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Heritage Register
Rockland

1369 Rockland Avenue
(ex-Belcher, 1365 Rockland Av)
Stoneyhurst

Built 1884; 1912
Heritage-Registered

For: Rout & Susan Harvey; H. Percy Simpson

Architect: William Ridgway Wilson (1912)
Contractors: William Trerise & Williams (1912)

1369 Rockland

ARCHITECTURE:

This is a two-storey, shallow hip-roofed British Arts & Crafts Tudor Revival house. It was originally a modest, two-storey, deeper hip-roofed Georgian home with a lower side-gabled addition on the left and outbuildings beyond. Ridgway-Wilson modified the roofline on the main building and enlarged the gabled section to two storeys with a shallow hipped roof on a lower plane. There are gabled dormers on the roof, added since 1977, and many modillions under the wide eaves. The garden façade at the rear of the original main building has two angled bays under the eaves, above the roof of the verandah. The verandah, now enclosed, has Tudor and trefoil arches supported on square, chamfered posts, and now a small, enclosed, centrally located entry porch. Ridgway-Wilson’s alteration on the right copies that of the main structure, with an unusual denticulated belt course separating the roughcast stuccoed and half-timbered upper level from the shingled lower level. The high belt course is an Edwardian feature. There is an enclosed entry porch on the Rockland side. The house sits on a ridge with spectacular views over Fairfield, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Peninsula. This large house has always been prominent in Rockland, clearly identified on early maps. It is the oldest of a group, including 1365, 1373 & 1377 Rockland Av, originally part of Stonyhurst (Stoneyhurst) Park, which were all numbered 1365 until 1956.

ORIGINAL OCCUPANTS:

Rout Harvey (c.1827-1905) was born in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England, and arrived in Victoria in 1861 with wife Susan Jane (c.1823-1903), five sons and a daughter who was born during the journey around Cape Horn. They lived on Birdcage Walk, then Quadra St, as their family increased with two more sons. In 1884 they built this house. After unsuccessfully operating an importing firm with his brother, Rout joined Turner, Beeton & Co as a clerk, and eventually became manager.

OTHER OCCUPANTS:

After Rout died, his son Capt Robert Valentine Harvey moved the private Queen’s School from Vancouver to this house, as Stonyhurst University School. By 1908 it had amalgamated with what would eventually become St. Michael’s University School and moved to Saanich. Charles Spratt (548 Lotbinière Av, Rockland) and then Percival Morrison, a salesman with Pemberton & Son, lived here briefly.

In 1912 Harry Percy Simpson (1871-1957) commissioned W. Ridgway Wilson to completely remodel the simple barn into a “modern” Arts & Crafts mansion with Tudor details. Born in Plymouth, England, Harry farmed in Manitoba for eight years, then joined the financial firm of Dixie Ross & Co in 1899. In 1898 he married Violet Alice DeKerison St. Martin (1871-1949), who was born in India. They came to BC in 1906 after Harry’s partnership with Ross dissolved, and he engaged in shipbuilding, exploration, and real estate. In Victoria he was manager of a sand and gravel production company until retiring in 1944.

By 1921, Dr. Forrest Bertram Leeder (1865-1945) and his wife Edith Mary “Hope” (1872-1956) were the residents. They lived here until c.1930. Forrest spent the first 16 years of his medical career in England. He came on holidays to Victoria, returned to England for his wife and children, and settled here in 1908. The Leeders had two daughters, Faith and Carita (Spanish for “Charity”). Their governess, Margaret Barton, was a founder of St. Margaret’s School (established in 1908), and Faith and Carita were among the school’s earliest students. Faith married George Collins Grant in 1921, and in 1929 opened her first antique shop at 1162 Fort St, Fernwood. About 1940 she moved to 1156 Fort St, where it remained until 2011 as Faith Grant The Connoisseur Shop.

This house was vacant in 1931. By 1933, retirees Ernest (1859-1944) and Alice Elizabeth (Bull, 1862-1943) Robinson were in residence. Ernest, a stockbroker from Ontario, came to BC in 1912 and Victoria in 1931. Daughter Jean Robinson lived here until 1951.

Widow Ida Winnifred (Lugrin) Fahey (1884-1966) lived here from 1953-66. Ida was born in Fredericton, NB, and came to Victoria in 1900. Winnifred was a composer, singer and teacher who performed at Toronto’s Massey Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall. She received her musical education here, and taught at the Victoria Academy of Music during WWI. She composed lyrics, music and did orchestrations for many light operas, including The Bride Ship, The Spirit of the Nile, Paris Rendezvous, and Her Ladyship – all produced in Victoria. From 1920-40 she lived in Ontario, but returned to Victoria in 1944. She was associated with the Victoria Symphony Society, Victoria Musical Art Society, and Victoria Theatre Guild. Winnifred married Henry John MacDonald Fahey (1875-1947) of Toronto in 1908. John was a jewellery manufacturer; they were living on Cadboro Bay Rd when he died.

Ida’s daughter Nora Winnifred married Llewellyn Trueman Kellie, a journalist (1894-1973), in Toronto in 1937 and lived in New York during the 1940s. They moved to Victoria in 1951, and lived in this house until 1966. Ida’s son William Lugrin Fahey, a salesman with Wilson Motors, lived in the house until 1976.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & IMAGES:

• 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


© VICTORIA HERITAGE FOUNDATION (VHF) 2014
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