Heritage Register
James Bay

55 Oswego Street (ex-129½ Oswego St)
Egremont Villa

Built 1892
Heritage-Designated 1986

For: Peter & Martha Shandley

Builder: attributed to Peter Shandley

55 Oswego


Egremont Villa is a 1½-storey, front-gabled Homestead Style house. It was built as an identical twin to 51 Oswego (see description). The differences on 55 Oswego today are its denticulated cornice, its two bracketed and chamfered square porch posts and two pilasters, and its porch and step balustrades. It also has unusual brackets at the roofline of the through-the-roof dormer.


Peter Shandley (51 Oswego St) built the two houses in 1892. This property was a source of rental revenue. Edward and Georgina (Young) Cordingley, lived here in 1892-93. Edward was born in Cheshire, England, in 1862 to a Manchester textile-manufacturing family. An accountant, he lived in Winnipeg for a time, where he married Georgie. In Victoria in the early 1890s he was a clerk in Simon Leiser’s coffee and spice retail business on Yates, then an accountant with Thomas Earle’s Wholesale Grocery on Wharf. The family moved to Toronto in 1893, then to Nelson, BC, by 1898. Many moves followed. Financial hardship plagued them, as Edward’s salary and inheritance proved to be insufficient. This was manifested tragically in 1924, when Edward attacked an official of Pacific Great East Railway after being fired due to alleged “irregularities.” He then turned the gun on himself and ended his life. Georgina died in Coquitlam in 1957 at 94.


Benjamin and Sarah “Sally” Temple lived here later in the 1890s. Ben was born in 1862 at Ramsay, Isle of Man. He married Sarah Penington in Cheshire in 1883, and came to Canada in 1888. They were first in Hamilton, ON, then moved to Victoria in 1892. He and Peter Shandley had been friends and neighbours in Cheshire, and they lived next door to each other here for some time. A cabinet maker by trade, Ben built the pulpit at the Church of Our Lord and did a lot of work at St Saviour’s Church, Victoria West.

A charter and life member of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club for a record 52 years, Ben was well known among yachting groups on the Coast. At regattas he acted as judge, official measurer, official starter, and timekeeper. Ben died in 1945 at 84, Sarah in 1953 at 93.

From 1902-c.1905, Robert and Margaret Holloway lived here. Robert was born in Norwich, England in 1833 and came to Canada with his family in the early 1850s. He married Margaret, born in Montreal in 1844, in Quebec and they had several children. They are said to have crossed the Prairies and the Rockies in 1863 by ox-team from Fort Garry, MB, to Victoria. Robert mined for gold in the Cariboo, and in 1868 bought the Cariboo Sentinel in Barkerville. The town was destroyed by fire in 1876. During this period, Margaret lived on Cormorant St with their eight children. Robert returned to Victoria by the late 1870s, and worked for the Daily Colonist. By 1882, he worked in the government’s printing department, and Margaret was a milliner at David Spencer’s. Robert died in 1909 at 76, Margaret in 1926 at 82.

Over the next 20 years or so, this residence was home to many, including the Shandleys in 1908. From the mid- 1920s until 1932, John and Mary Jane Porteous lived here. Mary Pringle was born in Stowe, Scotland in 1884, John in Edinburgh in 1880. They arrived in Victoria in 1927. Mary died in 1960 at 75. John was a carpenter by trade until retiring in 1950. A life member of St Andrew’s Church and the Caledonian Society, John died in Saanich in 1961 at 80.

Angelo Mario and Bertha Sposito lived here from 1939-c.1943. Angelo was born in Italy in 1888, Bertha in France in 1887. They came to Canada in 1904 and BC in 1909. Angelo served in the CEF in WWI. A taxi driver, he became secretary-treasurer of the Belleville St Taxi Co. Bertha died in 1943 at 56, Angelo in 1973 at 85.

In 1988 owners Edward and Kathleen Dahlgren won a Hallmark Society Award for their restoration of the house.


• Statement of Significance (Canadian Register of Historic Places)

• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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