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Heritage Register
Rockland

721 Linden Avenue
Blytheholm; Glendower Apts.

Built 1910
Heritage-Registered

For: Albert & Ada Todd

Architect/Builder: George Charles Mesher & Co.


721 Linden

ARCHITECTURE:

This large, cross-gabled, two-storey Craftsman house has stucco and half-timbering in the gables, the rest of the house is shingled. There are first-floor, shed-roofed, cantilevered bays on three sides. A sleeping porch, now enclosed, on the upper right front, sits over the inset entry porch with its shingled corner post. The shingles are flared over the denticulated belt course which separates the upper and main floors. Casement windows are in banks of three or four or paired. The house has a fieldstone foundation. On the basement left front is an interior garage, one of the earliest in Victoria. The house was converted to suites in 1942.

ORIGINAL OCCUPANTS:

1910-28: Albert Edward “Bert” Todd (1878-1928) was born in Victoria but completed his education in Toronto. On his return to Victoria Bert joined his elder half-brother, Charles Fox Todd (1041 St. Charles St, Rockland) and nephew, William Todd (944 St. Charles St, Rockland) in the family business, J.H. Todd & Son, Wholesale Groceries, Provisions and Salmon Canners, 72 Wharf St. Bert built two houses for his widowed mother, Rosanna Todd, 1525 Shasta Pl, Rockland and 1972 Fairfield Rd, now 423 Chadwick Pl, Gonzales. During his career he served as an alderman, police commissioner, and mayor in 1917-18. In 1903 Bert became Victoria’s second automobile owner when he paid $1800 for a White Steamer to Victoria’s first car dealer, and his future father-in-law, Bagster Roads Seabrook, manager of Albion Iron Works, 2101-2111 Government St, Burnside.

In 1910 Bert married Ada Beatrice Elvira Seabrook in Los Angeles, CA. Bert’s wedding gift to Ada, to give her an independent income, was the October Mansion apartments at 1030 Cook St, Harris Green. Their unique honeymoon consisted of a road trip along the California coast to Mexico, and then north to Vancouver on primarily unknown and untravelled pathways, setting the way for the Pacific Highway. Bert’s passion for roads – he was known as “Good Roads Todd” – led to involvement in various related organizations, and he was associated with the construction of the Snoqualmie Highway in 1914. After WWI, some of the planning for the Peace Arch marking the Canadian / US border on the Pacific highway was done in the den of this house by Bert and his good friend Sam Hill, of “What in the Sam Hill?!” fame. Bert and Ada’s sons Joe and Dick made the first public donations by children to the project.

Bert’s health declined in his late 40s, and he died in Seattle, WA. In 1929 Ada married Frank McGee Fretwell, but he died eight years later. She married once more to Guy Tilton, and died in Seattle, WA, in 1968 at 77.

OTHER OCCUPANTS:

1930-33: Roderick Ross Sutherland (b. Winnipeg, MB 1862-1945) and Martha Anna (née Richardson, c.1867-1933). Roderick, a retired barrister, came to Victoria in 1911.

1935-37: Stuart Alexander Henderson (b. Aberdeen, SCT, 1863-1945) and Mary Jane (née Lusk, b. Aylmer, QC 1881-1974) married in 1904. Stuart’s family came to Ontario in 1872. He earned a law degree from University of Toronto in 1888, and was an Ottawa alderman in 1893. He married Alice London in Toronto in 1890, but she died in 1895. In 1897 Stuart came to BC, and practised law in Ashcroft for 13 years. He was elected to the BC Legislature in 1903 and 1907, then practised law in Victoria until his death.

1939-40: Piano teacher Edith Sophia Foot (b. Toronto 1866-1947) came here in 1889. Her husband Capt. Hamilton Foot drowned in Stephen’s Passage, Alaska in 1901. 1940: Olivia Alexandrina Homer (née Wilson, b. Walkerton, ON 1869-1961), whose husband Benjamin (b. Staffs, ENG 1875-1955) was likely on active service in WWII. 1941: John Thomas Iverson (b. Dover, ENG 1882- 1971) and Olive Elizabeth (née Ferguson, b. Bracebridge, ON 1889-1949), and son Robert. John and Robert were sign writers for Bayliss Sign Co, and Olive ran a rooming house at 1018 Quadra St.

1943-44: Oliver Russell Booth and Orpha (1875- 1972) were proprietors of the six-suite apartment.

1945-51: Owners Alfred Lambly Brick (b. Inverness, QC 1873- 1952) and Sarah Brock (née Lendrum, b. ON 1877-1947) married in Edmonton in 1896 and came to Victoria in 1945. Alfred had been a fur trader and a civil servant with the Soldiers Settlement Board.

1943-55: Jessie Meharey (b. Russell, ON 1882-1957) came to Victoria in 1917.

1944-53: Agnes Bacon Mayfield (b. Co Durham, ENG 1883-1971), widow of Frederick William Mayfield (1874- 1942), came to Canada in 1918 and Victoria in 1927.

1943-51: Widow Janet Sanderson, a dressmaker at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

1943-50: Widow Catherine Southam.

In 1953 this became the Glendower Apartments. John Henry Warriner (b. Leeds, ENG 1875-1964) was the caretaker and lived in the basement suite.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & IMAGES:

• Map of Victoria's Heritage Register Properties

• Rockland History

• Rockland Heritage Register

• Hallmark Heritage Society Archives

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Three: Rockland, Burnside, Harris Green,
Hillside-Quadra, North Park & Oaklands


© VICTORIA HERITAGE FOUNDATION (VHF) 2014
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