Heritage Register

911 Linden Avenue (ex-16 Linden Av)

Built 1904
Heritage-Designated 1988

For: Janet Clay

Architect: Francis Mawson Rattenbury

911 Linden


This British Arts & Crafts-style house is dominated by a signature Rattenbury roof (534 & 582 St. Charles St, Rockland): multiple, deep, ridged hips, with three tall, ribbed Queen Anne chimneys. A full two storeys, the house has stucco and half-timbering in the upper storey, and shingles below the high belt course. The Rockland façade has two full-height angled bays, overlooking a garden. The small entry porch on the Linden façade has a hipped roof. The gabled extension on the right side has Arts & Crafts leaded lights and connects to what may be the original carriage-house. The foundation is of split fieldstone. The second floor balcony to the left of the entry now provides egress from the upper suites via fire escape stairs; a rail above the balustrade was added to meet Building Code.


1904-07: Widow Janet “Jessie” Clay (née Strachan, b. Guelph, ON, 1856-1933) paid $4,500 for this house, but lived here only briefly, possibly because of financial troubles, as she had been inveigled by Frank Rattenbury into investing in one his schemes. Janet was married in 1878 in Mount Forest, ON, to Henry Ballantyne Clay (b. Niagara, ON. 1852- 1898). They came to Victoria in the 1880s and opened a bakery that became one of the city’s most popular catering establishments, the Metropolitan Bakery & Tea Room, then Clay’s Bakery & Confectionery on Fort St. Henry died shortly after returning from a trip to eastern Canada. Jessie moved down the street to 810 Linden Av, Fairfield, and continued running the business until c.1913.


1907-28: Edward Everett Blackwood (b. California, 1860-1933) and Eliza Jane (née Wallace, b. Victoria, 1864- 1924) bought the property in 1907. Edward came here in 1888 and that year married Eliza, daughter of Catherine and Charles Wallace (2616 Pleasant St, Burnside), and granddaughter of the Hon. John Work and his wife Josette. Edward served aboard several steamships in the 1880s between Victoria and the Puget Sound area. He came to Victoria as a representative of the Northern Pacific Fairfield), the BC Parliament Buildings (501 Belleville St, James Bay), Hatley Park in Colwood and Work Point Barracks in Esquimalt. John Hedley Sampson (b, Chilliwack, BC 1902-1948) and Marion (née Perton) lived here 1943-45. John was a salesman at the Brackman-Ker Milling Co. He was made manager of the Nanaimo office in 1948, but died soon after. Robert C. and Eva St. Clair lived here 1947-52. Robert was BC Assistant Chief Forester. Railway, a position he maintained for many years. He was a representative of the Puget Sound Steamship Co when the SS Clallam sank in 1904, killing 54 people. Eliza died suddenly in 1924. Edward continued to live here until 1928. Daughter Eliza Vivian (1890-1944) married Charles Harold Chaytor Payne (1884-1949) in 1912. They lived in this house until the mid-1920s and then moved to Vancouver. Charles married Barbara Molyneux Dash after Eliza died in 1944.

1929-71: Dr. Joseph Douglas Hunter (b. New Westminster, BC 1881-1970) and Anita Alice Matthews (née Hunt, b. London, ON 1885-1949) married in 1912 and bought this house in 1929. Joseph was the son of Joseph Lawson Hunter (1843-1935), pioneer surveyor, Victoria alderman and BC MPP (514 Government St, James Bay). His mother was Francis “Fannie” Robson (1858- 1944), the daughter of Susan and the Hon. John Robson, BC Premier 1889-92 (506 Government St, James Bay).

Joseph attended Corrig College in James Bay and graduated from McGill University in 1907. He began practising medicine near Fernie, BC. In 1908, he was badly burned when a fire broke out which destroyed the town. His efforts to awaken people resulted in burns, and he returned to Victoria to recuperate, then went back to Fernie to help in the relief effort. He served as ship’s doctor on one voyage of the Empress of Japan, then completed post-graduate work in England, and returned to Victoria to establish a private practice.

During WWI, Joseph was the medical officer of the second battalion at the Willows Army Depot until this disbanded, then he moved to Esquimalt Military Hospital until the end of the war. Shortly after WWI, Joseph retired and entered the political field. He was a city alderman 1932-37 and a Conservative MLA 1937-41. During WWII, he was president of the Army Medical Board in Victoria. Their only son, Sandy, was killed overseas in WWII.

After Anita’s death, Jospeh married Hilda Lawrence. He lived at this house until his death; Hilda sold it in 1971.


• Map of Victoria's Heritage Register Properties

• Rockland History

• Rockland Heritage Register

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

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