Heritage Register

1630 Rockland Avenue
(ex-209/1626 Rockland Av)
Highlands Cottage/Edgehill

Built 1900
Heritage-Designated 1997

For: William & Harriet Macaulay

1630 Rockland


Highlands Cottage is a cross-gabled British Arts & Crafts shingled house with whalebone bargeboards and open eaves. A shed-roofed dormer sits to the left of the half-timbered front gable. A wide shingled balcony is located above the full-width, main floor verandah. The hip-roofed verandah has flattened shingled arches on square posts; the left bay has been enclosed. In the 1960s the original front steps fell down, and were not replaced. In 1984 the upper balcony was extended outward and balustraded to copy the verandah. The house has many understated leaded lights. There is a semicircular bay on the left façade and a bracketed box bay on the right, both with hipped roofs. The door on the left side is now the main entrance. There is a tall, slender brick chimney to the right of the box bay.


1899-1903: It was thought that this was the house designed by Rattenbury for his lawyer Bodwell, but that house is now known to be 1745 Rockland Av. Highlands Cottage was built for $4,000 by William James Macaulay (b. Sidney, Hastings Co, ON 1828-1902) and Harriet (née Keenan, b. 1847-1906) (617 Battery St, James Bay), to the west of their home Highlands, now 950 Terrace Av. They married in 1868 at Niles, MI. Their son Norman D. Macaulay (b. ON 1870) and wife Florence (b. BC 1874) married c.1895 and lived in the Cottage. Norman and his cousin Henry Macaulay bought the Victoria Coal, Wood & Lumber Yard in 1889. Norman later lived in Alaska and Yukon, where he owned hotels and a railway. The Macaulays’ daughter Harriet Lilly (b. Orillia, ON 1871) married banker Charles E. Peabody of Port Townsend, WA in 1891. After William’s death Harriet moved to Seattle to be near her daughters; she sold the Cottage at the end of 1903.


1904-20: Ernest Victor Bodwell, QC (1856-1918) married widow Delia Forbes Cowan (née Magann, 1872- 1953) in 1904 in Berkley, CA, and adopted her daughters, Innes Delia Forbes (1893-1961) and Carolyn Alice “Brownie” (b. 1895). The Bodwells also bought the large towered house, Rockcliffe, to the west, about 1908, and numbered both 1626; they usually lived in Rockcliffe, and rented the Cottage out.

Ernest studied law in Ontario, worked in Winnipeg, and moved to BC in 1884. [His father, Ebenezer Vining Bodwell (d.1889), a noted Ontario politician, came to BC with the CPR in the late 1880s, and was twice mayor of Vancouver.] Ernest was associated with Theodore Davie (638 Rockland Pl), then with Irving & Duff (1745 Rockland Av) until they were appointed judges. He then joined J.H & H.G. Lawson as Bodwell & Lawson, and specialized in mining.

Ernest had a nervous breakdown in 1916, and died 18 months later. Delia remarried in 1919, to Capt. Christopher Alfred Maugham Cator, MC, and moved to Vancouver. In 1920 Brownie married Capt. Charles William Cudemore, MC; they and Inneses lived in this house that year. Delia kept Rockcliffe and sold Highlands Cottage, which then became 1630. By 1923-24 Innes and then Delia were back in Rockcliffe, and Delia had architect K.B. Spurgin design a garage. In 1928 Delia, Innes, and Brownie moved into a new house down the hill on the property at 1632 Rockland Av designed by Francis Mawson Rattenbury in 1927.

Tenants: 1910-11: Mrs Alexis Martin (1598 Rockland Av).
1912: Alistair Robertson of Robertson & Meterstein, land surveyors (729 Pemberton Rd, Rockland).
1917: Charles Edward Thomas (1880-1953), sales manager of Wellington Comox Agency coal, and Grace “Marion” (née Lindsay, 1882-1965) from Ontario (1598 Rockland Av).
In 1920 the house was renumbered 1630.

Frederick William Jones (b. Detroit, MI 1867-1954) and Mary Stuart (née Howden, 1866-1935) rented the Cottage for $65 a month, then bought it for $8,000 in January 1924. From 1906-20 they had lived in 1759 Rockland Av and called it Edgehill, then transferred the name to 1630. Fred’s family immigrated to Ontario in 1867. He began as a CPR telegraph boy in Montreal, and became secretary to Sir William White of the CPR. Fred and Mary came to Golden, BC, in 1899. Fred headed the Carlin & Lake Lumber Co from 1901-07, then sold it to Columbia River Lumber Co. The Joneses bought a ranch near Golden in 1905 and spent their time between there and Victoria. Fred was associated with the Red Cross for many years, as president of the Society during WWI. After the war, he started a workshop for disabled veterans. Fred had a sand and gravel business in Victoria, and continued ranching in Golden throughout the 1920s. Mary, a pre-insulin diabetic, died of a heart attack in Golden. Fred moved into the Sussex Hotel in 1948, and gave the house to his daughter.

Tenants: 1932: The Hon. Rolf and Sarah Bruhn (1520 Regents Pl, Rockland).

1948-84: Elizabeth Jones (b. St. Boniface, MB 1895- 1971) married Henry Herbert Montague “Bertie” Oliver (b. India 1897-1984) in 1928 and lived in Hong Kong and England. In 1941 she brought their daughter Elizabeth “Liz” (b. Portsmouth, ENG 1932) to Victoria to live with her widowed father; she later inherited the house. Bertie Oliver, a career soldier in the British Army, was posted to Burma in WWII. He retired as a Brigadier in 1947 and joined his family. The Olivers tried to sell the house in 1953, but were offered only $11,000, so kept it.

1984-present: Liz Oliver inherited the house. She married Kevin Conlon (b. IRL 1921-2011) in 1960 in Ottawa where they both worked as federal civil servants. They had restoration work done on the house and moved to Victoria in 1988 after Liz retired.


• Map of Victoria's Heritage Register Properties

• Rockland History

• Rockland Heritage Register

• Royal BC Museum Archives

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

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