Heritage Register
James Bay

428 Heather Street
(ex-7 Prince(s)/Princess St, 428 Helmcken St)

Built 1891
Heritage-Designated 2008

For: William & Mary Cullin

Builder: William Henry Cullin

428 Heather


This two-storey, pedimented, front-gabled Italianate house sits right on Heather St and is a mirror image of 432 Heather St. Unlike most Italianate hipped-roofed houses found elsewhere in James Bay (see South Turner St), these two have pedimented, Temple-style, front-facing gabled roofs. There are paired roof brackets in the cornice on each of the four corners of the house. Typical of Italianates, the lower front façade has a small entry porch balanced by an angled bay. The porch has brackets, and two square posts and two pilasters, all with tapered chamfers. The bay and upper front windows have decorative designs on the casings. The small, fishscale-shingled, hipped roofs on both the porch and the bay sit over paired brackets in the frieze. The windows are one-over-one, double-hung sashes, with shaped aprons below the windows on the sides of the house. The house, including the gable, was covered in hexagonal asphalt siding for decades; this has been removed, exposing the original drop siding, with vertical drop siding in the gable. 428 now has a round attic vent in the apex of the gable. Both chimneys have been removed since 1971. There is an angled bay at the rear.


1891-1912: William Henry (W.H.) Cullin (1859-1939) built 428 for himself and his wife Mary Martin (1860-1937). W.H. and Mary married in Toronto in 1881, and then moved with his parents to Winnipeg. W.H. worked for seven years in the job printing department of the Winnipeg Free Press. He and Mary had their first two children there. They moved to Victoria in 1888, and W.H.’s parents followed shortly after. In 1889-90 the two families rented houses side by side at 11 and 13 Humboldt St. Four members of the family worked in the printing business, W.H. as night foreman for the Colonist. By 1891, they could afford to build their own houses on Prince St in James Bay, as Heather was originally called [it became Helmcken St in 1907, and Heather St in 1939.] W.H. and Mary had two boarders in 1891. Mary’s widowed mother, Eliza Martin, born in County Tyrone, Ireland, later lived with them until her death in 1905 at 84.

By 1903 W.H. was working for the King’s Printer, and in 1911 became King’s Printer when Col. Richard Wolfenden (140 Government St, 563 Superior St, James Bay) retired. W.H. retired on superannuation in 1924. He also served as a Victoria City Alderman for 12 years. Mary was a member of the Women’s Guild of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. W.H. and Mary later lived at 144 Wellington St in Fairfield until their deaths.


1914-17: Willliam McNeill was a teamster for Brackman-Ker Milling Co.
1913, 1920: James A. Dinsmore, a salesman with National Motor Co, was in the house two different years.
1921-28: Asa Ames Phillip McDowell (b. Tilsonburg, ON, c.1866), a printer at Colonist Printing & Publishing, and his wife Agnes Jane (née Banner, b. England, 1877-1965).
1929-33: just Agnes McDowell.

1936-49: Bank of Montreal messenger Ernest William Rhodes (b. Manchester, ENG, 1886-1959) and miner’s daughter Ada (née Smith, b. Sheffield, ENG, 1897-1986) married in Merritt, BC in 1918, and moved to Victoria in 1936. Ernest came to Canada in 1911, and worked as a messenger until his death.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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