426 St Lawrence Street (ex-12; 39 San Juan Av)
For: William & Henrietta Meyers
This hip-roofed Italianate house has sandwich brackets in the eaves and is surmounted by a square widow’s walk between corbelled twin chimneys. The house is one-storey on the street façade, and two-storeys on the rear as the property slopes down to the harbour. At the rear, a bellcast-hip-roofed, full-width balcony with ornate brackets adorns the upper floor, supported on four full-height posts. On the front is a hip-roofed extension to the left of a small shed-roofed porch. The porch has one turned post and two pilasters, with elaborate brackets and fretwork in the frieze; the entry Victorian door retains its sidelights. A c.1900 photo shows an angled bay on the left side towards the rear, which no longer exists. The tall Victorian windows were replaced by bands of horizontal wooden windows. The original siding is covered with wide cedar shingles. In recent decades, this house has been largely invisible, obscured by trees and bushes. However, one early picture from c.1900 (below) shows the way it once dominated the area east of Fisherman’s Wharf.
1884-88: Capt. William Meyer (b. Hamburg, GER 1850-1915) & Henrietta Marcella (née Moore, b. San Francisco 1858-1935) married here in 1876, the year Capt. Meyer first arrived with the bark Estella carrying Victoria’s first water pipes. Capt. Meyer (Myers) bought City Lot 1291 from W.C. Ward (manager of the Bank of BC, 1021 Gillespie Pl, Rockland) in 1882 and built the house in 1884. Henrietta’s father Capt. William Moore founded Skagway, Alaska, and was a bitter rival of Capt. John Irving (256 Menzies St, pg 15). Meyer was captain of the steamers SS Maude, SS Cariboo, SS Fly and SS Sardonyx. He worked for the East Coast Mail Line and then for Irving’s Canadian Pacific Navigation Co. In 1891 the Meyers built 126 Dallas Rd (pg 24); they also owned a winter home in Redwood City, CA. They both died in CA, but their remains were brought back to Ross Bay Cemetery.
*Meyer research by Drew Waveryn
1889-90: Sarah Hope (née Paton, b. near Perth, SCT, 1862-1960) and Thomas Stamper Milligan (b. Whitehaven, Cumberland, ENG 1860-1931) came to Victoria in 1882 and 1883 respectively. They married in 1886 in the Roccabella boarding house, where Sarah was living with her cousins, the Jorands. Hollybank was purchased in her name in 1889. Thomas trained as a cashier in the Bank of Whitehaven, Cumberland, ENG, then travelled to London for an interview with the Bank of BC. He accepted the position of clerk in their Victoria branch (1022 Government St, Downtown) and advanced to assistant accountant. In June 1890 he requested release from his employment, which was granted, but he was “bound for some 2 years yet in the service.” He formed a partnership with William Monteith; they became Monteith and Milligan, real estate and insurance agents. In March 1892, Thomas returned from several months in London and Glasgow after seeking investment capital.
The Milligans had four sons and two daughters. All but one daughter served overseas during WWI: two sons were killed on the battlefield and one died from ill health nine years after spending 1915-18 in a German POW camp.
1891-96: Robert John Horton (b. England, c.1834-1912), an HBC fur buyer, came to Victoria in 1858. In 1865 he married Margaret Mills Pateson Boyd (b. Glasgow, SCT, 1841-1940), who came here in 1863. Her father, John Boyd, was a prominent Victoria cloth merchant. Robert and Margaret lived much of their lives in James Bay, and in 1891 bought this house on the edge of a small cove, close to downtown Victoria. Robert remained with HBC for some 40 years, eventually becoming manager of the fur department. While many prominent Victorians were building their homes high on Rockland in the 1890s, Robert built by the water and possibly rowed to the HBC warehouses on the Inner Harbour below Wharf St. He died in San Francisco. Margaret lived in Victoria until her death.
1897-1900: Robert and Margaret’s eldest daughter Lucretia Horton (1867-1952) and her husband Lewis Herbert Hardie (b. Manchester, ENG, 1865-1935) married in Victoria in 1895. Lewis came to BC c.1890 and was associated with B. Wilson & Co. He later became a wholesale commission and importing agent. The Hardies moved to Vancouver c.1900, then returned to Victoria c.1910.
1901-47: Widow Catherine “Katie” Chapman (née Hallanin, b. Davenport, ENG, 1864-1955) named the house Holly Lodge. In 1914 she married widower George Bohun Martin (b. Nottingham, ENG, 1841-1933), who was born into a naval family, and at 14 joined the Royal Navy with his two brothers. After serving two years on HMS Victory, George was stationed in the Baltic Sea during the Crimean War. He was then shipped to India with the East India Co, where he became ill and returned to England. He came to Victoria in 1862 on the SS Jonathan. Here he joined HBC and was sent to Kamloops for three years. He purchased a large ranch on the South Thompson River. In 1866 he married Anne St. Paul, an aboriginal woman, and they had six children. She died in Yale in 1900. He entered politics and represented Yale in the BC Legislature for 12 years, serving four years as Minister of Lands and Works under Premiers Theodore Davie and J.H. Turner. He lived in Holly Lodge with his second wife Katie until his death. Katie died at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital.
1950-78+: Commercial fisherman Bertram L. Tingley and Miss Annie “Laura” Tingley (b. Albert, NB, 1882-1983). Laura still lived in the house in 1978, but moved to the Beacon Hill Villa seniors’ home in James Bay some time before her death at age 100.
Canadian sculptor Elza Mayhew, who built her studio next door at 330 St. Lawrence St in 1969, and her family later owned this house for many years.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & IMAGES:
• James Bay History
• James Bay Heritage Register
• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Two: James Bay