Heritage Register
James Bay

314 Huntington Place
(ex-2, 314 Phoenix Pl)

Built 1890
Heritage-Designated 1977

For: Eli Beam

Builder: attributed to Eli Beam

314 Huntington


Like its neighbour 310, this two-storey Queen Anne house was rehabilitated in the 1970s. It is hip-roofed with a large front-gabled extension. This house is a mirror image of 310 only on its front façade. They differ in detail, and 314 has a round-headed window in its gable. The wide belt course, originally fishscale shingled, is now panelled and clad with diagonal V-joint T&G. The original spindlework frieze and turned balusters were missing on the porch, and as the archival photos of this house had not been found in the 1970s, sawn balusters of the period were substituted. The fretwork brackets and drop finials on the angled bay were also unknown and instead, slender curved brackets were utilized. Like 310, the angled bay is supported on a rectangular base. On the left side of the house, a full-height box bay under an extended shed roof was added in 1911. The small shed-roofed dormer on the left side was replaced with a larger gabled dormer in the 1970s. On the right side under a pedimented gable is another two-storey box bay. There are now fishscale shingles in the front gable, but the body of the house is clad in its original drop siding. Most of the windows are multi-lights-over-one double-hung sashes with horns. The windows in the cutaway corners of the front bay have fixed transoms of Queen Anne glass. The original chimney remains, but it is no longer corbelled.


Eli Beam, a contractor, lived here until 1893. Born in Welland, ON, he came to Victoria with his wife, Maggie, in the late 1880s. Maggie died of blood poisoning in 1890 at 34. Eli moved to Vancouver in 1900 and ran the Beam Manufacturing Co for 13 years. He died in 1914 at 61.


From 1894 Sarah Fraser, widow of Rev. Donald Fraser, lived here with her children, Flora (1870-1903), Katherine (1872-1945), Donald A. (1875-1948), William, Annie (1881-1894), Hector (1886-1897), and Helen. The house remained in the family for many years. Rev. Donald Fraser, Victoria’s first Canadian-born pastor, arrived here in 1884 from Mount Forest, ON, to lead the First Presbyterian Church. He was born at Lochiel, ON, and died of pneumonia in 1891 at 47. Sarah died in 1914 at 68. Flora and Katherine were born in Priceville, ON. Flora taught here until contracting TB. Katherine was a housekeeper for many years and never married, living in this house until her death. Donald A. was born in Port Elgin, ON. He was a clerk with Hall & Goepel, then went to Normal School in Vancouver; he taught in Sooke, BC, then In Victoria at North Ward School, Kingston St Primary, South Park School and the Chinese School shortly before retiring in 1935. Donald was a poet; his book Pebbles and Shells was published in 1943. He was president of the Canadian Authors’ Association of Victoria and Islands for several years.

William Fraser moved to Armstrong, BC, in the early 1900s and established a dental practice. In 1908 he married Ida Schubert. They returned to Victoria where William practised until retiring in 1952. He died in Vernon in 1959 at 81. Helen Fraser lived in this house until the early 1950s. Unmarried, she died in 1965 at 78.

Like 310 Huntington Pl, the owners won a Hallmark Society award for their restoration work, this time in 1985. On this project, Richard Collier and John Keay were joined by Larry Cook and Ken Lane. Richard Collier and John Keay have both continued to be involved in heritage conservation in their public or private lives ever since.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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