Heritage Register
James Bay

559 Michigan Street
(ex-58 Michigan St)

Built 1901

For: James & Henrietta Flett

559 Michigan


This 1½-storey, bracketed, hip-roofed Queen Anne cottage has a lower, hip-roofed extension at the rear, with a small pediment-gabled back porch and a shed-roofed extension at the right rear. There are three pediment-gabled dormers and one shed-roofed dormer. On the right side on Powell St is a bracketed, angled bay with a pent roof below a gable, visually creating a pediment. A similar gabled roof on the right front sits above a wide, angled, bracketed bay. To its left is an inset verandah with spindles in the frieze, turned posts and balusters, and lattice at the basement level. The door and window casings and door panels have decorative mouldings, and the panels in the bays below the windows have diagonal V-joint T&G. There are windows in the gables and the dormers. The gables are clad in decorative shingles, as are the bays beneath the water table; the main floor of the house and the dormers have drop siding. The foundation is of decorative shingles over brick. The central transom windows in the bays have Queen Anne glass.


1901-05: James Flett (b. Victoria 1857-1940) and Henrietta (née Findlay c.1867-1940) married in 1885. His parents, John and Janet Flett, arrived here from Scotland in 1849 and 1854, respectively, and John worked for the Hudson’s Bay Co (HBC). Henrietta’s parents, Hugh and Lucetta Ann Findlay, came from Prince Edward Island. James was first a merchant and bookkeeper, then a provincial government clerk for 23 years. The Fletts moved to Duncan by 1914 and James retired in 1927.


1910-c.16: The Rev. Thomas William Gladstone (c.1853-1935) and Louisa (née Brown c.1851-1926) married in England in 1880. Thomas first preached all over England for the YMCA, then was ordained to the Reformed Episcopal ministry, and was a pastor in Eccles, Lancs, until assuming a position in Ottawa. Louisa’s health reacted adversely to the climate, and they moved to Victoria in 1890. Thomas was assistant rector of the Church of Our Lord until Bishop Cridge retired, then rector. He resigned in 1914 due to ill health, headed south to recuperate, then moved to Newburgh, NY. After retirement, Thomas returned to Victoria for three years as pastor emeritus for the Church of Our Lord, then moved to Vancouver in 1932.

1923-24: British Furniture Mart proprietor John William Pollard (b. Blackpool, ENG 1876-1961) and Annie (née Lord, b. Rochdale, ENG 1878-1962) immigrated to Alberta in 1913, to Victoria c.1922. John was a salesman and a bookkeeper. 1926-33: Widow Maude Adeline Heatherbell (née Pike, b. Southampton, ENG 1870-1962). The widowed Maude Monks arrived in Victoria in 1901 after living in California several years. She married widower George Heatherbell in 1908. Maude, a violinist, played for the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and “played at all the balls put on by the Dunsmuir family in Victoria in the early part of the century.” (VDC 29 Dec 1962)

1935-43: John Henry Armitage (b. Austin, MN 1899-1979) and Gwyneth (née Tumilty, b. William Head Quarantine Station, Metchosin, BC 1907-1964) married in 1926. John served with the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve during WWI. He worked for CPR’s BCCSS for 30 years, then as a rigger at HMC Dockyard. John was a member of Royal Canadian Legion Trafalgar Branch #42.

1944-51: Timothy Joseph Murphy (b. Stratford, ON 1892-1952) and Lucy Rosetta Harriet (née Howe, Suffolk, ENG 1895-1976). Timothy was a switchman with the CNR for about 10 years.

1952-53: Newspaper writer Maxwell Bruce Cody (b. Embro, ON 1896-1957) and Elizabeth Florence (née Empy).


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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