Heritage Register
James Bay

132 South Turner Street (ex-12 South Turner St)

Built 1890
Heritage-Designated 1985

For: James Hall & Skene Lowe

132 South Turner


This is a finely restored Queen Anne-style 1½-storey house with front gable roof. The elaborate wrap-around verandah terminates in a bay window on the side. It has turned posts, arched brackets and spindled balustrade. The main floor cladding is drop siding with cut shingles above. The front gable has a balcony with elaborate squared Palladian windows, turned posts and spindled balustrade. There is a large gabled extension on the right and dormer on the left, producing a picturesque roof line whith impressive corbelled brick chimneys, one with chamfered corners. The handsome square picket fence has a curved entrance and astragal.


Photographers Hall and Lowe built the house and owned it until 1907 as a rental property. Skene Lowe lived at 45 Carr, later known as 204 Government, from 1889-1920. He was born England and came to Victoria c.1884 to operate the Victoria branch of the Winnipeg studio Hall & Lowe. Lowe continued to operate the business after the partnership dissolved in 1892, when James D. Hall became sheriff of Vancouver. Lowe used the old name until 1900, then changed it to his own. Fire destroyed the Government St office, and he moved to Douglas at Yates Sts. At the onset of WWI, Lowe left Victoria for Los Angeles due to failing health. He returned here and briefly reopened, but health problems forced him to retire. He died in Vancouver in 1920 at 64. He left a widow, son and daughter.


pert King, in 1897-99. Born in Nova Scotia, he came to Victoria in 1884, and was a commission agent for 30 years. Charles died in Victoria in 1914 at 69. Adam and Mary Reid lived here in 1899-1900. They came from Scotland in 1896. Adam was a clerk, then an accountant. He died of TB in 1906 at 47.

Alexander and Elizabeth McMorran owned this property from 1907-10. Alex, the son of Saanich pioneers George and Isabella McMorran (1347 Vining St, Fernwood), was born in Paisley, ON, came to BC with his family in 1890, and grew up on a farm in the Cedar Hill area (3501 Cedar Hill, Saanich designated heritage). Alex, a clerk with BC Land & Investment Agency, in 1908, married Elizabeth, the daughter of Samuel and Christine Whittaker (1203-05 Yukon St, Fernwood). They moved to the Cariboo in 1921, and Alex managed the Gang Ranch for Western Canada Ranching Co. He retired in 1944, and they moved to Kamloops, BC. He died in 1958 at 76, Elizabeth in 1976 at 91.

Robert Hall owned the house from 1911-17. John and Clara Belle Minto lived in the house from 1912-16, and Clara owned the property from 1917-21, after they left Victoria. John was born in Hamilton, ON, and was a telegraph editor with Victoria Daily Times. He married Victoria-born Clara in 1901. Ernest Albert Grau was the owner from 1921-27.

Mary Louise (Burke) Murray, widow of David, owned this house from 1927-43. Mary was born in Liverpool, England, and came to BC with David c.1910. They lived in Trail, BC, where her husband was a rancher until his death in 1912 at 40. Mary still lived at this residence when she died in 1943 at 59. Her daughter, Mae Louise, was a school teacher at South Park School and St. Ann’s Academy. She resigned in 1948 and moved to Detroit, MI, to get married.

Albert and Edith (Genereux) Bystedt lived here from 1945-51. Albert was born in the USA, Edith in Lethbridge, AB. They moved here from Saskatchewan in the early 1940s. Albert was a mechanic and then a building contractor from 1948 until he retired in 1963. He died in 1968 at 69, Edith in 1958 at 54.

In 1990 owners Maureen Mackintosh and Derek Hawksley won a Hallmark Award for their detailed restoration of this house.


• Statement of Significance (Canadian Register of Historic Places)

• GIS Map of Victoria's Heritage Register Properties

• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

• Hallmark Heritage Society Archives

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

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