Heritage Register
James Bay

135 Medana Street

Built 1907
Heritage-Designated 2000

For: Lewis & Martha Marks

135 Medana


This two-storey, hip-roofed, Edwardian Foursquare has an extension on the right front with a hip-roofed angled bay on its main floor. To the left of the extension is the hip-roofed front entry porch, which projects in a distinctive curve around to the left side of the house. The porch has five Tuscan columns and a solid balustrade; the stairs also have solid balustrades. To the rear of both sides of the house are shallow, hip-roofed, single-storey angled bays. Tuscan columns on the porch and modillions under the eaves add a Classical touch. The house is shingled above the beltcourse, with double-bevelled siding below. The siding of the section of the porch to the left of the stairs has been steamed to form the curve. There is a period garage at the left rear which is clad in double-bevelled siding. The foundation is concrete, and there are a pair of three-flued, corbelled chimneys.


Lewis and Martha (Cathcart) Marks owned this house for 50 years. Lewis’s family came to Canada from New York c.1863 and established a sheep ranch on an island near Sidney. After Lewis’s father and sister were murdered while taking supplies back to the ranch from Victoria, Lewis and his mother moved to Victoria.

Lewis was a clerk for Marvon & Tilton, hardware merchants on Fort St, a salesman of powder explosives for the Hamilton Powder Co to mines throughout the Northwest. Lewis was fundamental in establishing a plant at James Island, near Sidney, which became a major producer of TNT and cordite in North America, and he became district manager. Demand for explosives during WWI led to the establishment in 1919 of Canadian Industries Ltd - CIL - which absorbed Hamilton. This later become a part of the E.I. du Pont Canada Company (DuPont Canada). Lewis, a member of the Pacific Club more than 30 years, died in 1931 at 71.

Martha was born in Ireland in 1859 and came to Canada in 1874. She married Lewis in Victoria in 1882. An article in the Colonist celebrated Martha’s record 69-year-long subscription to the newspaper from March 1882. A senior member of the Church of our Lord, Martha died at this house in 1958 at 97.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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