed it until c.1884. The Bednalls and other settlers founded The Corporation of the District of North Cowichan. Samuel was also a partner in The People’s Steam Navigation Co which operated the paddle steamer Amelia between Victoria and Nanaimo in direct competition with Canadian Pacific Navigation Co’s ships. Sometime after Eliza’s death Samuel returned to England and married Mrs. Mary Ann Brown in 1886. The couple planned to return to Canada; however Samuel suffered a stroke and died in Pentrich, Derbyshire, in 1888.

Owners: 1891-99: Capt. Samuel William Bucknam (b. St. John, NB, 1848-1922) and his wife Sarah (b. NB 1860-1929) bought the property in 1891. Samuel, the son of a shipbuilder, went to sea at 14. Presumably Sarah sailed with him since at least eight of their children were born at sea. They sailed to the West Coast in 1883 and Samuel was for some time captain of the historic paddle wheeler SS Beaver. In 1887 he bought a sealing schooner and entered the Behring Sea seal trade until his ship was seized by the Americans in the 1893 Behring Sea Dispute. Samuel was then a pilot for the Pilotage Service out of Victoria for twenty years. During WWI he commanded vessels on the run between Victoria and the James Island explosives plant. The family later lived at 612 Montreal St. They retired to Portland, OR, where Samuel died. Sarah died in Los Angeles, CA.

Robert and Mary Tait owned both houses for several years while they lived at 86-88 Dallas Rd.

Tenants: 1900: Barrister Lewis Charles Smith, his wife Ella and family. 1901-06: Minnie Gertrude Heathcote (b.1859), widow of Frederick Heathcote, lived here with her two sons, her daughter, and a servant, Ah Tin.
Now 152 Dallas:
: Robert Johnston, plasterer, Alex Johnston, labourer and James Johnston, fisherman.
1911-14: Jennie Dougall, wife or widow of James, and her four offspring, all working. Jennie earned $750 as a nurse in 1910, and lived at 152 Dallas by the time of the 1911 Census.

1915-28: George Harries Catton (1875-1923) and Florence (née Lodge, 1876-1963) immigrated from Yorkshire, ENG, in 1912. George was a carpenter. During World War I when construction work was scarce, he was employed as a clerk at the Westhome Hotel.
1933-35: Josiah Dawson (b. Sunderland, ENG, 1886-1961) and Amelia (née Pellow, b. Plymouth, ENG, 1888-1971) came to Victoria in 1912. Josiah and their son Josiah Jr both worked as stewards. Another son, Norman, worked at Batchelor’s Cash & Carry Store at 204 Menzies St.
1935-60: Robert David McNab (b. Neepawa, MB, 1902-1971) and Jean Phyllis (née Longmire, b. Brandon, MB, 1904-1974) came to Victoria c.1936. Robert was a labourer, then on active service during WWII. He later worked briefly as a Real Estate Agent.

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