Heritage Register
James Bay

149 Rendall Street (ex-4 Rendall St)

Built 1890
Heritage-Designated 1991

For: Andrew & Margaret Fairfull

Builder: attributed to Andrew Fairfull

149 Rendall


This one-storey, hip-roofed, cubical Queen Anne Cottage has an Eastlake balustrade with corner urns around its widow’s walk, and brackets in the eaves. The asymmetrical front façade has a centrally located porch. A five-sided angled bay to the right has windows on all sides and a multi-sided hipped roof. The small, decorative porch has cresting above a seamed-metal pent roof and brackets supported on the capitals of chamfered posts and pilasters. The window’s walk balustrade and urns are repeated on the porch, and on the lychgate and fence created by Melinda Seyler, owner since 1989. The restoration of this house and a number of other houses won Melinda and her partners awards from Victoria’s Hallmark Heritage Society, Heritage Society of BC and Heritage Canada Foundation.


1890-c.1900: Carpenter Andrew Fairfull built this house for $750, and lived here with his wife, Margaret (née Young), and his brothers James and Robert, both labourers. Andrew and Margaret lived on Vining St in Fernwood by 1901. Born in Scotland, they married in 1888, and came here in 1889. They both died in 1922, Margaret at 64, Andrew of meningitis at 63.


1901-55: John Renfree (1880-1930), a teamster, and his wife Susan (1858-1944) were born in Cornwall, ENG, married in Austin, NV, in 1880, and came here c.1887. Daughter Mary (1883-1972) married Jocelyn Knight in 1904 (1131 Catherine St, Vic West) and moved to Ladysmith, BC. Daughter Edith (1885-1944) never married and lived here until her death. Son John Henry (1881-1944) married Fanny (1883-1924), eldest daughter of the Whytes of 155 Rendall St, in 1915. The newlyweds moved to 2932 Cedar Hill Rd, built by Fanny’s father. Fanny, born in Greenock, SCT, came here c.1885. John Henry remarried in 1927, to Minnie Ryon. He was a salesman for Brackman-Ker Milling Co for 30 years until his death. He was president of Victoria and District Cornish Association, a member of Metropolitan United Church, Vancouver Lodge, AOF, and Vancouver and Quadra Lodge No. 2, AF&AM. In 1946, Minnie, a seamstress, still lived at 2932 Cedar Hill Rd.

Youngest son, James Renfree (1887-1955), was born in BC. A gasfitter, he married Kathleen McQuarrie in 1912 and they moved to Victoria West. James petitioned for divorce and the marriage was dissolved in 1921. Their infant daughter remained in her mother’s custody; they moved to Vancouver where Kathleen married John McGinn in 1923. By 1929, James had returned to 149 Rendall and worked for Victoria Gas, later BC Electric Gas Dept. He never remarried, but lived in the house until his death.

The house was duplexed in 1957.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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